Anyone have kids that chose to live at home while going to college?
Did they miss out on the "college life/experience" by doing so?
My sister and I both stayed home for college - went to a university downtown instead of away. For her, it was because she won a full scholarship there, so it made sense. Her daughter is now at U of M and my sister is painfully jealous of not having had the college experience.
For me, I was supposed to go to Michigan State, and at the last minute my Dad pulled all financial support because he found out my best friend from high school, who is black, was going there. He was not going to have me going to school with "that black girl" he had never met. Never mind she was a year ahead of me, in a different major, and we weren't planning on rooming together. So, to keep me away from black people, and especially from dating blacks, he sent me to school in downtown Detroit. Which made zero sense.
Of course, I did date a black guy while down there. My friend ended up marrying a white guy. And we are still close (this photo is from last month):
For me - yes, I missed out. I am still angry at my father over it. I missed out on opportunities a larger university would have afforded me, as well as MUCH better internship opportunities for my major. I have no friends from college. All my high school friends who went to MSU have several friends from college - I have none. I didn't learn to live on my own until after I divorced my first husband, as I went directly from home to marriage.
Do I think it is a good choice for some kids who want it? Sure. Do I think everyone must go away to school? Of course not. Would it have been a better choice for me? Absolutely. Do I resent it was taken away from me? Yes.
I also lived at home while I went to the University of MD. My family had 3 kids in college at the same time so that was the only way my parents could afford to send us. I am grateful that I had a car to use and a place to live during college plus I got a great education. However, I also feel like I missed out on the college experience. I also don't have friends from that time period. In fact, that time period was very lonely for me. My high school friends had all gone away to other schools and commuting from home, it was very hard to make new friends on campus and get involved in campus life. I also worked part time to help pay everything except tuition so I didn't have much spare time. Commuting didn't affect my brothers as much because most of their high school friends went to the same school and many of them also commuted from our neighborhood to the university. If there is any way that I can afford to have my kids live on campus, I intend to do so.
Dh and I communted to college--we both basically paid our own way so there wasn't much choice for each of us. However, I do feel I missed out on the "college experience" and that is why we encouraged all three to go away. There are several very good universities within driving distance to us (and they'd even have 90% off tuition at one of them), but I believe they all made the right choice.
I never lived on campus in the typical 4-yr "college experience". For the early part of my college years I worked and went to a community college to get my AA/AS work out of the way. That was awful because I had gone to a college-prep and the work at the junior college was not only not challenging, it was repetitive. I hated sitting in class just to get credits when I was tired, over-scheduled and perpetually broke from trying to work and support myself while also going to school.
Yes, my dad offered to have me stay at home but that was a no-go. He wanted me to be home to help take care of my psychotic mother. During my high school years I had been counting the days until I could move out. My mother smoked like a chimney and I had untreated asthma (my dad didn't believe me). I literally had to sit in my bedroom next to an open window with the door closed and a towel blocking the bottom gap in order to survive. I needed to get out of there so badly. Besides, the last thing I wanted was to be trapped into caring for my mother and younger brother. When I refused to live at home, my dad withdrew all support for me to go to college. I used to have to beg him to help me fill out the financial aid packages. He wouldn't co-operate even with that because he was so mad at me. I'd stand in the financial aid office and cry while trying to explain how my father refused to help now that I was 18 but they kept telling me he could afford it so they were going to count that support whether I was receiving it or not.
When I finally got old enough to be considered financially independent and I qualified for better scholarships and aid packages, I started to go to a 4-year university. I looked into living on campus but compared to living on my own it was horribly expensive. I couldn't justify the cost, especially when you considered the living conditions and lack of privacy. Besides, I looked at those "kids" and I realized I was in a completely different world. They were so immature. They didn't understand at all how the world worked or the realities of supporting yourself. Their problems were so minor compared to the issues I was facing. By then, even if I could have lived on campus, I would have been miserable. I doubt I would have made friends anyway.
And you know what, I went to a university that was considered a "commuter school" in that more than 60% of the students didn't live on campus. I'd have instructors who would say things like, "I know most of you work and go to school so I won't assign a lot of homework. I know you have other lives to live." Yet, OMG! The workload was overwhelming at times. There really is a period in your life that is right for going to college. Being older in college, trying to get my BA/BS was very tough.
I would like ds to have that college experience if he wants it. I was a young senior when I graduated hs (16) and immature. I wasn't ready for the college experience. I also didn't drive on the freeway, having been instilled with the fear of driving it from my parents. So I went to a community college that was 20 minutes away and paid to board at a hotel nearby. When I think of it now, and how ridiculous that was, all that board $$ my parents could have bought me a second hand car (I would have contributed) taught me to drive that silly freeway, I just think what a waste it all was.
I had a very 'interesting' roommate, she had had a brain injury when very young, didn't drive, and at times couldn't tell reality from fiction. It's very sad her condition, but it was awful living with her. I was so immature I just kept living with her until I got my associate degree.
If ds wants to have the college experience, I want him to have it, and I too will be envious!
I went to college the first year and had the "college experience" I wasn't impressed. I hated sharing a dorm room even though I liked my roommate. I hated the noise and eating in the cafeteria and sharing a bathroom and the list goes on and on. I moved back home my sophomore year and was so much happier. My husband also had the "college experience" but majored in engineering and worked and had no time for some of the craziness. We were both dating during college. He would had been just ast happy to live at home also, but his parents were divorcing and weren't really interested in having him around. We both have college friends and I don't feel that living at home made much difference aside from the fact that I got a good night's sleep in a nice comfortable house :) My friends would often come hang out at my parent's house with me, and they LOVED it.