We look at the pros and cons of choosing a university near to home.
Choosing a university: this may be the first time in your life where you have so much freedom with a decision. You have over a hundred universities to choose from, and thousands of courses. There are many factors to consider in a university: the course itself, the type of campus (city-based, collegiate, campus-based), and the ranking.
However, a factor that will make a fair amount of difference to your university experience is how far away you are from your home.
The Pros of Moving Far Away from Home for University
One good thing about moving away is that you will be moving to a new environment and city. If you currently live in the countryside, for instance, you could learn what a city can offer you. Most importantly, you can learn whether you might like to live in a city in the future. The same works for if you have grown up in a big city – you might like to try out a more rural campus university, or a smaller town.
Moving far away can definitely expand your horizons and put you out of your comfort zone. It might take a bit of time to settle in, but moving out of your comfort zone is usually a good thing, as you will have to figure things out for yourself instead of relying on your parents.
The Cons of Moving Away from Home for University
Problems with moving far away are mostly logistical. It can be slightly difficult moving between two cities for three years. You may struggle to get a part time job if you can only be there for part of the year, although you can often find seasonal positions at your university.
If you are thinking of moving abroad, there might be tougher aspects such as adapting to a new culture, and it will possibly take longer to settle in. These situations will push you and help you become aware of a new culture, but also might be stressful at times, so it is good to prepare yourself for that if that is what you decide.
Moving far away may prove a bit difficult if you get very homesick, as spontaneous trips home will have to be kept to a minimum. However, modern technology is brilliant – you can FaceTime your family every day if you want to! In fact, university courses are typically very flexible and leave plenty of opportunity for long weekend trips home, so you won’t be completely stranded.
The Pros of Picking a University Near Home
Living in the same city all year round can open up a lot of opportunities – you may be able to get part time work all the year round and be able to commit to a company. You might also be able to come up with some arrangements with your family, such as sharing their car.
If you are close to your family, it might save you on a lot of train fares if your home is only a bus journey away, and will mean that you are able to make your trips to see your parents more spontaneous.
It is always helpful to have the back up of your parents in case something goes wrong. If your accommodation is problematic, or something bad happens, living near to your family can come in handy.
The Cons of Picking a University Near Home
Whether going to a nearby university is possible depends on whether your local university has a course that you would really like to study. Unless you have large obstacles to moving far away from home, I would say that you shouldn’t compromise on your course choice just so you can live near home. If you think you may be homesick, most university courses are typically flexible and leave you a lot of time for long weekend trips home. Not liking your university course would most likely be just as big a problem as missing home!
It is worth considering that by staying near home you are missing out on getting to know a new city and broadening your horizons. Staying in a place near your hometown might mean that you are not learning as much, and are limiting yourself to getting to know a certain demographic of people.
Why Move Out if you Live Nearby?
It is really important to note that if you decide to stay near home for university, this does not mean that you have to stay at home. Some people may gasp at this statement, thinking that moving out when you could stay at home is a complete waste of money.
It is a good idea to do some calculations, exploring the cost of moving out versus living at home, if you are struggling to weigh up the worth of moving out. Check out this student loans calculator and try to figure out the different options; be aware that you may receive a living at home grant from some universities.
Moving out, no matter how far away you are, can offer you a sense of independence. It also helps you to learn to deal with things like bills, landlords, housemates, and everything that comes with them. These skills will come to be useful throughout your life, so make sure you don’t undervalue them!
In general, try not to make decisions based on being scared of moving far away, but figure out what environment will make you the most motivated and help you to grow the most. The world is your oyster – take the time to work out which option is the best for you.
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Blog Post Crafted by Genevieve
Born in Coventry, she now tutors English SATs and GCSE in her free time, as well as working for the university as an outreach ambassador in local schools.
She also enjoys playing piano and flute, and often performs as a backing singer at local gigs.
Whenever she has a moment to spare, you might find her driving to the beach or catching up on her reading!