Like most things in life, the choice of living at home versus living on campus is not a one-sided proposition. An obvious advantage to living at home is the fact that it is cheaper in the majority of cases. Economics aside, there are a number of disadvantages to living at home while attending college.
Unless your home is on campus or directly adjacent, you will need to factor commuting time into your school schedule. If your commute is measured in hours, that is lost study and/or sleeping time. Professors really don't care how much trouble you had finding a parking space or how a wreck caused traffic to stop. In many colleges, the doors are closed and locked at the start of class. Traffic problems can lead directly to missed classes.
Student parking lots can be expensive, but they beat a daily (or multiple times per day) search for an open parking space. Most colleges charge a per-semester fee for parking, another expense not experienced by those living on campus.
Less Interaction with Peers
One of the skills a student learns in college is how to interact with peers. In many cases, study groups form to allow students to pool their strengths. Few students are masters in all subjects and a person with a strong chemistry background may be able to help the drama student and receive help in return. Study groups often start as a spur-of-the-moment idea. The student who must rush out of class to start a trek home will miss out on these opportunities or may have to beg-off as the group's schedule doesn't suit the student's home schedule.
While some parents may consider this a plus, students who live at home are less likely to become involved in non-classroom activities. While living at home will cut into the number of dorm-room parties a student will attend, it could also mean a lower likelihood of attending sports events, exploring campus laboratories and museums or checking out the local music or literary scene.
Lack of Independence
Part of going to college is learning to live on your own as an adult. This is a scary topic for most parents. But campus living is better suited for inexperienced young adults than many alternatives. Most campuses encourage physical activity, such as walking or biking, offer food, bookstores and safe recreation and are somewhat isolated from the rest of the host city. Campus police and faculty are trained to deal with lonely and confused young adults. Compared to simply striking out on your own as an adult, a college campus offers more protection and a better concentration of things that interest a young adult.
- Photo Credit college"s building image by Leonid Tarassishin from Fotolia.com
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