Living At Home

How to Survive University at Home

Living At Home

Most people dream of the last week of August in their first year out of high school. The goal is to move out of your parent's place and move into your own place (most times residence) to attend post-secondary school. However, not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to afford to move out, or it is "easier" to stay home. Every student reads and hears about the struggles of moving away, most social media posts of "life as a student" is the struggle of not being home. Then, there are the schools who promote living in residence or away from home and offer extra resources and clubs to support those who are struggling.

However, when do we hear about what happens when you live with your parents, when you choose to stay at home? First of all, there is the reality that the vast majority of your friends have left your "terrible hometown" (the one we all live in). Your friendships instantly get cut in half. The main cause of this is the lie we all tell each other: "I'll text you every day." But then you miss a day, and another, and another, and, BAM, friends are gone.

Then there is the issue of making friends. It is not as easy as everyone thinks it is. Granted, when living with others from school and all being in the same building it is easy. However, when you live at home it can be a little harder. For me, personally, I attended frosh week, everyone was talking to everyone, and we did the whole "where are you from speech." As soon as they heard the words, "I am from here, I am living at home," people were gone. I assumed this was because people were busy trying to make other friends. But when I was talking to my high school friends who were on other frosh teams, they all experienced a similar experience. So my next assumption was that it was because I could not host parties, and admittedly so, it is kind of lame to live at home. Then, when you get to classes, everyone already knows each other from living together or living with people who know people in your program. You can try and sit next to someone and talk to them, but let's face it, that is kind of awkward like 99 percent of the time.

The main issue with living at home has to be the fact that you are living with your parents. Some people are lucky and their parents do not give a crap what they do and when they leave the house. With my parents, like some others, that is not the case. You still have to ask permission to leave the house because it's : "my house, my rules." Not to mention, the rules you had when you were 17-years-old are still in place. The only thing that has changed is the fact that my parents don't care what time I stay out. The constant "where are you text" is present as well. Frick, I'm sorry, I am 21. Does it really matter where I am? All that matters is that I am not stuck in the damn house. Still, to this day, it is unacceptable for me to grab my car keys and walk out, not that I necessarily have to ask permission to leave, but they want to know where I am going at all times. It's not that I am up to no good or that I am creating trouble wherever I go. It is just the instant feeling of suppression when someone shouts, "HEY! WHERE ARE YOU GOING?"

Dating is a pain, as well. The actual dating process is complicated to begin with, and the whole thing is a completely different topic. But once you start to hang out, or don't want to just watch movies together on a couch, how romantic is it to say, "Want to come over to my place? Don't worry, my parents are upstairs." That kills the feelings that come with having someone over. It also creates the tension of, "SHIT. Now, I have to meet the parents." Plus, going out on dates can be awkward, as well. "OMG, how did you meet? Can we meet him?" — the relentless questions you cannot avoid, and for someone who is a bad liar like me, the only option is the truth and to settle with the questions.

Every holiday is a slight drag as well, because all of your friends who are away and out of town come home. You have to pretend like you care and are having just as much fun as them, while hearing all the fun things that they have done day in and day out, reminding yourself that they are poor, and have been going through struggles, as well. The best moment of seeing them is when they decide to tell you how crappy the town that you stayed in is. I love where I am from. I'm not going to lie, there are a TON of problems with it. However, I still like the place I chose to stay in, but they still want to tell you how much they hate the place and how stupid you are for staying there, and that you are wasting your life in that city.

Overall, living at home is not all that terrible. However, it isn't peachy keen, either, and it does come with its fair share of struggles that people tend to forget about since townies typically tend to be in the minority while attending post-secondary. But if you ask me, if I could change my decision to stay at home, that answer would depend on my mood that day, and if my family has driven me up the wall.

Meaghan Spykerman
Meaghan Spykerman
Read next: The Unconventional College Life
Meaghan Spykerman

I am in my final year of university studying criminal justice. I have been an active part in my communities ringette association, through constant volunteering and playing. I have worked in retail, as well as an office job.

See all posts by Meaghan Spykerman