At least five years of your life has been spent in secondary uniform, all your learning geared up for three weeks of exams in brilliant weather, possibly even during your birthday if you’re unfortunate enough. So after years of this intolerably boring lab

You fill out the CAO, choose your college, course, blah blah blah, you’ll probably get it wrong first time anyway so no need to worry about it. Then it’s party time!  Right?

There’s one more thing to be decided, and it’s not always an easy conversation to have with the folks, and a lot of the time it’s not an affordable option either. But it seems like the next natural step.

Moving out. The utopian dream. Free of all the parents’ nags to study; complete independence. A breeze, or is that going too far?

If you do choose to move out, you might find yourself looking over your shoulder, at all the perks that went unnoticed and unappreciated when you were a home dependent!

Take, for instance, the dinners. Coming home after a long day of sitting on your arse in college, and mammy has the meal ready on the table for you.

Compare this with independent living! Coming home after heading to the pub straight after college, several drinks onboard, with the prospect of making an edible meal awaiting you. Of course, there’s always the fast food chains down the street, but you’ve got a budget to look after now. The part time job can only afford you so much. Pot Noodle, in the eyes of many a student, is a staple, if unhealthy, diet. Well, at least you’re meeting the recommended weekly salt intake.

Those stews and chilli con carnes and the “dinner’s ready” shout don’t seem so unattractive now. Oh no. That was the luxurious life. This? This is work.

The only real freedom that comes with moving out is, unlike your house, which you’re born into, that at least you get to choose your prison walls this time.

Sorry, maybe I’m leaving the good parts out.

Watching full box sets undisturbed. Making your own house rules. Having unsupervised sessions on a weekly basis. Living in the citayyy, where there’s always something to do and something to drink. While I’m on that subject, coming home locked without a “aah you drank too much” guilt trip. Though I can’t decide if this is really a good thing.

The bads. Study. Your home is definitely a better environment for studying, unless you’re part of a young family. Less distractions, less invites to various social events, and the presence of parental pressure, all contribute to a better studying environment for you.

That’s not to say those moved out of home are destined to fair worse in college; the living out of home and the extra awareness of costs of living might make you strive even harder for academic success.

Living in a closer proximity to college is the primary reason/excuse for moving out of home. International students, culchies attending colleges in Dublin, and students who can’t hack hour-long commutes into town every day, all fall under the “moving out” heading.

The “stay-at-homers”; city residents, Dubs, Galwegians, etc; get to delay this big step towards adulthood and at the same time reduce their college costs by living at home.

Though if you live a fair bit from the city in which you attend college and are living at home, keeping up the new college social life can prove difficult. Sleeping on the couch of a college mate’s flat is not something you want to be doing every week. So the “movers” do have it better in that respect.

But the rest of us might say there’s no place like home.  

The pile of dirty clothes in the corner of my room is certainly in agreement.