Your years as a university student might be the most turbulent of your life, and becoming an adult can be both exciting and terrifying at the same time. Some of us crave adventure, while others find comfort in calmness. As an adventure seeker, I had big dreams of going to a university outside of the city where I grew up. I ached for something new, with fresh faces, full of exciting new experiences. But according to my parents, moving away to attend university wasn’t something people were supposed to do. They didn’t do it when they were young, so why should I? Factor in the costs of rent and it simply wasn’t an option. I was heartbroken, my big dreams crushed before they could even fully form. I felt like a princess, locked away and trapped in her tower.
Now halfway through my university experience, I have taken a different stance. These past two years, I’ve had the chance to experience the good, the bad, and the ugly. Living with my family through these crazy times has taken on a whole new meaning.
The convenience of living in my family home is unmatched. I do my fair share of chores, but I never have to worry about taking care of an entire house on my own. I’ve come to appreciate all of the manual labor that my dad does. I swear he can fix anything! Grocery shopping isn’t only my responsibility, and nothing is better than not having to cook myself dinner after a long day of classes. Not to mention that I don’t know what I’d do without my mom’s french toast on Saturday morning!
It’s obvious, but it’s true, so much money is saved by living at home. Keeping in mind that everyone’s financial situation is unique, living with your family usually includes saving a monthly rent bill. Even if your parents decide to charge you rent, it’s most likely to be cheaper than a student residence. Not to mention avoiding small residence rooms, communal washrooms, and an unreliable wifi connection. Student life can be expensive; the tuition, textbooks, and supplies bills can pile up. Eliminating some of those extra costs can help prevent future student debt, or maybe even leaves space for some pocket change. The money that isn’t being spent now can be saved for when it finally is time to spread my wings and move out.
I do experience FOMO (the fear of missing out) on random Wednesday nights when I see there’s a party on campus I can’t go to. With social media constantly showing what everyone is doing with their lives, it can feel isolating to know that other people are making connections that I’m not. It can be challenging to make new friends on campus as someone who’s only there a few days a week for limited hours.
That being said, valuable friendships require nurturing, and putting effort into spending time with friends always pays off. I might not get to invite my friends over often (unless they want to Jeopardy! while eating dinner with my family), but I get to plan special sleepovers and hangouts instead. I still get to go to those late-night parties, just on the weekends instead. On special occasions, my parents will even pick me up and I get to avoid the struggle of getting an Uber at 2 AM.
According to a blog post by Dom Felker, approximately 90% of the time that we spend with our parents is done before we’re 18 years old. Living at home has added a few more years to that time spent with my family. In the time since I turned 18, I’ve had the chance to get to know my parents as more than just parents. It can be hard to remember at times, but they’re people too, with lives just as complex as my own. We still get to have Friday night movies nights and game nights full of card games and Trivial Pursuit. These are the moments that I wouldn’t trade for anything. There’s nowhere I’d rather be than right here with my family.