As we enter August, the sound of students packing their rooms and saying their goodbyes are everywhere. I see Facebook posts and tweets nearly every day about someone who is excited to move miles away and be their own person. Most people would agree that it is an exciting time for young adults to venture off into the world. But on the other hand, there are college students that do no move out of the house or town. I am currently staying at home for college, being my own roommate and fed home-cooked meals when needed. There are pros and cons of living at home for college.
Last week, I helped my friends move into their cute apartments. I was so excited because moving into my own place is something I've always dreamed of doing but I won't be able to do it until a couple more years. They are living with their best friends, away from our hometown, and don't need their parents' approval on small things. While at home, I have to deal with (really) annoying siblings, being woken up by the TV in the living room every morning, and the constant nagging from my parents. Since high school, I've been very independent. I like to do things on my own and my way. So living on my own would be the perfect solution for me. But there are a few things holding me back from that so I just got over it. But I am still mentally counting down the days until I move out. I'm thankful for the invention of social media because it allows me to follow along with my long distance friends as they go on this journey. It does suck when you would rather be hanging or living with your best friends instead of being alone at this school. I was so comfortable with my friend group and I had to make new ones.
One of my biggest fears when I started school was that I would be judged for being a commuter. The fear quickly went away when I realized how many people also are commuters. Most people would even say that not living on campus is the better option. The 30 minute drive to school every day doesn't feel exhausting because I do my best thinking (and singing) in the car. Another fear is that I wouldn't have the full college experience if I didn't live on campus. This is completely wrong because I still eat, study, exercise, party, travel, etc. like any other student.
For the most part, I really don't mind living at home. I don't have to deal with a terrible roommate, I get my own bathroom/shower, and can eat whatever I want. Since I was the only person from the friend group that went to this particular school, I realized that I didn't have any drama all year. I would get updates on how stressed everyone was and how they are all changing their majors, while I was just chillin' alone and not as stressed as they were. I also enjoyed making new memories with new friends. College is the time to meet and network with new people. You get to see how our world is connected when you meet people from all over the country.
I learned from high school that joining 11 clubs is not healthy, so I joined four interesting clubs in my first year of college. Being a part of a community is so heart-warming. I would definitely recommend being involved because it makes you feel like you belong and it's something you support. Other ways you can be involved include: going to the exercise group classes, speaker seminars, Greek life, attending SGA events, etc. Throughout the year, I was becoming so involved on campus that I would still be at school at 9pm. I was feeling so overwhelmed that all I wanted to do was be at home. Separating my school and home life was a perk of living at home. I've learned a lot about independence and about myself during my first year of college. I found myself venturing off and doing things on my own instead of doing things as a group.
People think that you are missing out on the college experience if you stay home for college. I agree and disagree on that statement. "Fear of missing out" is a struggle but I am still making the most of my four years. It has been fun so far driving to see my friends, seeing what it's like in a dorm room, going out at night, and looking at the different campuses. Staying at home has given me the opportunity to get close to other friends that are living at home as well. And on nights when I do need to stay on campus, I have friends that would let me stay with them in the dorms.
College is what you make of it, so have fun.