Considering going to university in your hometown? Here are some pros and cons to consider 👇
When you love where you live, packing up to study in another city may not be the best option. Or is it? With new places come new experiences and the chance to broaden your horizons. But why leave behind your family and friends if you don’t have to? 🤷♀️
If you’re not sure whether or not to go to university in your hometown, read on. We’ve pulled together all the pros and cons to help you make the right decision for you.
👍 Pro: You’ll be close to friends and family
Going to uni is all about making new friends, but that doesn’t mean you have to leave your old ones behind. When you go to uni in your hometown, you get the best of both worlds. Want to meet up with your mates from school for a catch up? You don’t have to plan months in advance and co-ordinate a date that suits everyone. Plus, with your family just a stone’s throw away, you won’t ever feel homesick!
👎 Con: You might spend too much time at home
Home comforts are hard to resist. When you’re getting your clothes washed, your meals cooked and you’ve got a lifeline of financial support at your fingertips, you’ll understandably be reluctant to let it all go for months on end. A word of warning - there is such a thing as too much time with your family, so if you do study in your hometown, try to strike a balance.
👍 Pro: You already know the best spots in town
If you’ve got uni friends who are new to the city, they’ll soon see you as their guide to the best places to eat, drink and go out. You know this town like the back of your hand, so you won’t be fooled when a promoter tells you to wait outside a grotty club for hours because it’s 'the place to be'!
👎 Con: You don’t get to experience a new city
You can’t deny that there’s somewhat of a novelty factor about going away for university. In student halls, no one knows each other, and most aren’t familiar with the local area. You’re all in the same boat on uncharted waters, navigating a new city together. You’re bound to make some bad choices, but you’ll also discover new favourites as you embark on a fresh adventure far from the comfort of your own home.
👍 Pro: Home-cooked food wins every time
Easy cheesy pasta may have been sufficient for fresher’s week, but as the winter goes on, you start longing for your family’s cooking. If you study in your hometown, you’ll never be too far away from a hearty meal that doesn’t involve pasta (or a microwave)!
👎 Con: Commuting can be costly
If you do choose to live at home and your house isn’t close to the campus, commuting to and from class can start to get pricey. If you are choosing this option, we recommend getting a bus pass to keep the costs down – that way, you won’t be forking out every time your friends want to meet up. But, on the other hand, train tickets to your new city are costly too!
👍 Pro: Free laundry access
Let’s be honest here - flaundry (the act of leaving your laundry on the floor for a while until it miraculously cleans itself) doesn’t work. When you’re living in halls, the cost of doing laundry can rack up... to the point where you’re spending your student loan on new clothes to avoid tackling the mountain of dirty clothes from weeks gone by. Spoiler alert – new clothes get dirty too! When you study in your hometown, you can greet your parents with a pile of dirty washing every week! (Sorry, mum.)
👎 Con: You might get FOMO
In the summer before you start university, you can get into a nice routine of living at home; do a bit of work here and there, chill out on the sofa, catch some daytime telly, repeat. If you do intend on staying local when term starts, make an effort to go to campus often and get involved with clubs and socs. If you don’t, you might end up suffering from the dreaded Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) when you choose to stay in again.
👍 Pro: You can choose between home or student accommodation
Studying in a new city is synonymous with student halls, and while this setting may make for a memorable experience, sharing a flat with new people is not for everyone. When you live locally, you can save money on student accommodation by living at home and commuting to your classes instead. If you’d rather put some much-needed space between you and your family, the option for a student flat is there – but at least you have a choice.
👎 Con: You might miss out on some life skills
When you study in a new city, you’re forced to fend for yourself. As a result, you end up learning some key life skills like cooking an (edible) meal, separating your clothes wash into colours and budgeting for the term ahead. Along the way, you’ll inevitably burn your pasta, turn all your whites red and spend your student loan in a week... but that’s how you learn!
👍 Pro: You won’t have to pick and choose what to take with you
Studying in a new city means making sweeping choices about what to take with you. Worse still, if you aren’t getting a lift to uni, your journey will involve carrying hordes of heavy bags on public transport (because you might want to play guitar at some point, or need that winter coat... right?). When you’re studying in your hometown and the new term starts, you won’t have to make big decisions about what to pack and what to leave at home. If you’re missing anything from your wardrobe, toiletries or kitchen cupboards, you can just pop home and pick them up!
👎 Con: You’ll always have that feeling of “what if…”
If you don’t go, you’ll never know. It may be for the best, but you may regret not throwing yourself in to new surroundings when you study in your hometown. You never know who you’re going to meet and what new experiences await. Either way, it's best to trust your gut.
👍 Pro: You’ll still meet loads of new people
Even if you aren’t going to a new city, just being at uni will give you the chance to make plenty of new friends and meet like-minded people. Whether through clubs, classes or events, the more you get involved, the more connected you’ll feel with student life. Most universities around the UK welcome students from across the world, so your friend-group won’t be limited to locals-only. Within no time, you’ll be mingling with a diverse mix of people from a range of places.
Whether you choose to study in a new city or stay at home, it’ll be the right decision for you. At the end of the day, it’s not about where you live, but the effort you put in to get the most from your university experience!