So it’s that time of year already, the end of term is fast approaching and you’re unsure of your plans for the summer. We’ve all been there, and I think I definitely made some mistakes in my choices for summer over the years which I now regret. I know that when you’ve been living away from home, any chance you get you want to return and see all your friends and family that you have missed. This is perfectly natural. I did it for my first two years at university, packed up and moved back home for 3 whole months. I loved seeing my friends and family, but knowing that I was paying rent on a house I wasn’t living in did put a bit of a downer on the situation. As well as the fact that a lot of my home friends were working full time, whereas I was bordering on maxing out my student overdraft – hardly ideal for socialising. All this got me thinking that maybe it’s better to stay put at uni over the summer and here’s why.
It may seem counter intuitive, but actually going home from university over summer might end up costing you more. At university, everyone is having the same financial difficulties, meaning it is considered perfectly acceptable to spend day upon day binge watching Netflix. Or if you’re lucky and it’s sunny, then you might go to the park with the cheapest alcohol you can find. You’re all in it together which is why it only makes sense to spend a lot of time in situations where this is seen as the normal thing to do. I’m not saying don’t go home and see your friends and family, but three whole months is a long time. For me it led to spending money that I didn’t have as I wanted to be able to have a good time and see everyone. My friends were booking holidays and I didn’t want to be left at home on my own, so I increased my overdraft and joined them. Hardly ideal when I was already struggling to pay my rent.
I think it’s easy to get so caught up in home life that when you eventually return to university it feels almost alien and it takes some settling back in. Having to think about bills when you use the washing machine, or wanting a cup of tea and not having any milk. These are little things that once you have been living back at home for a while you begin to take for granted. During the summer of my second year I spent a couple of weeks with my housemates just doing the things we would usually do, minus going to university and it really helped me to stay in the student mindset. I also didn’t feel like I was wasting as much money as the previous year as the house wasn’t unoccupied for the whole summer.
I finished university last year, and I was lucky that after my final deadlines I still had 2 months left in my house. Myself and my housemates stayed until the last possible day, making the most out of living together and being students. I would definitely say it was one of the best times I had at university as none of us had any work to be done and we just enjoyed spending time living together as as far as we knew it would be the last time. We had house parties, barbecues and just house chill nights watching movies. It brought us all closer as friends as we had never spent that much time together as a unit due to deadlines and work. Some of our home friends came down and stayed too which was really great as we got to know each others friends rather than having separate groups. Quite a lot of our friends moved home straight away, but those who stayed became a lot closer which made leaving that little bit harder. Obviously reunions are now a lot more fun!
Whether you’re in your first or final year consider spending more time in your university house over summer if you can. You only have 3 years with the friends you meet there and as a student so just make the most of it. And as they say, time flies when you’re having fun so the end comes a lot faster than it should! Try and balance it with seeing people from home and you will have such a good time. Don’t regret any of your student years, they will be the best you have.
Image from COD Newsroom