By Alex Billington
As a child, you want to grow up, and when you grow up, you want to be a child; it’s certainly one of the true ironies of life. But one of the things that really makes us want to grow up is the thought of moving out, living on your own, having your own rules, playing your music as loudly as you want, having crazy parties, buying a pet giraffe, living with a big group of your friends, sleeping until whenever you want, and living in a complete and utter mess, and cleaning your room every – well, never!
But is living away from home without your parents really all it’s cracked up to be?
When moving away to college, there are many different options for housing, such as on campus in dorms, on campus in suites, on campus in apartments, off campus fraternity and sorority houses/apartments, off campus sports houses, or simply off campus with friends. One thing can be sure: your parents do not accompany you in any of those options. Not everyone decides to move away to college. Some stay local and attend college while living at home. For those who do move away for college, there are many aspects of living away from home that they love and some aspects of life at home with their family that they miss.
Mathias Spinnars, a senior Accounting major, lives off campus in a house full of soccer guys. He said, “I miss my mom’s cooking. Just having a meal cooked for you seems like such a luxury when you have lived away from home for four years.”
It turns out every single person interviewed by The Pioneer answered the very same way as Spinnars, which makes home cooked meals the thing that is missed the most. However, after the food was out of the way, a few other things seemed to be missed. Amanda Clark, a sophomore Business Administration major, lives off campus in an apartment. She stated, “My bed. I absolutely love my bed at home. I didn’t realize it until I slept somewhere else for nine months of the year.”
Monica Amador, a sophomore Criminal Justice major who lives on campus, said, “Just quality time with my family. Sometimes my parents just know exactly what to say to cheer me up.”
Another overwhelming home comfort seemed to be cleaning. “I miss walking into a clean bathroom and not even thinking about it. Now I just look in horror at all the cleaning I should do,” said Hilda Isce, a sophomore Biology major who lives in the dorms.
With all those home comforts, what is so appealing about living away from home? Why do so many students across the country decide living on their own is the right decision? Freedom is the golden word, the word said by every college kid ever. What aspects of freedom draw us in? Spinnars said, “I can just play my guitar as loud as I want – my house, my rules.” Similarly, Per Eik Forgaard, a junior Business major, likes his music as loud as possible without anyone to tell him otherwise.
Another trend in student responses was having no one to answer to. Carl Lystad, a junior Dance major, said, “If I want to do something, I can. I don’t have to ask permission; I just do it. That’s a great feeling as you really begin to grow up.”
All of the aforementioned reasons explain why living on your own is so fun, but does living on your own do anything to you as a person? Joey Forgaard, a sophomore English major, said, “Living away from home has helped me integrate with a group of people so well that I can live with them, talk to them, and iron out the problems that living in a house full of students brings. I have really grown up in these few months. I’ve changed from being dependent on my parents to being independent and standing on my own two feet.”
Jonathon Watkin, a senior Theatre major, felt the same way. “Living on my own has made me so independent. Becoming as independent as I am now would never have been possible if I still lived at home.”
Freedom is what living away from home gives college students, and independence is what they seem to draw from it. You won’t find many college kids who don’t miss a home cooked meal, having their laundry done, or even a nice clean bathroom to operate in. While living on your own most of the time cannot provide these things, living away from home can help you grow into an independent man or woman ready to tackle the big wide world.