In-state colleges are great, they said. Your parents won’t even call you, they said. Well, that’s not exactly true.
Still, living on campus is a hybrid living arrangement of sorts, and anyone who has parents under an hour away can testify to the following certainties:
7.) You go home fairly often:
Everyone needs his or her freedom, with the exception of George Zimmerman and maybe Lindsay Lohan on Mardi Gras. But when academics have you contemplating quitting school, moving to the Caribbean, and selling shredded coconut for a living, you start to actually look forward to seeing family. You know, where there are big-screen TVs and no hairy shower stalls.
6.) Your family never misses you:
Part of you hopes to walk through the door and see your loved ones living in squalor, begging you to come back home for good because life without your presence means nothing. Mom is rocking in the corner as she flips through baby photos, meanwhile flies surround a Dominos pizza box that’s been laying on the counter for three weeks now. But alas, the younger ones are doing great and no one even flinches when you stop by for the weekend.
5.) Your parents want you to bring your roommate over for dinner:
Your family wants to meet your roomie and your roomie wants to meet your family. But you want to keep those two worlds very separate for obvious reasons. One knows about that drunken escapade in D.C. last weekend, followed by your annual pregnancy scare. The other knows you used to write love letters to Zac Efron in your diary when you were 12 years old. Not a good combo.
4.) Friends who moved away for college think you’re crazy:
While you decided to stay close to home, others traveled thousands of miles to get away from the helicopter parents who had doctors put tracking devices inside their children’s brains when he or she were merely a toddler (Shhhhhhh). So, they refuse to understand why you would want to go back home so often, particularly if they themselves are from Maryland. Because anyone who grew up in Maryland knows that this state is actually boring as fuck. Yet for some reason, outsiders think Maryland is heaven on Earth.
3.) Your parents like to make you impromptu food baskets:
Before you ditch the family for campus life, your mother likes to hand you the extra Vitamin Water in the cupboard, the rest of last night’s chicken parmesan and seven of those stale granola bars that no one in the house is going to eat (and neither are you). Conversely, you’ll start stealing food that your family actually wants, like the four-cheese Hot Pockets and the last of the Pringles. MUAHAHAHAHA!
2.) You come back home with a little pocket money:
Of course, you come home for love, affection, etc. but the cherry on top is the moment you turn to leave and Dad says, “Wait, do you need some money?” And then you politely decline because you don’t want to seem desperate even though you really do only have $4.91 in your bank account. Then he says, “Nonsense, it’s not safe to have no cash on you,” and gives you 30 bucks. Which you spend on Looney’s Pub and Chick-fil-A…
1.) You realize your family is your best friend:
You fight, you hurt each other and sometimes you go way too long without talking to each other. But nothing feels better than the sweet assurance that the people you have known all your life, and who know you better than you know yourself, are only a car ride away when you really want some TLC. And free laundry… and better Wi-Fi.
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