Summertime and the Livin' is... Pretty Varied
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Summertime and the Livin' is... Pretty Varied

Summertime and the Livin' is... Pretty Varied

School has been out about a month, and I've been... home the whole time. While I'm home, many of my friends are back in Charlottesville or studying abroad or also staying with their parents.

There are obviously pros and cons to every living arrangement, especially during the summertime. But which option is really best? Here's what I've come up with:

Living at Home... With the 'rents.

Quite a few of my friends are also staying at home. Some are taking classes at the local community college; some are working; some (read: me) have done nothing so far. And here is what we've compiled:


  • Moms who love you enough to do your laundry. 
  • Home-cooked meals. 
  • Along those lines, groceries. Nice groceries. And fresh fruit (my favorite)
  • Hanging out with your family dog (or pet... but mostly dogs.)
  • Awesome job opportunities. I, along with many of my sorority sisters and classmates, live close to DC, which is awesome (except during rush hour). And with that, there are internships at Capitol Hill, or working with awesome companies, organizations, etc. 
  • Driving your own car (if you didn't/couldn't have it at school) is a beautiful thing.
  • Parents act as motivators if you're summer laziness is becoming.... questionable.


  • Missing Charlottesville because it's awesome and beautiful.
  • It's way easier to go out at night in Charlottesville.
  • Most of your friends probably aren't going to be within ten minutes of your hometown (unless you went to high school with them, which is awesome). I can attest to this because one of my closest friends from school lives over 40 minutes away, but she still made the drive out to see me (you're the best, Megan!)
  • Living in the middle of nowhere. I know I just talked about distance, but for people in my situation, it's impossible to walk anywhere. During the school year I get so used to being able to walk to my friends' apartments, so coming home and having to sit in a car for 20 minutes to see my best friends seems ridiculous.
  • Sometimes, your loving parents can become a little nit-picky, to phrase it nicely.

Studying Abroad

I studied abroad last summer, only for 6 weeks though, and I absolutely loved it. So here's what I could come up with:


  • Being able to explore a new city or cities in one or more countries. 
  • Experiencing a new culture
  • The food is always awesome. Ok, I was in Spain and love Spanish food, so it was awesome for me, I don't know if picky eaters would have done as well though.
  • Travel in general is amazing.


  • Study abroad is expensive. From the plane tickets, to the price of classes, and especially how lousy the US dollar is overseas, the price starts to stack up. Last summer I was constantly recalculating just how much money I had left in my bank account to make sure I would make it home with enough money to check my luggage onto my connecting flight (I had 3 extra dollars).

I could only come up with one con, but it's a big con.

Living in Charlottesville

Because I haven't spent the summer in Charlottesville (yet) I asked one of my good friends for her opinion, and here's what she told me:


  • Still have that "college" freedom.
  • You can still go out, and hang out with your friends who are also in CVille for the summer.
  • Meeting new people who are also spending the summer in Charlottesville
  • You have the ability to explore parts of Charlottesville that you didn't have time for during the school year, like the Downtown Mall, or Monticello, or Humback Rock and all the hiking near the University.


  • It can be a little lonely because you're away from your family, and most likely not all of your friends will be at Charlottesville at the same time as you.
  • Not getting to see your hometown friends during the summer.
  • Not being able to relax as much as you would if you were at home because you're either taking a class (which is still hard during the summer, don't let anyone fool you) or your working.
  • And you don't have your mom around to cook you a meal after you had a rough day, or to do your laundry even though you totally know how to do it yourself.

So, which is best?

And the winner is... I can't make that choice. It's a personal preference kind of thing. I like being at home with my family (for now) but I know that being in Charlottesville would be awesome too, and studying abroad was one of the greatest experiences of my life.

So I, personally, love all three options. I know that, right now, I can't wait to get down to Charlottesville, and for the school year to start up again, but that when it does I'm going to miss summertime pool days and random road trips and being able to read for fun and taking my dog on walks. So I'll enjoy being home for now, and hope that everyone else is enjoying their summer set-up as well.

PS: Thank you to Anna, Megan, Sophia, and Stephanie for your thoughts and ideas that you shared with me!

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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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