Author: Tanvi Varma
College, from my perspective, is a physical and emotional adjustment that can vary depending on the individual’s situation. I have encountered some students who live close to home and still find it difficult to adjust. I have met other students who are having a tough time assimilating because they are from another country. They are forced to adjust to the culture and lifestyle of a foreign place. The difficulty in transitioning is not dependent on the college’s proximity to home. Instead, it is influenced by how the individual copes with a situation. While the physical and emotional components of adjustment are difficult, it is easier to overcome the obstacle in college, when there are other students who are in similar situations, rather than later on in life when an individual is obligated to enter the real world as an adult.
When choosing a college, I had a tough decision to make. I am originally from the San Francisco Bay Area and desperately wanted to go to the east coast, while my parents preferred that I stayed close to home. Hence, they were insistent that I choose Santa Clara University, which is 20 minutes from where I live. Ultimately, we compromised on Los Angeles. Even though I am still in the same state, I am far enough that I can learn to be independent. My parents are six hours away, which means that it is still a journey getting home. This distance forces me to be less reliant on them.
I am glad that I made the decision to live far enough away from my parents. While it is a comfort knowing that I can go home often, I also know that I have to learn to do things on my own. Before coming to college, I did not know how to do laundry or budget effectively. I was heavily reliant on my mom to make sure everything was in order. My academics were my main focus. If I continued living at home, I would have lacked the motivation to do things myself because I would know that someone was there to do it.
By living on campus, I learned to create a balanced lifestyle. As I became more independent, my sense of confidence simultaneously increased. When I went home during fall break, I was in charge of managing my own schedule and allocating time to socialize with friends, spend time with family and study for midterms, all in the span of three days. I was definitely more independent.
If students live at home and only learn these life-skills once they enter the work force, it is going to be increasingly difficult. They will feel as if they have been thrown into the ocean without any support. I have a friend who is still living at home, and she feels that nothing has changed. Her parents still monitor her sleep and work schedules and make sure that she goes to bed at a reasonable hour. At some point, parents need to take a step back and realize that they have instilled the right skills for their child’s success. Living on campus will give students the opportunity to display that.
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