10 Jan 2016

Living on your own at Uni


living on your own at university

You're probably seeing a theme. Sundays are time for cups of tea, talky posts and lifestyle bits. And today I thought I'd lift the lid a little on my uni living situation this year. So grab a cuppa~ <3


I made the decision last academic year, that for this one - my fourth and final 10 month haul - I wanted to live on my own. No sharing. No flatmates. Just me, myself, and I. And a mountain of work. 

It's a bit of an odd decision to make when university is supposed to be such a whirlwind of socialising and meeting people. It never stops, at almost every turn (read: night out) there are new faces, new opportunities and new people to add to your little circle, to welcome into your life. It's a bit of an odd decision when you look at me, too. I enjoy being social. I'm definitely more extroverted than I am introverted -

and yet I still wanted this year to be just me. 



When I told - or tell, actually - people that it's just me in my flat, there were so many questions about whether or not I'd be lonely, how I'd manage my mental health, how I'd look after myself. Granted, the last one was very much just my family - but I guess I'd thought about those other concerns myself, too, at some point. Living on my own for the most stressful year at uni was not a rash decision. 

The last two years I've had shit flatmates. I spent a year living in Korea and 'it was tough' is an understatement. Third year was hard, my accommodation wasn't great either, both the flat and the flatmate really stressed me out and definitely weren't helping my mental health. I basically decided that enough was enough and I couldn't deal with my last year of memories at uni being tainted by awful living arrangements. 

Seriously, if you're not happy with where you're living at uni, it can affect so, so much

I told my mum and my dad that I wanted my own space. A studio, ideally, but they aren't exactly the most abundant type of student accommodation, and a lot of the prices in university cities are ridiculous - but that's another post entirely. Probably more than one, it enrages me so much. I conceded that if I couldn't find anything for a reasonable price I'd look at other options, but I knew in my heart that this year I needed my own space. 

Luckily - I found something, and it's pretty much your standard student accommodation, just... all of it is mine. It's quiet and bright and I can make sure that all the surfaces are clean and tidy and dust free as often as I want to. I can skype my parents often. I can have friends over when I like. 


So with that rather long-winded explanation of how we got to here out of the way... what's it actually like living on your own at uni? 


Well. Loneliness isn't an issue. I'm out and about enough that I see people every day - whether it be class, society things, or just chilling. It's definitely taught me that I now have to make time to socialise, and if I want to see people I kinda have to invite them over, but I knew that loneliness wouldn't really be something I'd face. Plus it's really really nice to come 'home' to somewhere where you don't have people asking questions the minute you step food through the door. It's nice to have peace and quiet. 


Work? I find I do get a lot more work done, really. There isn't a disturbance issue with flatmates needing to use the kitchen at 4 in the morning, or going out when I want to stay in. If people come over, they're usually invited. 


I'm sort of treating this year as a trial run for when I move out of the family home and into my first non-uni rented place. Which will probably/hopefully not be too long after I graduate. I'm more of an independent person than people think, I like my own space but I also like interaction, and learning how to deal with a more 'adult balance' in my final year of uni I think is really going to help when the time comes for me to do it alongside paying council tax. 


Downsides? 

I'm learning that making one portion of food all the time isn't exactly the best way to go about using resources, especially if I only want something quick the next day. Also it's a much better idea to have a washing machine over a dishwasher if it's just one person in the place... 

I also have to remember sometimes that it's just me in the flat. Doors always get locked and security chains are always put on in the evening. I'm always aware of where everything is in case I need to grab something heavy fast, or notice if things have been moved or taken (I've watched too much Silent Witness recently). I'm glad that my building has a security code to release the front door, but sometimes you can never be to careful when you're on your own. 

Also, sometimes I've had to turn outings down if I know I'll be walking home alone at night, especially when there are spikes in certain types of crime. It's just being sensible, really, even though I'm saddened that as a young woman trying to be independent, I have to watch out for people that would want to hurt me because I look 'vulnerable'. 


All in all, I think that deciding to live by myself for my final year of uni was probably the best decision I've made. I'm in a different league of happiness now, compared to last year and two years ago - it's genuine and consistent and things feel like they're slotting into place. 

It's not a decision for everyone, but I thought that I'd write a bit about how living by myself this year was working for me, just in case anyone was in the same boat or a lil' bit concerned about what it's like. It's an option that isn't really talked about much - as everyone expects house shares to be the university norm. If you've found this helpful at all then yay :)


Did you live on your own at uni? Have you considered it? Let me know - and if you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask~


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18 comments

  1. I can totally understand why you made this decision. A lot of pointless, petty squabbles seems to happen amongst uni housemates and it's the last thing you want with all of your studies. The stress just isn't worth it. :)

    Style Sunrise☀

    :)
    x

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  2. It does sound like a great idea! If I was to live in uni accommodation (luckily when I was at uni, I lived near the campus anyway), I'd want to live on my own.

    Meg | A Little Twist Of…

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  3. Wow this is really interesting, it's great to read other people's experiences and perspective. I really love living with my housemates at uni, but I feel very lucky that we all get on so well as I know that's not the case for many of my friends! Love your blog - feel free to follow me back on Bloglovin' if you like so we can keep up with each other :)

    -Ruby Xx

    Another Ruby Tuesday

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    1. I absolutely adored my flatmates in first year, but having a year abroad can really throw your living arrangements when you come back - so it was either take the flat I had last year, or go back into uni accommodation with 5 other strangers again. My sisters are both in house shares and love it - it's so dependent on absolutely tiny things sometimes!

