This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Going to uni in the place you live. Any experience?(21 Posts)
My dc is thinking of applying for uni in the city we live in order to minimise debt by staying at home.
I'm wondering how isolated this might make her if she doesn't get the 'full experience '
My 2 DC both live at home and go to university nearby. We're fortunate to be within 1 hour of five universities and it's quite common to stay at home in our area. They would both probably say they had missed out a little but they are both sociable lads and it doesn't seem to have prevented them making uni friends and joining in uni sports and clubs. DS2 felt he missed out a bit on freshers week last year but then ended up showing some Spanish exchange students around the city which more than compensated. Staying at home has saved us a fortune however sometimes it feels to my husband and I that we are sharing a student flat with them both coming and going at all hours. There are positives -being at home helped with part time/summer work - DS1 will graduate this year completely debt free (we are Scottish so no fees to pay).
I did this and stayed at home for the first year but then rented with friends for the second. it does limit the experience somewhat and I didn't really make close friends until i was living with others.
I did this & it's normal in my culture to go to uni near home & live at home.
I looked down with arrogant sneers on people who only wanted to 'party' at University (some of whom did live at home
else were Brett Kavanaugh type frat boys ). Am baffled by British people who think the wild student experience is an important experience that must not be missed.
Maybe coz you're into wrapping them up in cotton wool & know that sending them away is only way to stop that? My teens drive me mad so I am looking forward to them moving out. That's about benefits to me than them, though.
Dd goes locally. Did halls for most of 1st year but commutes now. Home bird
Would a compromise be living in halls for the first year (or the first term if they'll allow it!) so they don't miss out?
I remember being flabbergasted when DS told me one of his friends chose to board at secondary school despite home being about a 30 minute commute on the tube. Apparently the experience was important and money clearly no object in that case...
Yes. DS’ University was within walking distance. No problem.
1. Halls are pretty unsupervised and if you end up with the wrong flatmates, can be grim.
2. Second years in many University Cities are often pretty scattered. It makes little difference whether you live at home or in an expensive flat.
Yes there is a delay in gaining independent living skills, but you save heaps of money and have a quiet comfortable environment in which to study.
And if independence is an issue have a gap year or a year in halls.
I lived in the London suburbs and went to uni in London. Did live in halls for the first year but came home for years 2 and 3.
It's a massive regret of mine that I never got to experience life in another city. I also missed out on the social aspects of living in a student house. I look back now and think "what was I thinking?!"
My dd is living at home, has freedom to come and go as she pleases but will graduate debt free. It's a lot less stressful for her as she doesn't have to live in crowded halls with strangers, she nearly didn't apply because she so disliked the idea of halls - we suggested she consider applying here and it's working out well.
We did set ground rules and she is expected to do her own laundry, text by 5pm if she's not going to be home for dinner and shoes off in the porch when arriving home after 10pm (I got woken up by 4 inch heels on the stairs during freshers, never again!)
20% of students live at home here
I think it depends on the city. People who went home from DDs university ended up being a bit marginalised in the end. They were not part of the socialising to the same extent. That wasn’t wild parties but it was planning meals, dinner parties and all sorts of other things. Friendships can suffer. The home people are not really around at weekends so can definitely be forgotten about.
It isn’t really demonstrating you have all the skills for life or work. Some employers look at more than degree. They want a fully rounded person. Juggling everything at university shows you can cope with what the world flings at you and you have organisational skills. Surviving without Mum and dad is an achievement and staying at home doesn’t do this. It saves money but then do you just work locally too? When is the umbilical cord cut? Or maybe it never is and that’s the attraction for everyone.
Oh dear Annie! That’s no life for a student! Shoes off! Texting at 5 re dinner! Can she not cook her own? Even buy the food? That demonstrates the issues really. Away from home they control their lives and decide their own house rules. They won’t wake mummy up!
I think our DDs are at the same University, which perhaps illustrates how different, different experiences can be. DD unlike her brother, has opted for University away from home (actually she did not get a place at our local one, which to some extent she regrets - first year in halls were grim.) Her best friend, for family reasons goes home every weekend, and she is far from the only one. It seems very normal to go home three or four times a term at least. The exceptions being those who live too far away, or those who were at boarding school, who lack home networks, but since they tend to arrive at University in large friendship groups, their experience tends to be different anyway.
