As someone who chose to come back to London and live in their student rental this fall, I can attest to the benefits.
I have no in-person classes and no other reason to be in London, but here I am: quarantining with my roommates and having a great time. Yes, I miss my family and hometown, but spending five months at home over the summer taught me how much I value living in a different city and the independence that comes with it.
I’m lucky to live with my best friends. Whether it be cooking together, watching movies late into the night or just staying up and talking about life, we’ve found a way to make memories from the comfort of our home.
Living through a pandemic, does not mean that fun is cancelled, and — in the midst of a global health crisis — I have found that finding time to just be happy is incredibly important.
Not having to answer to anyone is also fun. The independence I have living away from home is something I crave when I’m with my family.
In London, no one tells me when to eat, where I can go, how long I can be out and who I can go out with. By no means do my parents lock me up when I’m with them, but they do expect some sort of notice when I do things.
Yes, it would save a lot of time to have my parents cook and clean for me, but I’m at a stage in my life where I’ve started to enjoy taking the time to do tasks as a form of self-care.
I know that financial stability is another thing that many people consider when deciding whether to live at home. When you live at home, you might not have to pay rent or for groceries and you may have access to a car to cut down on UberEats costs.
But on the other hand, it may be easier for students to find jobs on and around campus than in their hometowns
While a job may not be a replacement for not having to pay rent, I have still found that the benefits of living in London outweigh the costs.
I am able to study more effectively and efficiently when I’m away from home.
In the few days that I’ve been home while in school, my study periods have been interrupted by parents asking when I’m going to eat, siblings trying to talk to me and meetings paused because someone needs me to fix the wifi.
I know it’s no one's fault, but these types of interruptions never occur when I live with my roommates because, for one, they are also constantly in meetings or doing work, and second, our comfort level has not yet reached barging into each other's rooms because we need help opening a can.
I also find my motivation to study and get work done declines when I’m home, mainly because my family stops doing work at around 5 p.m.. As a student with extracurricular activities and a job that often demands sporadic work hours, I simply cannot stop working at that time. In London, I often see my roommates working well into the night and that pushes me to do so as well.
Having some space from my family has helped me recentre myself and work on my own mental health. Spending half a year at home before the school kicked off was tough on my mental well-being, in part because I felt cooped up in my house, but also because I found myself arguing with my parents more than usual.
Just because you have free food and a free place to stay at home, doesn’t mean that you have to stay there. Choosing to move out does not mean you hate your family, it just means that you want or need something that you can only get while away.
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This article is part of our annual Housing Issue, read the full issue online.