I’ve had lots of friends that ask me why I decided to live at home during college. Did my mother make the decision for me, or did I make the decision for myself? In all honesty, it was a mutual agreement. My college experience wasn’t like everyone else’s. I commuted every day to school and I lived with my mother…which had its ups and downs. I thought I’d share my experience and provide some pros and cons for living at home during college.
1. The Finances
If you’ve done any sort of college research, you know by now that college is expensive. Living with my mother has allowed me to save on room and board, which at my university ranges at about $3,000-$5,000 a semester. This has allowed me to save money so that when I do graduate, I can by my own place (and I’ve also been able to pay off some of my student loans faster).
We’ve all heard of the dreaded “Freshman 15” curse right? Well while living at home during college, I didn’t gain any weight. Sure there were nights when my mom and I were just too lazy to cook and we ordered out. But for the most part, I watched what I ate and enjoyed nice home cooked meals. Not only did I not gain weight, I barely ever got sick. Most students that do live on campus have a higher chance of getting sick – which can mean missing out on class lectures (some of which you can’t afford to miss).
3. Family Support
If you have a good relationship with your parents, like I do with my mother, than you can understand what I’m talking about. Whether it be a shoulder to cry on, a lending ear to listen to a vent session, or just a little motherly motivation – I constantly had that family support while living at home during college.
4. No Distractions!
Think about for it second. You live in a dorm and it’s exam week. You have to study. Some people upstairs are throwing a party and blasting their music. Okay, you go to the library to find another spot. But every single seat is taken. There isn’t a single secluded spot you can find. On the other hand, living at home during college is quiet. Your parents and/or siblings are likely to be more considerate of your study time than your dorm roommates.
5. Comfort of Home
There’s an undeniable comforting feeling associated with home. You get to use the utilities available for you whenever you want, laundry is something you can do without leaving the house (and no quarters!), you have ample access to the always-stocked-fridge…I could go on.
1. The Finances
While yes, I’ve been able to save money for an apartment and pay off some of my student loans, I still had to pay a portion of of the house bills. Bills like electric and gas, water, internet, etc. (I guess you could say finances will always be a “con” no matter what the situation!)
2. The Commute
My university is about 20 minutes away from my house. Not only do I have to worry about parking (which don’t even get me started on), I have to get up early if I want to avoid traffic. If I check the traffic reports and see an accident on my route, I take the alternative route – about a 30-35 minute drive.
3. Lack of Activities
Living at home during college made it harder to participate in school clubs as much as I would have liked to. Sports games and school activities are part of the college experience; some of which I wasn’t able to be a part of living with my mother.
4. Social Life
The thing about living on campus and away form your parents is you’re closer to your friends. You are constantly in the same room, building, or even just a 10 minutes walk away from each other…at all times. Living at home during college is a different story. I go to school, hang out for a while with my friends in between classes, then go home. Instead of being able to casually see them whenever I want, I have to proactively make plans to meet up with them.
5. Lack of Independence
While I’m an adult and in college, I still live with my mother. Therefor I still have some rules to follow. Rules like: no boys allowed in the house and no wild parties. My friends who live on campus always rant and rave about how much they love not having to “answer” to anyone and have been able to explore their independence. While I have been able to explore my life as an adult, I still have my mother hovering over my shoulder.
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Sereen Hamawi is a senior at Wayne State University. She is a major in Anthropology and a minor in Criminal Justice. She enjoys running in the morning, exercising at night, and training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. She also enjoys gardening. She has an obsession with fruit infused water. Her favorite books are the Harry Potter series and The All Souls Trilogy. In her spare time she likes to relax in front of the fireplace (winter) or in front of a bonfire (summer/spring) with a good book and a cup of tea.