Deciding where to live can be determined by saving money or gaining more independence.

By Elizabeth A. White
The Shorthorn staff

Whether students live at home or on campus, each face unique challenges and experiences.

Nursing freshman Molly Leman said she likes the convenience of living on campus.

“It’s really nice to be able to go home and not have to, like, tote everything that I need,” Leman said.

Living on campus isn’t ideal for Leman though because of the lack of privacy she receives.

Leman lives in a double room at Arlington Hall and can sometimes even hear other people talking through the walls.

“It’s definitely been an adjustment to sharing space with someone constantly,” she said.

Before starting school, Leman said she thought she would want to move back with her parents.

She said she is starting to gain a sense of independence. Therefore, when she drives home to visit her parents in Austin, it’s hard adjusting to their rules again.

“Old habits die hard,” she said.

Accounting junior Alexis Gamez said in an email the biggest benefit of living at home with his parents while being in college is saving money.

Gamez lives about five minutes away from campus, and one thing he enjoys about staying at home is not driving hours home to visit.

“What I enjoy the most is being close to them,” he said. “Unfortunately, parents are not forever so I believe that we should cherish every single moment we can, because at the end of the day they will always be there.”

He also enjoys living at home because of his mom’s home cooking.

Gamez said even though he does not have a sense of independence because he doesn’t pay any house bills, he does not plan to move out until after he graduates and is financially stable.

“My parents are not really strict but sometimes it’s not fun having to leave the house late when they are in the living room because I’ll get interrogated,” he said.

Gamez said he doesn’t have many frustrations living at home with his parents.

“Many students complain about that, but my parents have always given me their full support and trust so I have never had issues,” he said.

To other students who live at home with their parents, Gamez advised taking advantage of no bills, focusing on school and saving money.

Kinesiology senior Marissa Thomas has lived on campus throughout her entire college career.

Thomas said she likes living on campus because she does not have to deal with parking.

“The parking, it saves you money and it saves you time,” she said. “Everything is closer and in walking distance.”

Thomas also enjoys living on campus because of the people she’s met and friendships she has built.

She said although she would have liked the opportunity to live with her parents longer because the cost of living would be less expensive, she still would have decided to stay on campus.

“I’ve had great experiences,” she said. “I’ve met amazing people. It’s more of a college experience when you live close to campus.”

Thomas said living on campus is the next step of growing up. She battles doing right from wrong because she is not under her parents’ supervision and has much more freedom.

“It’s trial and error,” she said. “You have to learn time management. You have to learn, you know, what you should do and what you can’t do.”