By Emily Wolodkowicz
The dream of every college student is to go to school full time, have their own apartment, and not have to work to pay the bills. Although, with the reality of rising educational costs, the average student not only has to work to pay for college, so most end up just living or commuting from home, therefore creating a unique student; the student bound to the rules at home while trying to emerge as an adult. How do college students today feel about this conundrum? Are they content with living at home or are they living at home merely for convenience and waiting for the moment when they can be completely independent?
Thomas Vaughan, an SPC student is one of the many who are content with living at home. “At this point in my life, I am grateful to be living at home with my parents, but if I was financially able to be on my own and live the lifestyle I am accustom to, I would definitely be on my own.”
The main reason students choose to stay home is to save money. Education is already extremely expensive. Along with that heavy load, students that want to live on their own have to sacrifice more. They have to think about how apartments, bills, and living a college lifestyle can add up. Aside from money, some students can find it easier to stay focused when living at home.
“My time management benefits from living at home because it allows me to have more free time to study and work on school. Housework is divided among multiple people instead of one person,” said Vaughan.
In contrast, some students with larger families, or those who enjoy solitude, may find living at home to be difficult to stay on track. Lizbeth Hernandez, an SPC student, lives at home with her family and is the oldest of five. “I think I’m less focused because of the responsibilities my parents expect me to do for my younger siblings. I can’t wait until I’m living on my own and only have to worry about myself.”
Of the many students that live at home, there are also students who are able to live independently. When asked what the best part about living on their own was, most students had one thing in common— their freedom. Jared Dickson, an SPC student said “Being able to live the way I want to, and make my own decisions on my own time is the best part of living on my own.”
Living alone may be nice for some students because all they want is peace and quiet when doing their school work. “The absolute best part of living on my own is the silence I have when studying. It is nice to just study and take breaks when I want and no distraction unless I want one. It is also nice to do everything my way in my own way and I do not have to be considerate of others,” said SPC student, Courtnie Grieve.
Although, with great power comes great responsibility; many students who live on their own are often conflicted due to the love of their independence while coping with increased financial burdens.
Courtnie Grieve, an SPC nursing student, shares her thoughts on juggling her household responsibilities with her school work. “Responsibilities are definitely increased because I have to make sure bills are paid each month. It affects school somewhat because I am in the nursing program at SPC, which is very time consuming. Working extra shifts to pay for certain bills may affect the time I can spend for studying for an upcoming test.”
Sometimes the responsibilities become so overwhelming for the students that live on their own, that their school work begins to suffer. “If living with my parents while I am in school was even an option, I would rather live with them so my main focus would just be on my education, said SPC student Liz Kenyon.
Overall, living on your own or living at home both have their pros and cons. They vary between students, but in the end, the student has to find the balance between seeking their independence, education, and fulfilling their financial obligations,
“I have lived alone and with family while in college. I would tell them to live at home for as long as they can. Save up their money and wait until they have enough to feel comfortable living on their own,” said SPC student, Courtney Gilmore.