If your DD had been at University a few years back before fees started to bite, it would have been different. But as far as I can see, things are different now. Some students, and their parents, want to keep debt to a minimum so living at home becomes more attractive. Though in fairness this does not apply to a number who attend our DDs University, where really money does not seem to matter. Some really have extraordinary amounts, so are hard to mix anyway, especially if you are not part of the posh 21st birthday party etc, network.
FWIW I have not heard of students holding dinner parties. A trip to ‘spoons perhaps, using vouchers filched from freshers week. But then there is no reason why students living at home cannot join them.
I did that but we lived within walking distance of my uni so it was a bit of a no brainer really. It also meant that I did not really miss out on the social aspects. In 2nd and subsequent years I lived closer than some of my classmates who lived off campus. I did get a chance at independence as I moved quite a distance away for a 8 month placement.
By coincidence my dd has just done this as well. She did apply to a uni a distance away she preferred one closer to home, but not the closest! She also had the opportunity to travel across the globe for her placement but decided to stay at home. I think she has been reading too many articles about this generation having to save up for many years before being able to buy a flat. She has said that she has missed out on some things but has gained a lot as well.
DD has left university. They had a large dining table and a big lounge/diner in y4 and held dinner parties. It’s quite common at St Andrews too. It keeps costs down and other students brought food contributions along. It all helps prepare for life. Contrary to MN opinion of my family, my DDs didn’t eat out for every meal! However one person’s experience of university will be different from another and personalities are different too. Choising the right halls is paramount. Therefore knowing who goes into which halls (quiet, lively, near the clubs) etc helps make an informed choice.
My DDs have always been keen on studying abroad. They didn’t come home much either. That costs money and they had no friends who did this so perhaps like minded students are attracted to each other in that respect. It’s just that there are thousands of students who all have differing ideas of what university means to them. My DDs preferred to be immersed and grab every opportunity. Yes, mine went to some wonderful 21st parties. We held one. So that makes them hard to get along with does it? I’m not sure that follows and it’s a wild assumption.
Thanks for the feedback everyone.
I did wonder about a compromise of halls for the first year but I don't know if that's where you make your friends?
Night's out would be in town, which is where we live and the bus stop for uni is across the road from our house and 10 minutes from uni.
She's a quiet girl and my fear is she might compromise her studies if she was far from home in grim halls.
I think it depends on the norm for that particular university. Where I grew up, it was (and still is) normal for students to go to their local university, which means staying at home for those who grew up in that city.
I thought those students actually had a better social life as they were around for whatever was going on at weekends - the rest tended to go home.
My dd finds the weekends a bit dull & quiet by contrast - her fellow students are often gone away at weekends, to visit family & friends. Because there is not a large number of local students living at home she doesn't have that same relationship with the local community that I developed through having friends who had families there.
I think as long as the transport links allow her to fully take part in evening activities she should be fine.
I did this- it was rubbish. I just continued to socialise with the same friends I already had. No real university experience and definitely wouldn’t recommend.
It’s a long time ago since I went to university which was 180 miles from home. I lived in halls for the first year and shared houses for the subsequent years. I was a bit of a home bird but going to uni made me realise I could manage on my own and I loved that feeling if independence! I did live in tomato soup, Findus crispy cheese pancakes, cider and cigarettes though!
It was entirely normal to attend your local university where I grew up, and it certainly didn’t mean I didn’t get some kind of Ur-university experience. I was hugely involved in running student societies, held down several PT jobs, and had an excellent social life, plus used to go home for the weekend to other parts of the country with friends who were from there. And got the top first in my year.
I would tell her not to think about debt when she chooses uni. Look at the courses. If the course she wants to do in her city is good then absolutely stay. If the course doesn't interest her or doesn't look good or have good job propsects, then look elsewhere. About a third of my coursemates stay at home at my uni - it's the best business school in the UK so it didn't make logical sense for them to move elsewhere just to get "the uni experience". One even commutes 2 hours from home as the cost of trains 3 days a week is far cheaper than rent. Too many people move away just because they like the idea of living away from home rather than the practicalities and expenses - your daughter sounds sensible for considering it but don't let her make the choice based on that alone.