Going to uni? Your room at home might soon be an office, a study finds

This article was originally published on The National Student

Moving to uni for the first time is hard for both students and their parents. Students have to learn to live independently, whilst the parents have to learn to cope without them. But a new study reveals that parents might have plans to convert their child’s bedroom before they’ve even moved out. So how would you feel if you went home for a bit of R&R only to discover you no longer had a bedroom?

A study by Staples UK found that while over 70% of parents worried how they would cope when their kid went to uni, some had been planning for several months what they could do with the space that was once a bedroom.

The research suggests that it’s not that uncommon either. In fact, nearly 80% of parents convert their child’s bedroom within six months of them moving out. 11% wait even less time, transforming the room within the first month.

Whilst the changes aren’t usually that dramatic, with rooms often being changed into something like a spare room, one in ten parents studied went as far as making themselves a new gym or office.

Lucie Henson’s room was in the 11% that was changed completely: “My room got changed into an office; if I want to stay at home I have to sleep on the sofa. I guess at first I was annoyed but now I literally just never go home.”

The study also revealed that almost half of children feel ‘put out’ by the loss of a bedroom. Student James Hayward says: “I would probably feel hurt by it. It would be like being abandoned. I think uni would be more stressful without the option to spend some time in your room at home when things get tough and you just need a break from it all.”

Laura Crouch says: “I would initially be upset because it makes it official that you no longer live with your parents, but then again if you have moved out for good then why shouldn’t they do what they like with the room? As long as I have somewhere to sleep if I stayed over that’s fine with me.”

The research found that some parents also use the space to upgrade the bedroom of another of their children, by making it into a games or dressing room.

Amee Chande, MD of Staples UK, reckons it’s down to the economy: “We’re experiencing a tough time economically so it’s of no surprise that families are making the most of the space in their houses.

“Converting an occasionally used bedroom into an office or home gym can be an effective way to help avoid the need to pay for office space, expensive gym memberships or even moving to a bigger house.”

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