Student experience: Living at home and studying at university

Sophie McLoughlin with her parents and sister

Sophie with her parents and sister Gemma on her graduation day


Sophie McLoughlin has just graduated from the University of Liverpool with a first class degree in Accounting and Finance with a Year in Industry.

As a local student, living at home with her parents whilst studying, Sophie used every possible opportunity to get involved in the University community. In her first year she joined the Accountancy and Finance Society as events manager, taking on the weighty responsibility of organising the society’s many events, before being nominated in her second year to become Vice President of the Society.

Commenting on the opportunity, Sophie said: “As I lived at home during my time at uni, I was worried it might be a bit more difficult to get to know new people so I thought joining the society would be a great way to make new friends and meet like-minded people. And it definitely was!”

But it wasn’t just the society which she found welcoming. Commenting on her course, Sophie said: “So many of the lecturers are so committed to their subject and dedicate a lot of extra time to make sure you have all of the resources you need, this is particularly true of Helen Scott, Catherine Gregory, Gary Dewey, Claire Mallanaphy and Adam Deller. These lecturers in particular had a huge impact on course experience as they all went the extra mile for the students and their knowledge and passion for the subjects they teach always shone through.”

Sophie has achieved a great deal during her time studying at University, but it wasn’t all plain sailing. During her first year of study Sophie began to suffer with quinsy (a severe form of tonsillitis) which led to numerous hospital admissions. Following her third year industry placement with accountancy firm PWC in Nottingham, Sophie’s health issues became more severe – an issue compounded by a family health emergency after her Mum suffered a cardiac arrest caused by a genetic problem. The circumstances forced Sophie to decide to take a year out to give her time to support her own health as well as her family:

“It was an extremely difficult time for all of us but I am very lucky to be a part of a strong, close family so we were all able to support each other. My mum has recovered amazingly and is now fit and well so I am very thankful for that.

Sophie with her fiancé Adam on her graduation day


“The Student Support team were great when I approached them to discuss my issues and brought up the idea of taking a year out. The staff were a huge support to me and really made the process as smooth as possible.”

Sophie returned to University for her final year in September 2018, and despite the difficult circumstances she experienced, she graduated this summer with a first class degree. She will shortly be starting her new graduate role with global accountancy firm Deloitte and intends to continue her learning by completing her professional accounting qualifications with the overall aim of becoming a Tax Advisor.

If you are experiencing any health and wellbeing issues which you think are affecting your studies please get in touch with our friendly Student Support Team. A wellbeing drop-in runs between 11am-3pm Monday to Friday where students can come along for practical and pastoral support in a confidential space. You don’t need to book – simply come along to the Student Welfare Advice and Guidance Information Point on the ground floor of the Alsop Building.

You’ll find more information about free and confidential support services via Student News and via our Student Services webpages.