Where I’m from, you pretty much have two options for college after graduating high school. First, you have option one, in which you pack up your things, move to an apartment or dorm, go to college and visit home every few weeks. Then, there’s option two, where you attend the town’s technical school for a year or two and then inevitably find yourself facing option one. But I was able to find an option that was somewhere in the middle. I attend a university that is over an hour away from my home, but I still live with my parents. I’m almost a senior in college, and I still live at home with my parents and drive over an hour to campus each day. I know what you’re thinking: that’s totally stupid.
But choosing to live in my parents’ home throughout college was probably the best decision I’ve ever made.
I absolutely dreaded the idea of “thirteenth grade” that would come with attending the technical school in my hometown. I just didn’t want to feel like every bad experience or memory from high school was constantly lurking and practically following me from class to class. But, there were also a large number of experiences and memories that I wasn’t quite ready to leave behind.
I’ve heard way too many college students say that they don’t talk to their families often or only visit home during breaks, and I didn’t want to be one of those students. Yes, it was important to me to have a new environment and be exposed to new opportunities, but, for many reasons, I haven’t been able to talk myself into moving away from my best friends and strongest support group.
There’s obviously the financial benefit that comes from living with my parents, even though I pay a small fortune in putting gas in my car every other day. I get to focus solely on my education and doing the best that I possibly can in my classes. I’m also able to enjoy my on-campus activities and jobs without having to worry about working enough to pay rent and utilities and the more-than-likely pet deposits I would have to endure if I moved into an apartment. Aside from the monetary advantages that comes with living with my parents, I’m able to come to a house that is almost always full of people. I’m literally never alone or lonely.
Sometimes, that’s good a really good thing. Other times, it’s not so great. But for the most part, it’s really refreshing to come home to at least one person who cares about how my classes went and someone who is willing to listen to a college-student rant. I think a lot of people sometimes miss out on having that strong support group when they move out to attend college, since they often come home to a roommate they barely know or to an empty apartment. College is such a stressful time for students, and I think it’s really important for students to have strong, present supporters each day. And let’s be honest: in most situations, roommates or pets just can’t support or love you as well as your family can.
So I guess what I’m really trying to say is people shouldn’t be in such a rush to move out on their own during college. Sometimes moving out is unavoidable, but in most cases, there is some kind of other option. And even though I get way too many “you must be crazy” looks when I tell people I still live at home and have such a long commute, staying with my parents has made my college years so much easier and enjoyable, and I haven’t once regretted my choice.