Is It Better To Move Out For University? | TOTUM
Holly BarrowMarch 9th

Every prospective student eventually has to confront the age-old debate when it comes to applying for uni - is it better to move out for university or should I stay at home?

While there's definitely no one-size-fits-all approach to this dilemma, we hope we can help to make the decision easier by looking at the pros and cons of living at uni vs living at home, taking into consideration everything from commute to rent, cooking to nights out...

For some, moving out for university is the perfect opportunity to start afresh, gain some independence, meet new people and challenge themselves to step outside of their comfort zone.

For others, it's simply not worth the money and the cons far outweigh the pros.

No matter your preference, this guide should help you to decide what the most suitable option for you is depending on your personal circumstances...


The Pros of Moving To Uni

Some of the main advantages of moving out for university include:

  • You'll gain independence and new experiences

  • It's an easy way to make friends (the joys of flatmates!)

  • It'll teach you basic life skills and lessons

  • You'll be close to uni (we know how valuable those lie-ins are)

Let's explore these in a little more depth...

New Experiences and Gaining Independence

Moving to university can seem a daunting prospect for many, but it's also an incredible way to push yourself out of your comfort zone and gain independence.

Living with your parents/guardians for 18 years is all well and good - you might be living at home rent-free, with all of your meals cooked for you and washing taken care of - but if you move out for university, this opens up a whole other world.

The freedom you gain is immense - you can fully take the reins and spend your time doing what you like, how you like (within reason of course).


Making Friends

While it's definitely possible to make friends without moving to uni, it's often far easier to do so if you're living in your university's halls of residence.

Student halls provide the perfect setting to meet new people instantly - after all, you'll be living with a group of total strangers so you'll all want to mingle and get to know each other ASAP.

It's also much easier to go on nights out with your uni friends when you've moved to university - this is something that might be virtually impossible for those who decide to live at home and commute, as they'll potentially have to book accommodation for the night.

You're also more likely to join societies as student halls are typically within close distance of campus, which brings us onto our next point...

Distance to University

Being a short distance away from uni is a major bonus - those extra minutes in bed really do add up.

But aside from the potential for lie-ins, it also means not relying on public transport (unless your halls is a little further afield) and maximum flexibility. Got one lecture at 9am and one at 4pm?


Instead of having no choice but to linger in the library or traipse around uni with your laptop in tow, you can nip home for lunch, do some seminar prep or even have a quick nap if you happened to be out the night before...

Acquiring Life Skills

Let's be honest, when you live at home you risk being a little... mollycoddled at times.

Cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing - these are all things we're more than capable of but perhaps less likely to tackle when our doting parents are willing to do it for us.

When you move out for university, you'll quickly learn how to manage these daily life responsibilities - which might not necessarily sound like an advantage to you, but in the long run these are essential know-hows.

The Cons of Moving To Uni

Some of the main disadvantages of moving to university can include:

  • Expensive

  • Struggling with homesickness

  • Difficult flatmates

Costs & Expenses

Sadly, the rumours are true - moving out for university comes with an abundance of new financial responsibilities.

Whether it's rent or paying for your weekly food shop, these might not be things you've ever had to budget for before and they can certainly come as a shock to the system (or the pockets).

Even those who are entitled to the maximum student loan and grants can struggle financially whilst at uni, so it's worth bearing this in mind when you're considering making the leap. Many students feel they have no choice but to get a part-time job alongside their studies, which is usually fine and pretty standard.

But for some universities, the amount of paid work you can do is actually restricted.


Those attending Oxford University, for example, are not permitted to undertake term-time employment except under exceptional circumstances agreed upon by tutors and senior tutors. So it's worth checking whether your chosen university allows you to take up part-time work, as this could be a deal-breaker if you know you'll need that extra bit of income.

That being said, sometimes living at home and commuting to uni can end up costing just as much as if you move out, so if you're thinking of commuting it would be a good idea to check out public transport or fuel costs first.

Fortunately, whichever living arrangement you opt for, you can make use of the thousands of student discount offers out there that can help with all things saving and budgeting - whether it's taking 10% off at the Co-op to help with your food shop or taking advantage of a six month free Amazon Prime student trial.

Feeling Homesick at Uni

Something else that might help to sway your decision is considering whether you're likely to feel homesick and, if so, how easy it would be for you to visit home.

If your university is far from your hometown, this can make it more difficult to hop on a train and visit your friends and family whenever you want to.


This is not to mention that it might not always be possible to nip home if you need to be near to university to make use of the library and other facilities crucial to your studies.

If you think of yourself as somewhat of a homebird, this is something you'll definitely want to factor in when debating whether it's better to move out for university or not.

Difficult Flatmates

As fun as it can be moving into student halls with other people your age, it can also be challenging. Now we're not saying you should avoid potentially uncomfortable situations all the time - this can encourage you to become a more tolerant person.

But there's no denying that it can be difficult too; you might end up living with someone super messy or extremely loud, and this can make studying from home hard.


Our environments are very important and it's definitely not easy to work whilst surrounded by distractions.

So if you're somebody who needs your home to be a calm, quiet space, student halls might not necessarily be the best idea!

Is It Better To Move Out For University?

Overall, there are pros and cons to both staying at home and moving to university, but hopefully this guide has helped you to determine which might be more suited to you and your personal needs.

You could even make a list expanding on these advantages and disadvantages and discuss them with those closest to you.

But whatever you decide, TOTUM will be here throughout your entire university journey and beyond, offering the best student discounts from hundreds of incredible brands.

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