There’s no question that the mystique of living in a dorm and being out on your own is part of the draw of college. Students want to get out, get away, and spread their wings for the first time, but living in a dorm or an apartment can get expensive. Are you looking at a college far away from home? There may be no choice but to pony up the cash. Be sure to shop around and select either the right apartment for you or the most affordable dorm package. You have choices, so don’t limit yourself by just not checking into them.
If you’re staying closer to your own doorstep, however, you may have a leg up on some of your fellow students. While being at home with your parents or other family may cramp your social style a bit, it can also mean taking out fewer loans and coming out of college in a far stronger position financially. Going into college this may not seem like a very big draw but, trust me, by the time you’re looking at your loan statements on the way out the other side, you will be more than glad if you managed to save yourself a little trouble here and there. You don’t have to pinch pennies, but any small steps you can take toward extra financial security will help you out a great deal in the long run.
I lived with my friends and her parents for the first two years of college and attended a local community college. I had known them since I was four years old, and they were as much like family as my own. In terms of finances, I had saved up enough money growing up to pay for my college courses, but if I’d had to worry about living expenses on top of it, things could have been dire for me. Instead I was able to start my college experience and ease into having my first job without going crazy worrying. I was with people that I cared about and who watched out for me. Did I bemoan the lack of privacy and sometimes wish I had a space all my own? Sure! But I didn’t miss the bills.
There are a thousand and one new things for people to get used to when they start their college experience. Don’t make it harder on yourself by adding worries where there don’t need to be any. If you can get away with a year or two of living at home, use that as time to work and save up some money so that you’re sitting pretty when you do break out on your own. Studying, different class styles, and a whole new realm of social situations will give you more than enough new experiences to relish and revel in.