• The Mentorship Spot

Unpopular Opinion: Staying at Home for University can be Fun Too!

By: Leena Saleh



I remember when applications for university first opened- It was exhilarating. I remember applying to all sorts of universities, especially the ones that are far away from me. The most exciting bit was the speculation of living on residence and being fully independent. That was the life all my friends were pursuing, why shouldn’t I do the same? Fast forward a few months, when it was time to pick a university to attend and instead of choosing UBC or Mcgill, I decided to go to UTM- whose campus is 15 minutes away from my home. Throughout this article I’ll be sharing the main reasons I decided to attend a university while at home as opposed to living on a campus far away.


The Piece of Paper

One of the most important pieces of advice that I got about Canadian universities was this: It doesn’t matter where you get your degree from- it’s all worth the same. I’ve heard this time and time again from law school admissions officers, friends who have graduated with PhD’s and individuals working their dream jobs. When applying, I was under the impression that I had to attend one of McLean’s top universities and perhaps move away to receive the good academic experience that I needed, but that’s not necessarily true. Especially if you’re planning to study at the graduate or doctorate level, the university in which you’ve completed your undergrad degree doesn’t matter- only the grade you earn. So why not stay at home during your first four years and move away for grad school or afterward?


Saving Time and Money

Going to a university that’s 15 minutes away saves a lot of time and money. Instead of using time to buy groceries, cook dinner, clean the house on a weekly basis, I’m able to spend more time working jobs, focusing on classes and building a myriad of experiences complementary to my studies. Personally, I’m an individual with a busy schedule and by living at home, I save a lot of time since I don’t have to manage much housekeeping and administrative tasks. After all, time is money.


Speaking of which, living at home cuts a lot of money from your tuition cost. Living on residence can amount to more than the tuition itself. Additionally, there are a lot of nuances you need to pay for later on including textbooks and compulsory meal plans, just to name a few. Personally, I have no concept of financial literacy and I didn’t feel comfortable living on my own and managing my own income and expenses. There’s already so much to deal with; the transition to university in of itself can be challenging, I wouldn’t want to worry about much else! However, I think that the experience of living alone is an important and fun experience, which is why I came up with a plan to get involved in study abroad programs.


Consider Studying Abroad Programs

I think that studying abroad is the perfect way to study and travel all while developing that experience of living alone. The first benefit is the fact that studying abroad is not a long-term commitment, and you can choose the duration in which you’d like to get away. More importantly though, it’s an extremely enriching experience regardless of the program you’re in. Learning about other cultures and studying in a different environment can help you develop a myriad of interpersonal skills. Every university has partnerships with other institutions world-wide! You can choose the destination and tailor the experience in a way which is most beneficial to you. If you truly like traveling throughout your post-secondary studies, universities also have opportunities where they pay you to work pro bono for international communities. Personally, I think this helps create a great balance for living at home and on your own with a fun twist!


Remember what YOU want

It’s paramount that you choose a university experience you think is best for you. Everyone has different goals with different paths to achieving them- you need to determine what is best for you. If you’d ever like to talk more in depth, please don’t hesitate to reach out leenasaleh03@gmail.com!



Thanks for reading this article! If you liked it, consider checking out the other articles on our page and stay tuned for new ones weekly. Did you know we also pair high school students with uni students in their desired program for advice and mentorship? Check out our sign-up page to register as a mentor or mentee today!