Living At Home As a College Student
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Living At Home As a College Student

I'm doing what I swore I never would.

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Living At Home As a College Student

When I started college, the one thing I was most excited about was getting away from home even though Rice is only 12 minutes away. Don't get me wrong — I love my family. But high school was a very toxic period of my life, and as a result my relationship with my parents became very negative and strained due to the pressure and stress.

The idea of my living at home had popped up sporadically in conversation with my mom for no real reason except that we knew of a couple people that were living at home, but I swore to myself that I would never live at home. Going to a university so close to my house, I have a little bit of a different experience when I go home than my friends do. First, since it's so close, going home for me is just not an occasion. There isn't much excitement when you can go home so easily and frequently, and there just isn't that much waiting for me at home — other than my dog. I would say on average, I go home every other weekend, and it used to be even more frequent. In fact, when I used to go home nearly every weekend and my parents had to pick me up, going home was actually a chore and took up a large portion of my weekends.

Speaking of chores, whenever I go home, I'm asked to do the chores my parents don't do, like trimming trees or installing some home appliance. I almost never get any work done there because of this, although part of it is because I just want to relax when I'm at home. It's not that I'm unwilling to help around the house or that I don't appreciate what my parents have done for me, but mostly, as a college student, I just didn't have the time.

Going home also meant constant questions about my school life, like "Are you still pre-med? Why aren't you pre-med? Have you raised your grade in this class?" Although these are completely valid questions, they put me in quite a state of anxiety as I constantly question what I'm doing with my life. Also, my mom just didn't seem to understand that it takes more than a week to raise a grade, or remember that I was home literally just last weekend.

One point of consolation that my friends try to provide when I talk about going home is "but there's good food!" Again, my experience is a bit different. Instead, when I'm home, I have a hard time finding something that I want to eat since my parents and I have very different tastes. I also don't like Chinese food that much, so I actually prefer the college servery food more than home cooking.

However, now that I go home at my own convenience and not as often, I don't mind these nuisances that much, and sometimes it's even kind of nice to have a milder, Chinese meal just to remind me of my roots. Nevertheless, when the proposition of me living at home was presented, my initial reaction was strongly against it. (Backstory: I originally planned to study abroad in the spring, but changed my mind, and someone coming back from fall study abroad is taking my spot in my apartment.)

Twelve minutes sounds like a short drive, but that's only during the good hours with absolutely no traffic. Living off campus this semester showed me how much more time and effort you have to spend commuting and planning out those commutes when you don't live on campus. In addition, I was seriously concerned for how my parents and the inconveniences of living at home would influence my academic performance and general well-being. My mom repeatedly reassured me she wouldn't treat me the same, but I'm still apprehensive about her word.

The main counterpoint that made me change my mind was, as silly as it sounds, my dog. My dog is the one thing that I truly look forward to when I go home and I always wish I could spend more time with him. It also breaks my heart every time I see him stumble when he gets up, a reminder that he's getting older. While I'm still worried about living at home next semester, I have reconciled the fact that I will be doing what I had sworn I would never do with the promise of getting to spend more time with my dog.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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