Living at home – Charlotte Mellor

Charlotte talks about her experience living at home in Oldham, Greater Manchester while studying for BSc Medical Biochemistry at the University.

Why did you choose to live at home?

It was close by. It was cheap. I already knew Manchester, so didn’t feel the need to discover it as a student. I have a good support network at home: friends, family, my cats! I also run a Guide unit in Oldham, so I can still fit that around my studies.

How easy was it to meet and mingle with fellow students?

I think I was more scared than I should have been. My course is very small, so it was easy to get to know the people on it. I’ve met loads of other people who live at home, so I realised it’s not that uncommon. I realised too that just because I live at home it doesn’t mean I can’t go out with other students; I just have to remember that I have a longer journey home.

How helpful is the Living At Home Students Society?

I did their “residential” before university started: two days staying in halls with other students who live at home. It was great for that first bout of confidence, getting to know people. We socialised, did all sorts of activities. I still talk to some people I met there, who I wouldn’t have known otherwise, because they’re on different courses. 

What do you do to feel part of the Manchester student community?

I come in! It would be easy to stay at home and watch podcasts all day. But I interact with people, exercise, go out for food. I also do student ambassador work, and I’m a Peer Assisted Study Support (PASS) leader. I also like knowing other students who live at home; people who understand the pain of commuting! 

What is your favourite aspect of living at home while studying?

I like having my family and other friends close by. I have my cats at home, my own space – I can take time out from Uni, switch off. 

How can students living at home still feel they “belong” at the University? 

Find what you want to do at university and do it. Join societies, help to run them, do volunteering work. And don’t be put off. Lots of people told me to move out: “It’s what you do at university!” But if you think living at home is right for you, do it. You won’t be alone.

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