Preface: If it is genuinely easier for you to live at home as a college student, this article isn't targeted towards you. Everyone has their reasons for how they progress through college, and I based this off what was best for me.
As I prepared for college, taking tours, writing countless essays, and trying to keep my grades at a respectable level, there was something that my parents instilled in me for years: "You will be living away from home when you get to college. We feel that will be best for you." After more than a year of college education, I couldn't agree more.
When move-in weekend came, I was driven from my hometown in Connecticut to URI, 2 hours and over 100 miles away. After I was set up in my freshman dorm, I was thrust in a new environment, with the expectation that I would study, learn, and figure make decisions for myself. No more mom and dad breathing down my neck, and no more "be XX time" conversations. We obviously checked in on a regular basis, and they would always be available if I needed them. That's what parents are there for. However, in many cases, I was on my own. For this article, I'll be describing the ways that I feel living at school was best for me.
I Made My Own Schedule
In high school, if you missed your alarm, your parents would make sure you still got up on time for you to get to school. I very rarely had this problem, but it was nice to have someone to make sure I was on schedule. You don't have this in college. Your roommates shouldn't have to remind you to get up, so you eventually learn to discipline yourself. You're in charge of getting yourself to class, to activities, and getting homework done. You learn how to find what system works best for you.
This can also apply to making your literal class schedule. I waited until very late in my fall semester freshman year to register for spring classes. That's how I got stuck with an 8 a.m. class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I know that any high schoolers reading this won't think 8:00 classes are that bad. Trust me, they are. You won't want to go. After that, I learned that I never again wanted to go through a class that early. I registered for my current classes as early as possible and now have more time to sleep in.
You Learn To Do Things For Yourself
Outside of class, you learn the social aspects of being an adult. Preparing/getting my own meals and doing my own laundry were things I was able to do before college, but having nobody else to rely on to get these things done was a change.
Another cliché-but-true example is making your own appointments. I DON"T MEAN BIG THINGS LIKE DOCTOR APPOINTMENTS. You can still rely on your parents for now with that. What I mean is booking small appointments, like with your academic advisor. When I was declaring my major in marketing, I had to make appointments with both the undecided students' advisor and an advisor for students in business administration. It was also my responsibility to KEEP those appointments, as my parents weren't there to make sure that I went.
Creating/Maintaining a Social Life
In high school, I was never the strongest at making friends. I was only involved in a few clubs, and aside from those, I only stayed at school for the occasional academic responsibility. For the most part, I went from home to school, then straight back home.
In college, I was thrust into a world with people that I didn't know. I will admit that I spent the first month or so of freshman year holed up in my room after I was done with classes. I rarely left, and certainly made no effort to go hang out with people. After a while, I realized that by being in a new place, I had the opportunity to make new friends. And make friends I did. Now, I have friends I can rely on to study with and hang out with on the weekends. I'll be honest, college life would be IMPOSSIBLE without the love and support you get from your friends.
You Build A Sense Of Community
Many college students who move away from home do it so they can experience being a different part of the country. Whether you move 2 hours away, or 10 hours, the world you enter is vastly different from the world you leave behind. You have the chance to involve yourself in community events. Going to clubs, parties, and sporting events adds to your college experience, and it's a welcome break from the academic burdens at university.
In the end, I'm glad I moved away for school. Yes, there are days where I feel homesick, but those days are overshadowed by all the wonderful experiences and memories I've made here. If you have the ability to live on campus, go for it. You'll learn a lot about yourself by getting away from home.