Today is a little different to usual posts.
This time of year is when a lot of people all over will be receiving their exam results and thinking onwards to the future. I know from first hand experience how daunting this can be.
Firstly let me tell you of my experience.
After sixth form I took a gap year. This was for two reasons:
- To assess which course I really wanted to do
- To save for university so I wouldn't have to worry about money in my first year.
Eventually and after visiting many universities across the country I chose to attend a university local to where and live at home while I conducted my studies. There are many pluses and minuses when weighed up but in literal terms living at home while attending university enabled me to finish university with no debt having lived comfortably the last three years.
Of course there were experiences I missed out from staying at home. I didn't establish any of those "friends for life" that you get when living with friends while at uni- of course I met some people but I think the bond is different to those you have "lived the experience with". I must admit I have a very strong group of ladies who were about during this time who were amongst themselves local or fairly close during this time....I was hardly lonely!
Living at home I was able to work lots. It goes without saying that the whole experience of university and working was a big balancing act. On reflection I probably worked too much. But working the way it did enabled me to visit regularly the friends that had chosen to move away, and I guess I lived the moving away experience through my visits. I used some of the money I earned to afford my wonderful travelling in Thailand for 5 weeks, and this year I went for 3. Ive only ever been on occasion the friend who's "skint" as opposed to those that move away and juggle bills with alcohol and a roaring social life.
I cant write this post about my experience at university without a huge mention to my parents. They supported me financially and emotionally when I was a crazy irritable stressed mess. I joke to them that I owe them both at least one cruise...its a little sickening how much I owe to my parents but I am wholly grateful to them.
Its a really hard decision.
My brother on the other hand goes to Leeds and lives away from home and despite being skint loves it.
The only recommendations I can make is
Do your research
Ask LOTS and LOTS of questions
Think about whats important to YOU.
To those that have their university place confirmed I wish you all the very best.
I loved University and I hope you do too.
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