After going through a life-long search to find the perfect house for my family, I knew that there was no way in hell I would be able to live in apartment that I could pay for myself until I was a functioning adult. Most of this sentiment comes in part by the reality of getting zero assistance from my parents to pay for an apartment and the other fees that come with this responsibility. And since the cheapest apartment I have ever come across that is close by to campus costs $900 a month, I have decided to live at home for my junior year of college. I know, I know, I think I might have lost my mind but at the same time, I have no problem being a scammer.
For the most part, I am a home-body. I like the comfort of having a home or at least little pieces of comfort that remind me of home. And I have made myself quite the home here at Emerson but I am looking forward to having real food, free laundry, and a couch that I can lay on without disrupting someone else’s personal space. If it was up to me, I would gladly live on campus next year but that’s not possible as the junior lottery is a fake scam in itself and there’s not enough space for everyone.
What I noticed the most about making the decision to live at home is that I get a plethora of reactions from those I mention it to or those who ask about my living situation for next year. Overall, people tend to respect my decision but I have gotten a lot of confused facial expressions, some form of amusement, and a lot of questions. And for the purpose of this post, I have decided to share these quirky questions and give you my equally quirky but honest answers.
1. The one I enjoy the most is: Why?
There are plenty of reasons but the main one is the fact that I am broke, like I am in no position to even consider living on my own WITH the responsibility of paying monthly rent.
Currently, I get paid enough to put some money into my savings account but still have enough to spread across two weeks for food, necessities, the T, and fun. I also have considered living with roommates but still, it would be too expensive and I would probably have split a room with three people just for rent to be cheap enough for me. And before making my decision, I went through every possibility of off-campus living including apartments that are cheaper in other areas farther from campus.
However, if I did not live immediately by campus, it would simply not be worth it for me. It already takes me 45 minutes to an hour to get to campus from home and have been lucky enough to be close by that I have made the commute plenty of times on Monday mornings for class. So, there would not be much difference between living in Allston or Brighton and living at home in Dedham.
2. This one might not be an explicit question that is asked but I know it is one that is constantly asked internally: Aren’t you independent?
In the words of Destiny’s Child, “I depend on me” and “I pay my own fun” and “I buy my own diamonds.”
Newsflash – you can live at home, make your own income, pay some of the house bills, and live your own life as an independent person as long as you communicate and make time for your family members. I have met plenty of strong, independent, fierce, and financially stable women who lived at home with their parents during their college years – one of them would be the women who files my taxes and she is definitely a woman of good income who makes decisions for herself regardless of where she lived. From the fall of my sophomore year, I have been mostly financially independent and I know that will continue for the rest of my time at Emerson and afterwards.
3. I often get asked: Is it cheaper?
It is definitely cheaper; I do not have to pay rent. Although my parents have not discussed if there is anything they would like me to pay for, I do anticipate that payment to be significantly cheaper than what I would have to pay somewhere else. Also, I search for every bargain I can find. I get suspicious if I spend more than $15 on anything.
Although that might not be all of the questions I might get asked, but those are the most frequent. For those who are also commuting and living at home, there is nothing wrong with doing that! Even if you might feel a little juvenile for moving back home after leaving the first time around, you will save a lot of money and will just have to do a bit more negotiating with your family to still have the same amount of freedom as before. In my opinion, I will not only be able to live somewhere for free but I get all the amenities and pets to cuddle with. So, living at home might be an adventure that will make me need loads of ranting time and time on-campus but it is something I look forward to!