      And yess okay <3

      xo

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  4. Loved this post - as you know I lived on my own for most of last year and although I was lonely I did really love my own space, I just don't think I realised how much more I preferred it until I moved into a shared apartment which just didn't work for me at all, so now I'm back home and planning my next adventure.
    I'm glad you've done what's right for you this year <3
    LJLV - A Manchester Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

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  5. This is such an interesting read. At the end of first year, my mum got a job in London and the whole family ended up moving down, but I think if that hadn't have happened, I'd probably be living by myself too, so I think I understand where you're coming from. But I just can't handle people in large quantities so there you go! I'm glad it's working out for you, people are very quick to judge other's living arrangements at university (I should know, I'm back living with my parents!) so I'm glad you were able to do what's best for you x

    Martha Jane | www.marthajanemusic.com

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  6. I was really tempted to live on my own in third year. I get so stressed with too many flatmates. But then again I'm prone to loneliness and depression and I know most people won't want to live with just one other person in the house :')

    Ahh university...

    Interesting read tho! E x
    elleanorwears.com

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    1. I definitely think mental health comes into play when making accommodation decisions. For me, this year has forced me to do a lot more I feel. But I completely understand that being prone to loneliness and depression changes everything, going into 3rd year I don't think I'd've managed being by myself

      Uni indeed. constant learning curve

      xo

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  7. I've often thought about living alone at uni but was put off by the usual reasons like wondering if I'd be lonely. I think people kind of exaggerate that and make living alone seem like more of a big deal than it actually is. I'm glad it's working out for you and you don't have to deal with any horrible flatmates!
    Shannon x

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  8. I can completely relate. I lived with terrible flatmates for my first two years at university and looking back I wish I had lived at home. I'm now in my fourth year living with great people in a spotlessly clean house and I'm so much calmer and absolutely love living here. I always thought something was wrong with me as I couldn't live with other people, but it turns out that I did find people I can live with. So glad to hear you've made the best decision and good luck for your final year xx

    Jessie | allthingsbeautiful-x

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  9. I'm pretty lucky that I'm going to a university where I actually live so I won't be leaving the nest -- as of yet. I am planning on moving out eventually to acquire the independence I need to experience, and it's so lovely that you've written about your experience, Fii.

    The thing with me is that I've never actually thought about some of the things you've mentioned just because it never occurred to me that "being sensible" is something that you'll acquire over living alone, or making small portions and stuff like that.

    Great great post, Fii, and I'm wishing you all the best in your last semester!

    x May | THE MAYDEN | bloglovin'

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  10. I live on my own in uni! and yes yes yes yes to so many things in your post! I do enjoy living alone, despite being more of an extrovert. Its like having your own space to zen at the end of the day, being who you wanna be (singing /dancing weirdly and YES NO BRA), that makes living alone such a plus.
    Besides its always possible to go hang out with friends if you don't wanna be alone in your room. I like having the option of doing both :D

    x Carina / Running White Horses

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  11. This is such a brilliant post, Fii. In retrospect think I would have got on with university a lot better if I lived alone, and it's something I'm considering when I eventually return, but in some ways it does scare me a little. I'm not the most independent - although I'd like to be - so I think living alone would really help me grow x

    Charlotte / Colours & Carousels

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  12. I was so lucky to meet such amazing, brilliant friends early on at uni and after the first year living in halls, we flat shared the last two years and it was great. We all got on so well and we're still the best of friends now - they were my bridesmaids when I got married! I know not everyone is as lucky as I was and I totally understand the want to live solo when you've got a lot on your plate. Even as close as I was with my flatmates, sometimes it's nice to have your own space. Hopefully your last year is a fab one, wishing you lots of luck! xxx

    Kirsty - Life in Excess

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  13. i completely understand and love this post. My first year of uni accommodation was terrible, i'd never been so unhappy until that entire year because of where i lived and the people i lived with and also the place and university itself, it took such a toll on me. I'm at a different uni now, one i love and i took a risk and tried halls again and thankfully it's a completely different experience. But, I've learnt that I'd much rather live on my own next year as even though my flatmates are great, I like having my own space and not having to clear up after people, and also feel more "adult" so I feel ready to take that step. Such a great post and hope you keep on loving living on your own :) x

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  14. I live on my own and have done so since I moved out from my parents' house. It's not common to have a flatmate here in Denmark unless you want to move to Copenhagen because that is London expensive. I commute to uni which is why I can afford to live on my own, and I love it. I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm more introverted, and I need my own space especially in heavy social times.

    Happy to hear that you followed your heart and did what's best for you x

    Tess x
    thelyricstolife.com

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  15. I lived in a house share with 4 other girls and it was great. We all got along well, we'd cook for one another. One girl even used to do my washing if I was in a rush and had left my clothes by the washing machine, which was super sweet. But I was always conscious of, because none of us were ever out past 12am, not being able to get up in the night and go down to the kitchen for a drink. Well, I could. But because everyone would be in their rooms, mostly asleep, I was worried about disturbing them I guess. I think having a place all to myself would have been preferable. But I couldn't afford it at the time, and I dropped out of of uni the following year. Haha. Great post! x www.aimeeraindropwrites.co.uk x

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  16. I am honestly so excited to move out and live on my own, like you wouldn't believe! I'm an only child so there's only 3 of us in the house tops, so you can imagine it was a shock living at uni with 8 other people at one point. I did enjoy the occasional social interaction, but that's all it needed to be; occasional. The people I lived with didn't seem to know what "enjoying your own company" was, and it soon wore me thin. I didn't need to be hanging out with them 24/7, and they soon began to really annoy me with the constant shrieking and mess. Cherish those quiet moments living alone!

    Kirstie | Behind The Scent (formerly Kimamely Beauty)

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