How to manage your mental health whilst living at home during university

By Ruby Mae Pales, 3rd year Psychology student

At the age of 18 there can be a lot of pressure to move away from home and experience that newfound freedom university has to offer, however this isn’t for everyone, and some students remain living in their home cities. The glamourised images of university we see in the media filled of partying, drinking, and clubbing might not be for all young people. Although most students live in halls or shared accommodation during university, some students, like me, took the decision to live at home and commute to university. This may be due to several reasons for example work commitments at home, caring responsibilities for family or they just feel more comfortable living at home. However, managing your mental health when you are living at home can be difficult as you may feel ‘left out’ of the typical university lifestyle and it can be hard to make friends when you don’t have flatmates and housemates. Whilst everyone else is out meeting new people and settling into life in a new city, students living at home may feel isolated and lonely living at home away from campus.

As a third-year student living at home the following tips have really helped me enjoy my time at Nottingham Trent University:

  1. Signing up to societies and getting involved with all the clubs and volunteering NTU has to offer can be a great way to socialise and make new friends. This can help you feel more included and connected to other students.
  2. Nightlife – you can still enjoy nightlife and clubbing even when living at home, and by joining societies you can attend societies socials and meet lots of new people.
  3. Make sure you spend as much time on campus as possible as even though you aren’t living there you can still make the most of what university has to offer in between lectures. The library or many cafes on campus such as the student’s union can be alternatives to studying at home. Also joining the gym on campus would be highly beneficial to your mental health. Therefore, as a commuting student you can feel more included in university life.
  4. Also, joining groups on social media specifically for commuting students to meet and get to know each other. This can be particularly helpful during freshers when most people are going out with their new flatmates.
  5. Finally, keep in touch with your friends from home who may have moved away for university, as regular facetimes can help you feel connected.

Overall, being a commuting student, you really do have the best of both worlds as you have the fun of student life but also all your home comforts and it can save you a lot of money, without missing out on the university experience. Don’t let living at home hold you back and stop you from socialising as I have still met some amazing friends even whilst living at home. Immerse yourself in your studies and the social side of university using some of the tips above and you’ll have a great experience!

For help, advice and resources whilst studying at NTU, take a look at the following for sources of support.

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