It is nearly three years that I have been studying at Kent, and I have enjoyed every moment of it. But during these three years, I did not live on campus or in Canterbury, instead I continued to live at home – a choice that I do not regret making. In this blog post, I will explain the benefits of staying at home, whilst studying for an undergraduate degree at Kent.
Living at home has saved me a lot of money, and I mean a lot. Remembering what my friends used to say, it was difficult for them to save money whilst living on campus, and more difficult to find a job since Canterbury is filled with hungry students seeking employment to survive. Not only is it expensive living on campus, it is also difficult to save money when all the student loans go directly to accommodation. And if you’re studying an undergraduate degree that requires a lot of heavy reading, like law, most of the money will also go on books! That leaves some money to buy food and household goods.
Will there be money left for social events? Maybe, if you decide to spend your money wisely. Therefore, the pressure is high. Not only do you want to live in accommodation that is comfortable and suitable to live, you also want a place where you can study and not be pressurised by paying high rent!
Of course, one will only live at home if the University is near, which was a benefit to me. But living on campus or in Canterbury does have its benefits as well, such as never coming late to a lecture or seminar, and being able to attend events that are held in the evening or during the weekend. And since I live an hour away, I couldn’t attend any of my lectures or seminars last week, as it has been snowing!
They say once you attend university and live on campus you become independent, which is true to a large extent. You have to do laundry by yourself, cook by yourself and do regular house chores, like cleaning your room, buying groceries and washing the dishes. Unfortunately, you cannot rely on your family to support you, instead you have to rely on another five/six independent students who are most likely in the same situation as you are. It is difficult in the first few months; students can get homesick. But that is independence. You have to learn to survive, because to be independent is a skill. Because I live at home, it does not necessarily mean I am not independent. I still do chores at home; I do my own laundry, I cook and clean the house. Independence can be achieved in different ways.
I guess the best reason for staying at home is home-made food. My friends always say how they miss home-made food! It is difficult as a student to cook food, especially when everything is new. And sometimes, there is no time to cook – I feel like I waste my time with cooking, hence I sometimes have takeaways or snacks. But then other days, I enjoy a good home cooked meal!