Moving out of your parents’ house just may be the most important step for independent you. You can finally live by your own rules, without curfews or restrictions, and take care of responsibilities on your own schedule and in your own way. But, the freedom of living on your own comes with great responsibility, financial and otherwise. Before you take this bold step, make sure you’re fully prepared. So, read our tips for college dorm room vs. living at home.
Living at home during college can have both positive and negative impacts on your life. Most obviously, it can be a huge money saver. But it could detract from your social and academic experience. As with most big decisions, it takes some consideration. Consider the pros and cons of living at home during college. Compare living at home vs living in a dorm and make the decision on what is best for your situation.
Benefits of living in a college dorm room
Freedom. If you have strict parents or you don’t like to have limitations, then living in a dorm room will give you a freedom. It may be a difficult experience to navigate with your parents if you’re living at home as an adult. You may be striving for adulthood while they could still be treating you like a child. If you’re on campus, you don’t need to answer to anyone, can do things exactly how you want them done, and have no curfew and few limitations.
Cleaning service included. One of the greatest perks of living in a dorm is the cleaning service. Not only does the cleaning service do your dirty work, but it also saves you time.
Experience. For the rest of your life you can speak of your time where you were a teenager that moved away from home to try something new. The people you meet and the times you will share with them will be with you forever.
Proximity. This is an obvious but highly underrated advantage. Your dorm is within walking distance to class, readily prepared food in the cafeteria. You have the perfect study environment in the library, on-campus parties, sporting events and your best friend’s room. Also, you don’t have to worry about driving to campus or getting parking tickets.
Survival. Dorm life will be the first time you have to fend for yourself. And you can learn some of the college essential survival skills.
Taste of adult life. When you live at home your Mom still probably does your laundry and the majority of the bills are taken care of. When you live in your own dorm room, you have to take care of everything. Also, you have to try to strike a balance between doing all of your school work and keeping your room in decent shape. But, also, you can decorate your dorm room in your way and style.
Great place to meet new people. Often housing over 100 students, dorms allow you to casually meet people outside of your usual social scene.
Pros of living at home during college
Save money. If you lived at home during college to cut costs, your student loan debt might be less because you didn’t have to pay for four or more years of room and board. If you are lucky enough to have your parents cover the cost of your college you can save enough money to be comfortable and travel a few times a year.
Less health problems. Living at home during college, you may avoid some common health issues associated with living in a dorm, such as meningitis, mono, colds and flu, athlete’s foot, and more.
You eat healthier. Students gain weight upon going away to college. Studies show that it’s really somewhere between 3 and 7 pounds. This is often attributed to ordering fast food more often, all-you-can-eat dining hall options, increased alcohol intake, and not-so-healthy choices in the dining halls and around campus.
Less distractions. When you live at home during college there is less chance of distractions than there would be living in a dorm with roommates. This could make it easier to study and keep those grades up, possibly improving your odds of qualifying for scholarships and securing competitive internships.
Emotional support and help. Depending on your relationship with your parents, you may enjoy the emotional support or help. Living at home can allow you to share some responsibilities, making it easier for your parents, whether you chip in financially or simply help around the house.
Comfort. You can still enjoy the comforts of home, including a washer and dryer down the hall. You don’t have to share a bathroom with a dozen or more people, and you have your own space.
Easier to focus. Knowing your parents are just a few steps away makes you a bit more nervous about your grades and you will focus more on your studying. Also, can you imagine how is to focus while living in a college dorm room with many people your age?
Cons of living at home during college
Emotional attachment to home. The longer you stay at home the harder it is move out when the time comes.
No extra activities. If you’re on campus, you might be more likely to join clubs and participate in on-campus activities.
No independence. Regardless of how independent you are at home, there is a level of independence you most likely won’t reach until you’re out on your own.
No chance to step outside of your comfort zone.
College students living at home statistics
About 54% of college students live at home, according to Forbes. And that could be one of the reasons why the average amount families spend on college has declined in recent years, according to The New York Times. Families also were more likely to eliminate certain colleges from consideration because of cost earlier in the selection process, the study found. Students from lower- and moderate-income families have typically lived at home for at least part of their college career. But more difficult economic times, and the increasing cost of a college degree, are prompting students from better-off families to live with their parents, too.
If you want to save money stay at home, but remember that dorm life is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Dorm life is an integral part to having the complete college experience. Dealing with difficult roommate or that awkward bathroom encounter becomes an amusing story to tell. You will never be this age again and have the convenience — and fun — that a dorm provides. Remember, living in a dorm is only available for four years out of your entire life.
How have you made your decision in the battle of, live at home vs move away for college?