IN Defense of Living at Home While in College

Not all college students have the option of staying in their parents' homes while going to college. However, if you do, here are some good reasons you should consider keeping your old room instead of moving into a dorm.

dorm room

Living at Home During College? Not Such a Bad Idea!

For most aspiring college students, a big part of the university appeal is getting to live independently for the first time. The idea of staying in the family home is often seen as an unappealing last resort. But living at home has some obvious (and hidden) benefits that are worth considering.

While not moving is obviously out of the question for students who won't be living within commuting distance of their parents, it's worth considering for those who'll be attending school closer to home. Before you shell out money for room and board fees on campus, consider staying put. Even if you're incredibly eager to leave the proverbial nest, you might find that waiting is the best course of action. Here's why.


The price of on-campus housing can be significantly higher than living off-campus, but both costs are astronomical compared to rent-free living. Even if your parents want you to chip in a bit for utilities as a formality, it's nothing compared to the thousands of dollars you'll spend every year to live outside the nest. According to CollegeBoard, during the 2015-16 school year, room and board at public colleges averaged $10,138, and at private colleges the average settled in at $11,516.

A Quiet, Comfortable Refuge

Unless you have the world's most understanding and permissive parents, you're probably not going to be living in party central if you stay at home. There are two ways to see this. On one hand, it could be an opportunity lost. On the other, you could take it as a way to escape the inconvenience of a potential round-the-clock party schedule. Living at home might give you the power to decide when you want peace and quiet and when you want to have a little fun.

Prevents a Logistical Headache

Moving into a dorm isn't simple. Even though furniture's provided, it may not be sufficient to your needs, and of course you have to figure out how to get all your stuff in there. There's double inconvenience when you're living in unfurnished off-campus housing; you have to shell out for a bed, couch and whatever else you might need. If you stay in a place where you've already been living for a long time, you probably won't need to buy anything else, letting you apply that time and money to something more important.

You'll Already Know How to Deal With Your Roommates

If your school only offers undivided dorm rooms, the success of your living situation is a total gamble. It could be totally comfortable and easy, or it could be awkward, miserable and distracting. And don't think that rooming with a friend or staying with a group off-campus will improve your odds. Friendships have been known to end in animosity once cohabitation enters the equation.

Even if your parents aren't the ideal roommates, you already have years of experience dealing with them, so you know what to expect. Bad roommate situations can be incredibly unsettling and distracting, and that's the last thing you need while you're trying to excel in school. As an added bonus, you're definitely less likely to encounter any awkward 'sock on the doorknob' situations if you stay at home (but, of course, it's not impossible...).

Newsflash: Dorms Are Kind of Gross Sometimes

You don't need to be a germaphobe to be a little unsettled by dorm bathrooms. If you prefer to keep your interior spaces clean and tidy, you'll find little to no satisfaction with dorm life. Sure, they're generally cleaned regularly, but with ten or more people using the same bathroom, there's going to be a lot of unfamiliar hair nests in the shower drain.

If living at home isn't an option, consider becoming a resident assistant to save some money.

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