Zach guest blogs today to tell his perspective of living at home while going to college ~
When I decided to stay home for my first year of college my parents worked hard to make sure that it didn’t feel like another year of high school. This took a lot of changing, but the main thing for me was realizing that I needed to accept both sides, that I was now a college student, but also living at home. So I knew that my freedoms would expand, but I also lived in my parent’s house.
The first thing was changing my room. I had originally decorated my room in elementary school, so it was ready to do some maturing. It was important to pack up all the small stuff that I wouldn’t have taken to college with me anyways, because I didn’t want to feel like I was living in the same environment that I had since I was a child. A new room allowed me to feel like I was actually transitioning from high school to college, even if it was the same room I had had since I was four.
Another important thing for me to do as a commuting student was to get involved at school. Although IPFW was not my first choice I knew I had to make the most of my time to make sure I didn’t have a bad experience. I made sure that I lifted in the weight room on campus, I joined the wrestling club, I played intramural flag football, and I attended each and every free food event provided by the school. Every one of them. Even if that meant being late to class. Free food is that important. This helped me to feel like I was a part of the college atmosphere, so that every minute not spent in the classroom wasn’t spent at home.
The rules around the house were good too. They allowed me to have even more freedom, with the understanding that I still lived at home. I was able to have friends over at any time; this helped for those night that I was up late studying, as well as those nights where I hosted Madden tournaments because class didn’t start until 11 on Thursdays. My parents allowed me to have the freedoms of being a college kid. There were nights where I told them that I didn’t know if I was going to come home or if I would spend the night at a friend’s house, and all they asked was that I let them know. There were nights where I was out longboarding with friends downtown until 3am without any questions about what I was doing, because there wouldn’t be if I went away to school. These were freedoms that I did truly enjoy, because I could feel like I was away at school, even if I still lived at home.
A few things didn’t go as planned, but they were things I had to adjust to because I was still living at home. There were days that I was asked to get up early to take Erin somewhere, and I knew that if I was off at school that wouldn’t have happened, so why did it now? But it was because I did still live at home, and I still had to contribute. Or where the “letting us know where you are going” turned into “please put your schedule on the calendar” and that wasn’t a problem, it just wasn’t what being away at school would be like, but then again, I didn’t go away to school.
Overall the year went really smoothly. I had a lot of fun, made a lot of new friends, and enjoyed living at home for one last year. It was a perfect transition phase, and that was because my parents were willing to change how they treated me so that I could truly feel like a college student.
Read the original post, When Their College Dorm Room is Upstairs…in Your House, here.