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I have been dreaming about the day I move out ever since I started college. All my friends had apartments in the city, accompanied with what seemed like a much better life than the one I was currently living. As much as I love and appreciate everything my parents have done for me, it gets overwhelming, and I’m ready for some freedom of my own. However, that moment will have to wait a little longer. 

Saving Money
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There are a multitude of reasons why I still live at home, but the main reason would be money. While the most obvious reason, I have saved so much money over the years. Sure, I had to pay for gas to get to and from school, along with any food I wanted when I went out, but in the end, it doesn’t come close to the amount that room and board, or getting an apartment, would cost. I may have started off with little to nothing in my savings account, but as time progressed, I’ve had the opportunity to grow my money. It’s all thanks to not only my financial budgeting, but also the fact that my parents gave me a place to stay, rent free, and without all the stresses that come with being on your own. This will make moving out easier, since I won’t have to worry about paying my bills or getting paid first before doing anything fun/exciting, as a result of having some cushion money. Saving money can be a challenge when you’re in college and have a full schedule, but if you’re fortunate enough to save, then do it!! You’ll thank yourself later. 

Less Distractions 

I live in the western suburbs of Chicago, and while I absolutely love the city, and hope to move out there soon, it still becomes a hectic place of its own. It is a busy city life, along with the temptation of going out with your friends/roommates instead of studying. That’s not to say I never went out and had fun, but living at home forced me to focus on school and get good grades. While I also think it varies from person to person, and it depends on whether you even like going out, I strongly believe that for me personally, living at home has helped me achieve the GPA I have, in addition to making the Dean’s List, getting an internship, and the many other accomplishments I’ve had.  

The Adjustment to Post-College Life Will Be Easier 

Before COVID-19, I was commuting Monday-Friday, and depending on my schedule for the semester, I would be gone for most of the day. I remember waking up at 8 a.m, sitting in traffic for over an hour, then sitting through all my classes, going to the library to study, or even hang out with my friends. If I had time, I would go out to lunch at a place nearby, but I wouldn’t make the trip back home until at least 5 p.m. Pretty long day, to say the least. As rough as it was to sit in traffic and be gone all day, I know for a fact that this is going to prepare me for when I graduate college this upcoming Fall and have to commute everyday for work. Hopefully the traffic and commute won’t take me over an hour… but it still makes working easier since this is an aspect of life I am already accustomed to. 

Home Cooked Meals

I don’t know about anyone else, but there is nothing better than having a home cooked meal, especially after a long day at school or work. It’s one of those simple pleasures in life, and for those who hate cooking (me), it’s also something we all have to do, or at least should do. Unless you’re some millionaire who can afford to hire someone to cook every night. Sadly, for the majority of us, that is not the case. It’s not so much that I hate cooking, but rather I find it to be time consuming. From the whole preparation of the food, cooking time, cleaning dishes afterward, it can take hours. The second I move out, I know this is a part of living at home that I will miss dearly, but we will all have to learn to fly at one point or another. I will always appreciate what my parents have given me in life, but in all honesty, I’m a little scared of how I will manage to feed myself when I finally take the leap and move out. It’s not like I can live off frozen food forever, right?? 

Support System

Living at home during college means that you will always have someone who is worried about you and checking in on your well-being when you come home from school or a late night out. As annoying as it was to always have one of my parents ask me where I was going, or what I was doing, I know they did it out of love, and reflecting back on those times, I wish I would have been more understanding of where they were coming from. Having this kind of support system, especially during college, can foster stronger relationships with members of your famil. Seeing them on a regular basis has helped me cherish how hard they work so I can have everything I want in life. The support my parents have provided me with all these years has shaped me into who I am today, and I can’t imagine my life without them. 

I still dream about the day I move out. I probably look at apartments on Zillow way more than I should, but my time will come. Regardless of whether you live at home or not, it’s important to note that we are all on different journeys in life. I may be living at home for a little while longer, and someone may have moved out the minute they turned 18, but the point is that we should never compare ourselves to someone else’s situation, or way of life. Everyone is different, and I just know that as much as I love my family, moving out will be a new and amazing chapter in my life. 

Gaby is a senior at the University of Illinois at Chicago, majoring in Communication and Psychology. In her free time, she likes to eat sushi, workout, and read books.
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