Living at home during college is valuable experience

Living at home while trying to get through college can be challenging, but you can choose to make the best of it. (photo by Hannah Caspar)

Living at home while trying to get through college can be a blessing and a curse.

As someone who lives at home, I’ve found it can be challenging, but I’ve also come to appreciate my home and my family. Living at home has been a period of my life that I am grateful for and has helped me to mature as an adult.

For the students out there who may be struggling to do the same; who are frustrated with the lack of privacy and who are over the feeling of never going to be able to really make it, I’m here to tell you that every con can actually be a pro, depending on how you choose to see it. Maybe you’ll finish reading this with a little more appreciation for your experience.

Undoubtedly, the lack of privacy is a struggle, especially if you live in a larger household like me. There are five other people who live under my roof, and it can get cozy. It can be hard to find space to be alone without shutting myself in my room for a few hours, which really can’t be good for anyone.

Getting alone time is not impossible though. Take advantage of the times when the house is totally empty. Sit in your favorite spot, sing as loud as you want to, dance like no one’s watching, get your work done. Knowing that you have limited time with the empty house can be a great motivator to get things done while you have the peace and quiet.

As much as I appreciate the alone time, I am grateful I don’t have to be alone as much as I would if I was living on my own.

I lived on my own once, and it was hard. When you leave, the house is empty and when you come home, the house is empty. Living alone requires an internal strength to be OK despite the fact no one may have asked how you were at the end of the day.

Living at home, I know someone is always going to walk through the door, someone is always going to ask how I’m doing or how my day was, and I’m thankful for that in my current stage of life.

Sometimes living at home can make you feel like you’ve dropped down to a child-like level. It’s not your household, so everything you do at the house is usually on someone else’s terms. You may have rules to follow, parents or parental-like figures to answer to or there may be tough conversations you just don’t want to have.

But think of it this way: All of the things that frustrate you about living at home are actually preparing you for a mature adult life of your own. You are learning to be respectful even when you feel it’s not deserved. You are learning to be humble and thankful. You are learning to communicate and cooperate well with others, and you’re learning the value of healthy relationships.

You are also in a position where you will probably be as close to your family as you will ever be, so be positive about it and don’t let disagreements or arguments get in the way.

Living at home while trying to get through school can sometimes feel like this saga that will never come to an end. It can leave us discouraged and worried that we will never truly make it on our own. And this feeling can enable us to stay comfortable and to keep living at home for a longer time than necessary.

This type of thinking can be a trap. Let your time of living at home be your greatest motivator to become a self sufficient adult. Take this time to focus on saving and securing your finances for future endeavors. Learn to manage your time well and to be a responsible person. This is a time to prove your maturity. If you can’t be mature while living at home, it probably won’t be any different while living on your own.

While living at home, remember to be thankful and respectful to the people who are letting you live with them. They don’t have to be generous, but they’re choosing to be.

Remember all your time living under someone else’s roof is preparing you to have a household of your own someday. And always remember living at home is just a season. We are all working towards self sufficiency. If you are focusing on your goal, you will eventually succeed, but don’t forget to live in and appreciate the now.

About the Author

Ariel Caspar
Ariel Caspar is a third semester student with the Current at American River College. This is her first semester serving as Editor-In-Chief. Caspar is a journalism major and plans to graduate from ARC with an associate's degree in journalism and mass communication. She then plans to further her education at California State University, Sacramento to attain a bachelor’s degree.

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