What do you think about when you hear the phrase ‘student experience?’ Late nights, house parties, hangovers, leftover kebab breakfasts and going to the SU shop with your sunglasses on in your pajamas because you’ve run out of milk — or some variation of all that crazy stuff? If you’re living at home during your time at uni, your uni experience might be a bit different, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be worse.
I have an hour long bus journey either side of being at uni, and the buses I can catch only run to a limited time, so there’s been things I’ve missed out on. Theatre trips, nights out, society meet-ups — that sort of thing. I was concerned when I started that I’d just never see anyone and I wouldn’t be able to keep friends, but that’s not true; we have lunch on or off campus fairly frequently, we meet up out of “school time” in Hanley, we go to the cinema, we meet up to study. We’ve been for drinks and to plays together; loads of things!
I’m not even the only one that lives away. I would say the percentage of students who live on or around campus compared to the ones who commute in (on my course, anyway) is pretty much 50-50. Plenty of students commute from places like Birmingham, Shrewsbury, Stafford and Leek. If you think every single person in your class is going to live in halls, you’re going to be pleasantly surprised.
You’re going to have the exact same chance at making friends as everyone else, and you’re going to be able to do plenty with them. Eventually you’ll probably be crashing with these people for the night and enjoying the same nights out as everyone else — or maybe you’ll have people come crash at yours so they can see what a night out with you in your hometown is like. And if that’s not your bag? Well, there are plenty of places to potter before you have to catch that train home.