I decided to live at home during my entire time in college. It was a choice that I thought about extensively before making my decision. I ended up being extremely happy with my choice to stay at home, for a couple of reasons.
The first, most obvious reason was money. I wasn’t eligible for much in the way of financial aid, and I was going to a public university that had a relatively low cost in the first place. The average cost for room and board at my school was a little over $8,000 per year, nearly as much as the tuition! Being cooped up in a tiny dorm and possibly having to share a room with a stranger didn’t appeal to me and definitely did not sound like $8,000 worth of fun. I cut the cost of school almost in half just by staying home.
Some say that living in a dorm is part of the “college experience,” but my friends who lived in dorms didn’t really like it. They liked being away from the house or being on their own, but none of them actually liked the dorm itself. At home, I got to enjoy my own room, my own bed, stable internet, and a bathroom that I didn’t have to share with strangers. Home-cooked meals, being around pets, and privacy were other enticing reasons to stay at home.
Being around my parents was definitely difficult at times, but even though sometimes I wished I was somewhere else, the same could be said of my friends. I heard horror stories of rowdy roommates, roommates who ate all of the groceries, ones who stayed up all night making noise, and much worse. I preferred to stick at home, where I knew the ins and outs of who I was living with, rather than chance it on someone I didn’t know. As far as the rest of the college experience, living less than 20 minutes from campus still allowed me to travel to school for any clubs and extracurricular activities I wanted to participate in.
There were some downsides to living off campus, or being a commuter, as they called us. Finding parking and the possibility of being late were recurring issues. If I got out the door late or hit traffic, there was a very real chance I wouldn’t make it to class on time. Most of the time teachers were relatively understanding, but I also had my fair share of teachers who were adamant against tardiness, and it cost me some points off of my grades. There was also a stigma surrounding students who still lived with their parents. Sometimes I felt that people thought less of me for not being as “independent” or “adult.” For me, saving that $8,000 dollars a year was a more mature decision than living in a dorm just to get away from my parents.
As a result of saving money throughout college, I not only graduated with almost no college debt, I was also able to save my money for other things I wanted. For example, I purchased a motorcycle in addition to the car I already had. This purchase helped me build my credit while I was going to school, and I had a blast doing it!
Living at home while in college may sound dreadful. I’ll admit it can have its downsides, but in the long-run, it could be the right choice for you. I saved over $35,000 during the course of my college career and had all the comforts of living in my own home. That is something I will never regret.