There’s a group of students at the University of Leicester who have one thing in common. It’s not that they’re really into theatre, or that they think Jesus was a velociraptor. It’s that they are all from Leicester already.
As a group, we’re not particularly large. We’re surprisingly common, though, and the chances are that you will have at least one of us on your course. We local students come in two shapes- those who choose to move into university accommodation with other freshers, and those who choose to remain living in their parental home.
I belong to the second group. This is aside from second year, where I moved out into a house with my course mates, and encountered more mice and mould than I thought ever existed in one place*.
The amount of students choosing to remain at home may be increasing over the next few years, what with the hike in tuition fees at a lot of universities. The cost of living out was my main reason for choosing to stay at home in first year, and for choosing to move back home for my third year. I also enjoy the home comforts of not having to wear 6 layers of hoodies to stay warm, and being able to afford luxury items such as strepsils** and chocolate mousse. So sue me.
I was very happy with my choice to stay home during my first year. I did, however, soon become sick of the question ‘so, what halls are you staying in?’ It was nothing to do with people striking up a conversation with me in this way- I was happy to have a chat. The problem came with the responses I got from people when I told them I still lived at home.
My advice to students on things not to ask a fellow student if they have just told you this:
‘Does your mum still do your washing?’,
‘Does this mean your parents are really strict?’
And ‘Are you worried you won’t make any friends?’
The answers tend to be ‘yes’, ‘no’, and in my case ‘no’. Some students might be, but I was confident that with all the fieldwork in geology and social events I would find people who I had something in common with in good time.
To those of you who, like me, are considering living at home during your next year, I recommend joining one or two societies, getting an Arriva bus pass (if you live close enough, and obviously, on an arriva bus route) and planning a nice tour of the city centre for your new course mates. Believe me, when they find out that you know where the nearest Gregs is, they’ll be very pleased to have met a local.
* This does not represent all student houses in Leicester. Most are nice and mould/mouse free.
** I am afraid, local students, that you will, almost definitely still get Freshers Flu. I got it at the start of every new term for my first two years.