It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was writing out a pros and cons list to living in the little village that I do, trying to work out if I want to stay here for uni or not. Well, the decisions have finally been made. If all goes to plan, I’ll be staying at home for uni.
But Johanna, why did you chose to stay at home for university?!
I’ve already has this question from quite a few people. I know I’m not alone when it comes to making this decision; A lot of people do decide to stay at home for university. But it does seem that for the majority of people, they move away from university. And at college, university is all about moving away from home and gaining your independence. But here’s by I’m “bucking the trend” so to speak, and staying at home for university.
I don’t need to learn how to be independent, as I’ve already gained it at home.
This isn’t the case for everyone, and I know this. But my mum has been a single mum for almost 11 years now. Because of this, I’ve been taught to be independent in certain aspects of life the moment I was old enough to be able to. Since she currently works nights, that’s even more so. I already cook dinner on some nights, do the dishes, do cleaning, and so on and so on. Okay, occasionally my mum does my laundry for me at the same time she does hers, but I do the same for her. Basically we help each other out. When she doesn’t have time to do things, I do them for her. And she does things for me when I don’t have time either. It’s a happy medium.
Also when it comes to college work, my mum already lets me fly solo with it. Of course, she won’t be happy if I’m late with a deadline, but she knows that now I’m an adult (don’t forget I am a year behind), I’m the only one that can really control these things, and will take the consequences when things don’t go right.
Basically with a mum who doesn’t mollycoddle me all the time, and already promotes by independence, I don’t see the need to move away to seek it.
On the subject of my mum; I don’t have a home life I’m desperate to move away from.
I’m not saying everyone moves away from home for uni because they have an unhappy home life. I’m just saying I’m choosing not to move away because I do have a happy home life. Sure, me and my mum have our spats, but nothing so serious that I feel the need to live apart from her so desperately.
I’ve literally only had my mum as a parent for 11 years, and when you’ve been through what we’ve been through, it makes you super close. Having such a good friendship with my mum isn’t something I want to move away from. And since there’s a local uni providing the course that I want, I don’t have to.
Being a single mum, my mum can no longer continue to support me for another 3 years. And even then, like I said, she encourages me to be independent. When I was old enough to work, I had to get a job to pay for clothes and any other leisure activity I wanted to do. And now, while she’s more than happy to open up her home as a cheaper alternative to living in halls, she doesn’t want it to be a get out of jail free card, where I can avoid all the responsibilities that university usually entails. This means, that come September, I’m going to have to pay for my upkeep.
Not long after all my offers from all the universities I had applied to had come through, me and my mum sat down and came to an agreement on who would be paying what. To be honest, when it comes to stuff like this, we’re both very lazy, and really can’t be bothered to be splitting hairs; Like, how much is half the rent, and half the electric, and half the water bill, and you’re gonna pay half the grocery bill each week right? It involves getting a load of paperwork out, and a lot of mathematical calculations. My mum earns a lot more than me, so even then she wasn’t bothered about it being a straight 50/50 split given I do earn significantly less. So we quickly came to an agreement that I’d be paying the full amount of rent each month, and she’d pay for the rest of the expenses. The rent of the 2 bedroom house we live in, is roughly the same as the rent I’d be paying for living in halls, and like halls, bills will all be included. But it’s still cheaper in the terms that I won’t be paying for a TV licence and for food, because mum’s agreed to keep those expenses. At the end of the year, all those savings will add up.
I do get less in student loans for living at home, but that goes on to my next point.
I can keep my job if I want to.
Right now I’m not too sure on this point, and I’m not 100% certain the demands of my course will mean I’ll be able to keep this job. Fingers crossed I can as that means I won’t have to find a new job like I would if I moved away.
Even if I do have to find another job, I’m a local to this place and have had a fair few jobs round the area already. I know who is hiring and who’s not, I know who pays well, and who doesn’t. Also given I live here permanently, me and any future employers won’t have to worry about any holiday periods where other students would generally go back to see their parents.
I get to keep my car.
At the uni’s where I’d have to move away from home, keeping my car isn’t always an option due to the accommodation not offering parking spaces (mostly due to being city locations). I’ve only had Wade (yes that’s what I call my car) for not even a year yet. Hell, I haven’t even passed my test yet but that’s not the point. I’ve already grown way too attached to the car to want to have to give him up because of having to move away. Because let’s be honest, if I can’t take him with me, I can’t afford the tax and insurance on a car that I can’t use for the better part of a year.
Living at home I’ll be going to my local uni, which is the University of Chichester. But it’s still a good 30 minute journey from my village. Driving would technically be better due to how far the university is from the station, and thankfully the university offer parking on campus, so it looks like I’ll get to keep Wade.
I don’t have to sort out my stuff into the “what I desperately need to take with me” and “what I can leave at home” categories.
I am crap at packing. Going on holidays I always take more than I actually need. I always have to give myself multiple clothing options and always go “but what if I do end up needing this?” Can you imagine the nightmare I’d be having trying to decide what to take for university? I’d be trying to see if I can actually fit all my stuff from my massive bedroom at home, into my mum’s small little car, and into my small little studio room in uni halls.
Thank God that probably won’t be happening now.
Most importantly, I actually really like the university.
You may think all the reasons I’ve listed above are practical, and I haven’t thought about whether I will actually enjoy it at the University of Chichester. But honestly, I think this is the most practical reason of them all. Loving the university is the reason I’m staying, all the others are just a bonus, really.
When I told people I was looking at the University of Chichester’s film course, a lot of people tried to put me off. I already go to college in Chichester, so people told me I’d get bored of the city (3 years at college and I’m still not bored of it!), that their course isn’t accredited and I’m better off applying to courses that are only accredited and are in a bigger city where there’s more opportunities. Thanks to all these people, when I went to an open day, I didn’t have high hopes. But the University of Chichester actually blew me away.
I loved the campus. It’s small, but that’s actually what I loved about it. I didn’t get lost once, everything was to easy to find. All the students were friendly, and there was a real community vibe about the whole place that I knew I would love being apart of. Not to mention they actually have glass, sound proofed editing suites – something none of the unis (even the ones with accredited film courses) had. As an aspiring editor, I think this is what really sealed the deal for me. Not to mention their massive investment in the film and media courses, in the form of a new media and engineering park being built in Bognor ready for what will be my second year. It just seemed like such an exciting thing to be a part of!
Chichester as the first university we went to see, and honestly it was so good that most of the time at other unis, we were like “it’s great, but it’s not Chichester.” When you always think that, it has to be your first choice.
And alas, that’s why I’m hopefully staying home for university. Being so local, it makes sense to live at home, at least for the first year. I say hopefully, as I only have a conditional offer from Chichester. If I don’t get the grades I accepted my unconditional offer from University of South Wales in Cardiff as my insurance choice, just so I know I have a place somewhere. As you can guess, that one I will have to move away from. Way away. But like I said, at least I have a place if my first choice doesn’t go right. Fingers crossed though I get to go to Chichester. They sent me a valentines card with chocolate in it for christs sakes, of course I want to go there!
Did you stay at home or move away for university? Or if you haven’t gone yet, what are you thinking of doing?
Also, sorry for missing out of posting last week. It was deadline week before Easter, and being the bad student I can be, I had waay too much work to do in one week, so the blog had to take a hit!