Over the winter break, I moved out of the dorm and back home so that I could put the money saved to more productive use. This decision was pretty tough because all of my best friends were on the same floor as me, and because living on campus is phenomenal when you’re running late in the morning. Being in college, I also felt as though I was back-peddling by living at home again. While my family is not very strict, residing outside of their watch was exceedingly freeing as a young adult. In fact, even though my house is a short five minutes from campus, living independently was the main reason I chose to move out in the first place. Naturally, I felt pretty defeated as I sat amidst piles of boxes after my dad left and I was left alone to unpack. I felt like I’d lost. Like I’d failed somehow. Keep in mind that I willingly made the decision to move back. Thus, I decided to make the best of it. After some thought—and a much needed inspirational talk with my super hero of a mom—I compiled a mental list of reasons why it is okay to live at home when you’re in college.
- NO MORE DINING HALL FOOD. Need I say more?
- Your own room: Dear me what a blessing it is to return home at whatever time to my own bed without worrying about disturbing my roommate. Vice versa, it is fantastic not being wakened by a sliver of light through the door and endless fumbling (because we all know that just because you rustle something slower, it is not the same as being quieter).
- Not sharing: You don’t have to share everything anymore! Well, unless you have an irritating sibling, that is. Even still, sharing a bathroom with my mom and brother is much more preferable to sharing a bathroom with an entire hallway of people.
- Less likely to get sick: I got sick constantly throughout my first semester of college, including two horrid cases of strep throat. As a musical theatre major who wasn’t able to sing half of the time, health became a huge issue. Sharing such small quarters—especially bathrooms and elevators—with so many people institutes a drastic increase in the spread of germs. So, living at home can quite literally keep you from becoming sick as easily!
- Saving money: Dorm/house/meal plan money is a massive part of college funds. Living at home easily slices thousands of dollars out of the fees that you would otherwise owe. This fact is especially relieving if you have taken out student loans to assist with schooling.
- No rancid mystery smells reeking the hallways: I often wondering if it would be better or worse to know the origins of such exotic scents. Seriously though…how is it even possible to experience so many raunchy, moderately concerning aromas in one semester???
- Peace of mind: It is no one else’s business where you live. Quite frankly, no person who cares about your well-being should judge where you live at all. You are doing what needs to be—done for whatever reason that may be—and it’s nobody’s damn business but your own.
- You are not the “only one”: Trust me, there are plenty of students who decide that they would rather stay home in college. You don’t have to feel singled out by your decision.
- Doing what is best for you: Whether you live at home for financial, nutritional, physical, or mental reasons, those reasons will have their places in time. It is so crucial to note that you are not on a timeline! You must understand that you are under no such certain expectation of being entirely “on your own” as a college student. You’re older, pursuing your life goals, growing in character, and expanding into more mature friendships and relationships. You may feel—as I did—that you have to do everything in order to feel you are becoming a true “adult.” Less responsibility does not equate less independence, and less independence does not equate less responsibility. While these concepts can be connected, you can still take on adult responsibilities and independence at home. Since coming back home, I no longer have a subconscious desire to wait for my mom to do the laundry. I just do the damn laundry. I clean up more after myself. I offer to help around the house because I now understand (to a very small degree) what it means to have such responsibilities of adulthood. Your time to live on your own will come, but for now, do what is best for yourself.
Regardless of your reasoning for living at home, there are a myriad of uplifting prospects to consider. Looking back, you will have had more time spent with your crazier-than-yours family; eaten fresh home-cooked meals instead of lumpy mashed potatoes on the daily; and saved a ton of cash. No matter your living situation, you are improving yourself by getting an education. Attending college is a feat in itself! Give yourself a break. Make the choices that serve you and your individualized growth toward success.
Love & Light,