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Coventry Cathedral on a sunny day
 

My Experience as a Commuting Student

As a university student who opted to live at home rather than in student accommodation, I've found there are many advantages to my choice. While it may seem unconventional to some and some might even suggest that I am missing out on the authentic university experience, I have found it to be incredibly beneficial. It has given me the vital support of my family, provided me with a little financial stability, and allowed me to maintain a fulfilling social life while pursuing my studies.

Home Comfort

Residing in the comfort of my home has given me a nurturing environment, allowing me to enjoy the unwavering support of my family. As I navigate the challenges of university life, I find solace in the familiarity of my loved ones. Whether enjoying the delicious taste of my mother's home-cooked meals or finding comfort in my own bed after a long day of lectures, spending time at home with my family creates long-lasting loving memories.

Financial Benefit

Living at home during a cost-of-living crisis has significant financial benefits. By avoiding the high costs of living in student accommodation, like rent, bills and groceries. Conversely, I can allocate that money to enjoyable experiences with friends and create fond memories. Many of my classmates have asked me if staying at home has limited my time with friends. I think it is quite the opposite, I get to use the financial flexibility to treat myself to a night out or go on spontaneous adventures. The ability to afford to do these things while living at home has made my university experience truly unforgettable.

Home-Cooked Meals

Of course, living at home also comes with the added bonus of having someone else take care of the cooking. As someone whose cooking skills leave much to be desired, having my mum's home-cooked meals readily available has been nothing short of a blessing. Not only does it save me the time and effort of preparing my own meals, but it also ensures that the kitchen survives another day unscathed from my amateur culinary endeavours!

picture of a home-cooked meal

Making new friends in my hometown

One of the initial challenges I faced as a home student was finding my place within the university community and making friends outside of my immediate social circle. However, with determination and an open mind, I discovered numerous ways to connect with like-minded individuals. It seems obvious but one of these was attending classes regularly - it proved to be the best way for me to forge new friendships early on in my academic journey, as I interacted with fellow students who also were attending class regularly and we bonded on that fact. Over time, these classmates evolved into a tight-knit group on whom I now can rely upon during tough times and share countless laughs.

Group of Coventry students in a car

Same city, new experience

Additionally, I came upon the opportunity to become involved in extracurricular activities, like becoming an ambassador at the university. This role provided me with new experiences, such as teamwork, and it was a paid position, allowing me to earn extra money while forming meaningful connections with other student ambassadors from different courses who shared similar interests. These connections evolved into strong bonds, enriching my university experience beyond the classroom.

Coventry University Student Ambassadors

Easy commute

Navigating the commute from home to university was difficult at first, but after a month or so, it became a manageable aspect of my daily routine. The university is located in the city centre, and as I live in Coventry, I enjoy the fact that all buses go through the city centre. I can take whichever one from home, and it will take about 25-30 minutes. While the commute may require some time and planning, it has become a part of my routine where I reflect and prepare for the day. Moreover, I’m currently in the process of learning to drive, which will further streamline my travel experience and offer greater flexibility in my daily schedule.

No place like home

As I reflect on my decision to live at home, I am confident that it was the right choice for me. When I was applying to UCAS and choosing a university, I was inclined to select one close to the comfort of my home, and the financial benefits were a significant plus that I didn’t foresee. While some may view living at home as a hindrance to the authentic university experience, my own experience has been nothing but exciting, and I have never felt like I was missing out on something. By regularly going out with my friends, becoming an ambassador, and embracing all opportunities for connection, I’ve cultivated a rich and fulfilling social life that made my academic journey so much more enjoyable.

Final Words

Deciding to live at home has helped me balance my studies, family support, and social life. It’s a choice that has allowed me to do well in both school and personal life, while also setting a strong base for my future. As I near the end of my university journey, I am grateful for being able to do it from the comfort of home with my family and I am excited to see how my experiences aid me in the opportunities in the future.

Family in a restaurant having drinks

Harleen Matharu

Student Ambassador at Coventry University

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