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After leaving home and going it alone for three years, you thought you’d well and truly flown the nest.
You’ve learnt how to separate your laundry, and you can even cook a pretty decent Bolognese. Living away from home, your bedroom is yours to trash as you please, and there’s nobody there to stop you from binging on Netflix and eating what you like.
But now, you’re considering postgraduate study, and living at home might be starting to look like a viable option.
Maybe the university of your dreams is just 20 minutes from your family home, or maybe you just can’t afford to shell out for a house of your own this year. Whatever the reason, you’re bound to have mixed feelings.
But if you’re thinking that returning home feels like a bit of a backward step, do not fear. This blog post is here to tell you all the reasons why it could be the perfect choice for your postgraduate study.
Saving money is probably the main factor that encourages postgraduate students to choose living at home, over moving into halls of residence or renting privately.
The NUS says that students spend an average of £4,834 a year on rent alone (or £6,143 in London), and around £2,000 on food. While your parents might expect you to walk the dog or cough up a bit of cash in return for living at home, chances are you are going to be a whole lot better off financially than you would be if you were renting.
Without rent, council tax, or the frustration of paying for a house you aren’t living in during the holidays, you will have more disposable income. You might be able to save this money for something useful like driving lessons, or for a holiday abroad once you’ve finished your course.
As Dorothy knew all too well, there really is no place like home.
Let’s face it: student accommodation can sometimes be pretty grim. Damp and dodgy mattresses may not be a feature of all student accommodation. But they won’t make a Masters degree any easier.
If you live at home, you can probably bank on the fact that you’ll be more comfortable than you would be in halls or private student accommodation.
Although you might feel like you lose some freedom, by moving home you can enjoy living in a ‘real house’- the kind that has a fruit bowl, a bath, and a functioning tumble dryer- and study in comfort and peace.
As rewarding as it is bound to be, your postgraduate study may include some stressful moments – particularly when it’s time for your dissertation or final project. This is when soothing words of parental wisdom and a slice of your mum’s chocolate cake might be just the kind of comfort you need.
Of course, living at home doesn’t have to mean giving up your independence. If at any point you decide to stay out late, or just find yourself missing the days when you lived away from home, you can always stay with a friend.
Unless your parents happen to live next to your campus, living at home probably means a slightly longer journey to classes.
OK, so commuting to university isn’t everyone’s idea of fun. But by planning ahead, you could capitalise on this otherwise dreary part of the day. Make sure you take a flask of coffee and some breakfast with you in the morning, and you’ll be bright eyed and bushy tailed by the time you arrive at campus.
On the way home you can catch up on your emails, plan an essay, or go through some seminar reading with a fine-tooth comb (or a highlighter). Over the course of a month, a journey of just ten minutes each way can quickly build up to several extra hours of work, leaving you with more time to relax.
Chances are that when you were out exploring your independence as an undergrad, you didn’t spend as much quality time with your family as you could have done. It’s probably been a few years since you lived with your parents and siblings, and there’s no telling how far away you might be living after you graduate.
If you end up living at home during your Masters, try to embrace the fact that you’ll be around for every birthday, barbecue, and Sunday lunch, not to mention the whole run up to Christmas.
No matter how well you know the city where you’re considering postgraduate study, finding a property can be a bit of a drag.
While postgraduate diploma courses often finish in June, many Masters courses don’t end until September. It can be tricky to find accommodation that caters to this time frame, as many landlords are used to undergraduate tenants.
By living at home, you can enjoy your postgraduate experience in comfort, without the trouble of finding housemates and a new place to live. Whatever happens, your Masters is likely to be busy, and to fly by in no time at all.
Of course, living at home isn’t for everyone. Maybe you’re returning to study as a mature student, have your sights set on a university at the other side of the country, or you’re keen to do your Masters abroad.
However, if you’re having trouble finding funding, and you’re looking for a way to do your postgraduate degree on a budget, living at home is definitely an option worth considering.
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Not sure the home-life is for you? Learn about your other options for postgraduate accommodation.
Living at home won't be an option if you're coming to the UK as an international student, but we can offer some other advice.
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