Just because you are living at home while attending college doesn’t mean you have to sing the lonely blues, drive yourself and your parents crazy, sit around depressed in the basement and miss out on all the fun of campus life. Instead, cultivate people-friendly habits that will keep the doors of the college adventure open to you. A little bit of imagination and an open attitude to new experiences will take you where you want to go.
It is a sad fact that many students allow themselves to fall into routines which limit their college experience. The time spent commuting to and from campus--and often, the pressures of a part-time job--can add to a student’s feeling of isolation. Isolation is your enemy. You do not have to give in!! The best thing that you can do for yourself is to make friends - and it’s easier than you think!! College life is filled with opportunities to meet, have fun with, and work with other people - and it’s all for free. You do not need to spend money--you only need to spend a little time.
What? Where’s the fun in that? Well, study groups are the best way to 1) regulate your coursework and 2) bond with other students. You all have the same objective: Slam dunk that calculus test. Academically and socially it’s a win/win situation. And who knows--maybe you’ll meet someone you like. Any objections?
No, it isn’t corny. It’s a life saver. You don’t have to be a great athlete to join the softball team - and you will make some friends for life. There are hundreds of options based on your cultural background, your religion, political interests, academic direction, etc. These clubs are where you’ll make lifelong friends and connections; and it keeps you away from boring dinners with your parents. Take advantage of your options!
Okay, so you don’t live in a dorm right next to the lawn - but you can own that lawn anyway. And who’s that interesting looking person sitting a few feet away from you, anyway? The library is always a better place to work than home. Fewer distractions--no parents.
So eating out is no way to save money. But you only live once. What better college bonding experience than eating burgers at the local hole-in-the-wall, laughing it up with your friends after the softball game?
Walk a different corridor. Check out a different activity. See a play put on by the drama department (it will be free!) and take a friend! Check out the jazz concerts in the area. Take bike rides. But above all: don’t do it alone.
Don’t isolate! Make sure you minimize your time at home and maximize your time spent with other people
That’s what cafeterias are for. The more people you meet, the more activities you join, and the less likely that you will eat that lukewarm pizza alone.
The same seat in the library, the same tree on the lawn, the same stroll through the campus--mix it up!! A new experience can change your whole point of view!!
Home can be your prison. You want to avoid that.
Don’t allow yourself to get depressed without telling anyone about it. Almost everyone experiences depression at some point in college. It is all about growing pains. You are not a child anymore. You are beginning to see that you have to take responsibility for your life. If you really feel down--do not keep it to yourself. Tell a friend. Tell your parents. If you think that things are really bad, go to the medical center and you can get help from a therapist. Isolation is your enemy - and when you live away from campus, it’s much easier to isolate.
The purpose of college is to get your first taste of adult professional and social life. If you live at home, then you’re presented with an obstacle that you can, nevertheless, jump over. Your biggest enemy is isolation. The commute, the job, the parents, all feel like a drag on your time and energy. Whatever effort you put into campus life will pay you back tenfold. Participate, join, don’t follow patterns, try new things, hang out in new places, just don’t be a lonely only!! It is more fun than you think to take chances. Change habits, experience new activities, and above all - have fun!!
More expert advice about Undergraduate Programs
Photo Credits: studying by Flickr: English106; Check Man, Cross Man and Jump Man © ioannis kounadeas - Fotolia.com