Moving out of your family home can be a very scary thing to do. You will experience many changes and have to make some adjustments.
I was 18 when I went to university. At the time I thought I was very grown up, but I soon discovered that there were a lot of things I had to learn!
As I left my family behind in South Africa when I went to England, moving was a big shock for me. However, a few people in my year were from the local area, so they were able to continue living at home while at university. There are advantages and disadvantages to both options.
One of the benefits of living at home is that you don't have to worry about rent, food or electricity. Not only does this save you a lot of money, but it means you don't have the stress of figuring out how to pay bills or plan a weekly shop. Another advantage is that if you are ever in trouble, your parents will be there to help you through it – whether it's a crisis about the amount of work you have to do or a fight with your best friend. They can also offer lots of practical advice. It also means you never have to be homesick, so in some ways you get the best of both worlds.
That said, I really enjoyed my experience living away from home. One of the greatest advantages for me was that it forced me to grow up, become more mature and learn how to make decisions by myself. I also had to solve problems by myself, like when I lost my credit card and had to call the bank to cancel it. It also allows you more freedom – in my halls, there was no-one to check what time I went to bed or ask if I had done my homework. It also makes you more involved in university life, and you never miss out on anything your friends are doing.
Whether you go to university or not, you will probably end up living by yourself one day. I think it's a very important step in growing up and becoming a more independent person. That said, I do call my mum once a week to chat, and often have questions about how the iron works or what cleaning product is best for kitchen surfaces!