These days the option to continue living at home while attending college is starting to become a preferred alternative. This method is especially popular for those planning on going to a community college but is also becoming a choice for students enrolled at a traditional 4-year college or university that is within driving distance.
Aside from gas and travel related expenses, this arrangement does mean saving money in a lot of other categories, such as rent, utilities and groceries. However, making the decision to remain at home could cause some challenges. Students may find themselves feeling like less of a member of campus life or unable to distinguish themselves as a young adult since they aren’t technically “on their own.”
Even with these concerns, it is totally possible for students living at home to still express their independence and contribute to their school’s community, regardless of not being right in the center of the action. In order to get the best results, efforts need to be made by both the student as well as their parents/family.
Redecorate Your Space
Nothing signals a change greater than revamping your living space. You don’t need a dorm room to feel like you have your own thing going on. Students living at home during their college years should get the term off to a good start by redecorating their bedrooms to reflect their new lifestyle and change in taste. This could include buying new furniture, painting the walls and creating an area for studying.
Spend Time on Campus Outside of Class
Only being on campus when you’re in class and then heading back to your parents’ house afterwards is a routine that will get boring very quickly. Get comfortable with being on campus and hanging out with your friends instead of being in a rush to go back home. Attend social events, participate in extra curricular activities–anything that allows you to feel like a part of the community on campus.
Know people that live close to or on campus? Crash on their couch for the weekend so you can explore the people and places both on and off campus without worrying about your class schedule. This is a side of your college or university that you won’t be able to see by being stuck at home.
Have a Reality Check With Your Parents
Once the decision has been made to remain at home during college, it’s essential to have a sit-down with your parents and communicate with them about your lifestyle changes. Parents have to understand that their child is now a young adult and that means respecting their need for privacy and space. Students should lay out their class schedule with their parents and explain what time frames they can expect them to be out of the house.
Of course students have to reciprocate that respect as well–after all, they are still living under their parents’ roof. Set days/time frames during the week when it’s okay to invite friends over and be mindful of keeping your college lifestyle from disrupting the routine of your parents and/or siblings.