Saying Goodbye…or Not: The Pros and Cons of Living at Home During College

Despite all of you who are going off to college in the fall, moving thousands of miles away from dear old mom and dad, there are a few of us who choose to remain close to home. So close in fact, that we don’t even have to move. That’s right, I’m talking about living with your parents throughout college. Lucky (or not so lucky) for me and my peers, my hometown has our very own, reputable university. And with my college fund having the capacity to cover my entire undergrad at Lakehead or only ONE year at another school, the choice was pretty simple for me.

I know, I know, many of you are shocked. Isn’t a key part of the college experience the independence you gain living in dorms? You have to learn to cook, clean, do laundry and manage your own time! And what about rules? People always question how I live under my parents thumb at 19. And I do agree, it’s definitely not easy to abide by rules when I could be making my own, under my own roof.

Bar none, the best part about living on your own for school is the freedom. When you move out of your childhood home, curfew and chores go out the window! If you want to come home at 5AM every night (or morning depending on how you look at it), that’s totally possible. But with mom and dad sleeping soundly and working the next morning, even if your curfew is non-existent, you still can’t help but feeling guilty. After all, you’re still bumming off of them.

The newfound freedom of living on your own extends to every single aspect of your life. No one is nagging you, reminding you to eat right or do your homework or even go to class. The independence forces you to become a responsible adult and sets you up for the real world, where no one but you will makes sure you are taken care of.

As for the pros of living with my parents, I think that the free room and board is definitely #1. When my friends are slinging burgers, chasing after annoying children or cutting grass 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, ALL summer long, just to pay for rent next year, I am leisurely working three shifts a week at my favorite bookstore. And all that money is going directly to my travel fund, to pay for flights and hotels instead of a cramped apartment. And come on, you can’t beat the free food.

Every night, I come home from class to a homecooked meal (thanks Mom!) and pantries full of food. I have seen student kitchens, they are a sad sight indeed. Sparse is an overestimation, with a couple boxes of Kraft dinner and cereal and maybe a can of instant coffee. Well what about the meal plans, right? Unless you’re responsible and stop yourself from eating the temptingly greasy dishes the cafeteria serves up everyday, you might soon find your jeans fitting slightly tighter and suddenly, not at all. And certainly no one wants to return home as “The Fat Friend”.

So what do you think? If it was/is a possibility to live at home while going to post-secondary, would you?

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