Why I Do Not Regret Staying Home For College

Why I Do Not Regret Staying Home For College

You do not need to live on your college campus to get the “college experience.”
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Everyone who has gone through it knows that your senior year of high school is a constant mix of emotions, ranging from being sad to graduate to being excited to move onto the next chapter of your life. Usually, moving on means starting college, and, for most people, this means moving into a dorm on the campus of the college you will be attending. For me, this was not the case.

My senior year, when I was applying to schools, I knew that I wanted to commute to school, continue to live at home, and to get a job. Nearly everyone I told this to could not understand why I would not want to go away to school and get the full “college experience.” They thought that by living at home, I would be missing out on a crucial part of the next chapter of my life, and that I would end up regretting it. Now, almost being at the end of my sophomore year of college, I can say without a doubt that making this decision has not at all hindered my experience at college.

Personally, I think the idea that the “college experience” is incomplete if you do not live away is not true at all . Obviously, by not living on campus, it can be harder to get to know everyone, make friends, and to really become connected around your school; however, it is not impossible. As long as you make an effort to get involved, it will seem no different if you live on campus, or if you do not. Some people may think that doing this is difficult, but it can be as simple as joining a club, going to various activities your school offers, or even just hanging out with people between or after your classes instead of going home. Before you know it, you will be spending so much time on campus and taking part in so many events, that you will wonder why you were even worried about not feeling that you were a part of your school community in the first place.

In addition, staying home for college has many benefits that living on campus does not always allow for. By living at home, not only are you saving money by not having to pay for room and board, as well as other necessities such as a meal plan, but you also have the chance to have a job year round, so you can make extra money on top of it. I also like the idea of being able to spend as much time as I want to at school, but always being able to go home at night, sleep in my own bed, and eat home-cooked food. Not everyone might agree with this, but for me, splitting my time between home, school, and work is my best way to do things, and I would not want it any other way.

In no way do I think that living away at college is a bad decision, I just do not feel that it is for everyone, and it should not be assumed to be the only way to get a full “college experience.” It is all about the way that one approaches the situation. If one person lives on campus, and one does not, the one that lives there could not be involved at all, and not have a good experience, while the other that commutes could consider college the best years of their lives so far. Everyone’s college experience is different, and you can still reap the full benefits of college life while living at home, and not on campus.

Cover Image Credit: Peterson's Blog

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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads

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I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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Everyone Should Experience Working In Fast Food Or Retail

Working in fast food was definitely not sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows, but I'm so glad I did it.

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I know these jobs aren't glamorous. In fact, most days I looked forward to clocking out before I had even clocked in. I always secretly rolled my eyes when an angry customer droned on and on about how entitled he or she was. Though I can name a lot of bad things that happened on the job, it wasn't all horrible. As I reflect on my time working in fast food, I realize how much having that job really taught me and how grateful I am to have had that experience. I really think everyone should work in fast food or retail at some point, and here's why:

You make some great friends from work. I get it, sometimes your co-workers are royal jerks or flat out creeps. You see your name on the schedule next to theirs and immediately try switching with someone else. I've been there. However, I have worked with some amazing people as well.

Every time I worked with one girl in particular, we laughed for entire shifts. One night, we were singing the national anthem at the top of our lungs without realizing a customer had come in (to our surprise, she applauded our terrible screaming). Another coworker and I turned up the radio on full blast when business was slow and had dance battles. We made the most of our shifts, and I still talk to some of these people today.

You learn how to deal with difficult people. It's the age-old story: the uppity customer thinks twelve dollars for a meal combo is outrageous and Where is your manager?!

My friend and I were once called stupid and a customer said he would never come back to our restaurant to eat ever again. At the moment, we were scared out of our minds because we were both pretty new to the job. As time passed, we became more patient and tolerant and knew what triggered these particular customers. Dealing with these adversities definitely helps in the long run, particularly when it comes to doing group work with people who seem unbearable.

Your people skills increase by a landslide. I had always thought that I was great with people before I had a job. However, when I found myself in situations where I had to talk to strangers, I would grow nervous and stumble across my words from time to time. Working in an environment where communicating with others is a driving force helped me not only with improving my public speaking, but also made me more outgoing. In situations where I once backed into the corner to avoid having to talk to someone, I now take charge and initiate a conversation.

You establish a connection with regular customers. My favorite customer was named Jack. He was the sweetest old man who came in every Wednesday and Friday and bought food for himself and his wife. I quickly memorized his order, which impressed him. We shared pleasantries every time he came in, and my coworkers and I looked forward to seeing him.

Establishing a relationship with people who come in a lot helps immensely when it comes to working. It also provides a sense of accomplishment when you memorize an order. Not to mention, the customers start to like you and typically leave a generous tip!

You have stories to tell for a lifetime! Sometimes bad things happen at work. Once I was holding a hot pan and burned my arm— I still have the burn mark on my arm to prove it. My point is, it sucked at the moment, but now I look back and laugh.

One time I asked my coworker how to make soup and she replied, "Slowly, but beautifully." It was so nonchalant that I cracked up for hours. There was also a time when a customer asked me for outlandish toppings and condiments that we didn't offer. The craziest story, though, was the drug deal that went down in our public restrooms. My coworker and I obviously could not leave our station and follow these people into the bathroom, so we were pretty much defenseless. Nobody got hurt or anything, so it made for a great story.

Working in fast food was definitely not sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows, but I'm so glad I did it. It made me more independent and outgoing and gave me memories I'll never forget.

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