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Living At Home While Studying: Forget The Stereotypes, Here's What It's Really Like

05/01/2015 08:41 GMT | Updated 05/01/2015 08:59 GMT

For some, living at home instead of halls or a student house would absolute hell. However for others, it's not only a huge money-saver but preferable to living with friends. We spoke to four university students who live at home to find out the pros and cons of staying put:

Haider Saleem is a second year politics student at Manchester University

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For Haider, the best thing about living at home (other than saving money) is his mum's cooking

"As I live in Manchester, quite near the uni, it makes sense for me to live at home so I don't get into masses of debt. I can drive, so go round to my friends' houses loads and often crash with them after nights out.

"The worst thing about living at home was during freshers' week. The university didn't do much for freshers living at home - you needed wristbands for all the main nights which were sold in the halls, so I couldn't go. However this year a society for students who are living at home has been set up, which should make a difference.

"I met a guy early on who introduced me to loads of other people. I don't know anyone else living at home; lots of my friends are in halls.

"The best thing other than saving money is my mum's cooking - she leaves me dinner to heat up when I get in. Some of my friends who live in halls are basically starving - they can't cook and just eat rubbish every evening.

"Even though I'm at home I think I'm still having a normal university experience. After all, it's what you make of it. I'm involved in some societies and I'm features editor of Manchester's student paper, The Mancunion."

Emily Fenton studied history at Oxford Brookes University and graduated in June 2013

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For Emily, staying at home during uni meant she had "the best of both worlds"

"Studying whilst living at home wasn't my original plan - I had initially applied to study law at Southampton University, which didn't work out. I then looked at options closer to home and realised that Oxford Brookes did a great history course. After visiting Brookes, I felt a lot happier there than I had previously at any university I had visited. Living at home and commuting in everyday was the best for me at that time.

"I was able to work throughout the majority of my degree. I was extremely lucky to land a job with a firm in Oxford over one summer, but I ended up staying there for a year and a half in total. I worked full-time during my breaks and part-time during the term - it was a great way to gain some work experience and extra money, and I was extremely lucky to find an understanding employer that could be so flexible.

"The worst thing about living at home is the lack of independence because you still live with your parents and siblings. You still need to be considerate of them if you are out late or up studying late, and also vice versa.

"I remember that Brookes had plenty of freshers weeks events on during the day and evenings, so there was plenty of choice of things to do during freshers' week. You just had to be aware of the bus timetable and ensure you had plans to get home safely.

"I didn't find it too difficult to meet people within my course and I actually found that there were quite a few people that were doing exactly the same thing as I was.

"Overall, there were still plenty of opportunities to meet people and make friends. For me, by staying at home I had the best of both worlds - friends on my course, friends at home, and by earning a little bit of extra money through part time work I was able to visit the friends that had moved away on weekends too."

Pritesh is studying MSc strategic and digital marketing at De Montfort University in Leicester

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"During the first fortnight it was difficult to meet people"

"I thought it wouldn't be much of an inconvenience to commute. Asides from saving money, I felt quite independent at home already so I wasn't desperately wanting to move out.

"The best thing about living at home is that it's clean and I'm not responsible for other peoples' mess. Having seen the state some student flats are in I'm reassured I made the correct decision to live at home. When it comes to revision I like to do so independently, so living at home meant I wasn't distracted by people.

"The worst thing is, ironically, the commute. Sometimes I used to be in for only one lesson but I had to commute 45 minutes to uni and 45 minutes back.

"The uni doesn't do much to involve people living at home in freshers' week activities. I think with the tuition fees rising many people are now looking to stay local for university, so unis could do something to introduce people who are living at home so they don't feel totally isolated on the first day of teaching like I was.

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"The uni doesn't do much to involve people living at home in freshers' week activities"

"I was quite alone for the first couple of weeks. I then started to get to know people during seminars and group work tasks. I also joined a couple of societies and met a few friends that I still keep in contact with now we've graduated so overall I wouldn't say I found it difficult to meet new people."

Anisha Hussain is a second year politics student. She is studying at the Queen Mary University of London

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Anisha studies at Queen Mary University but commutes from her East London home

"I've been living at home since I was born. I've always lived in London and my parents wouldn't have liked me to have gone outside of London to live. They like me to be close to home.

"I'm happy with living at home and it's more convenient in terms of spending and security. It is a good choice for me.

"On my course there are a lot of international students so there's a huge mix of students who live at home and live outside. In my area the norm is to stay at home while studying at university.

"Freshers' week for me was not about clubbing. I joined some societies and I attended a few events that I was interested in. I wasn't a part of the nightlife but that was my decision - it wasn't because I live at home.

"I go round to friends' houses a lot and they come to mine. My parents have met a lot of my friends as I live quite close to the university.

"In summer I stayed away from home for two weeks in Oxford. I missed home so much. It was the longest I'd ever been away and I was on the phone to my mum every night. It's so great after a long day of stress and assignments to come home and have your family around you."