5 Tips for Living With Family Members in College

By Ian Acosta on April 19, 2017

College life is hectic. Many look forward to the aspect of independence and going away to college in order to get away from the stress of family at home. For some, living at home can help cut some of the constantly increasing costs of tuition or just be a convenient alternative if the campus is close to home.

For those who do live at home and deal with not only school but family as well, how can they find some ways to put up with the sometimes-annoying aspects of living at home? Here are some tips.

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Find quiet study places

If you live with siblings or other family members, finding a quiet place to study is not always the easiest task to accomplish. From the nagging of parents and siblings to the loudness and possible chores, studying will not always be easy.

You do have some options, however. You can go to a local coffee shop for the espresso and free Wi-Fi. You can barricade yourself in your room and keep out all of the noise and distraction. You could also head to the library where quiet is demanded!

Studying is essential. Having undisturbed studying is even more important in order to succeed in college. While living at home may limit quiet study time, consider a couple alternatives to keep the noise out.

Take advantage of the free food

Living with family members does have its advantages as well. Food is a major one. Why spend money on a meal plan if you are living at home and have fresh, home-cooked meals to look forward to? Nobody likes dining hall food, no matter what they say. Not many like taking the time to cook, or even have the time.

If you are one of the fortunate few to have your meals taken care of for you, take advantage of that perk for as long as you can. Free food, packed lunches, snacks from home? Living with family in college isn’t all bad.

Set boundaries

As a college student, you are saddled with many tasks ranging from studying and completing homework to group projects and other campus activities. Sometimes family members can unknowingly encroach or disrupt your ideal day or week. Therefore, it is best to set boundaries and create an understanding between those you live with of what their expectations are of you and what you, in turn, expect from them.

Will those expectations be equal at first? Almost certainly not. For example, if you go away to college one year but come back and transfer to a college closer to your hometown the next, you will have to go through an adjustment period. That not only includes getting acclimated to your new situation but communicating with your siblings or family members what a reasonable college students’ schedule will entail. This ensures your time for studying, projects, and other activities will go off without a hitch.

Plan around hectic holidays

Because you are living at home while attending college, you pretty much have no excuse to not attend family holiday parties and events. What will this mean for you? Constantly being saddled with questions related to classes, relationships, coursework, job prospects, and anything else under the sun. Nobody, except for those who like talking about themselves, enjoys this.

Probably more importantly, holidays are typically associated with major exams or even finals. For me at least, while the weeklong fall break for Thanksgiving is nice, it is mostly used for me to catch up on any classes I might be behind in and to start planning my finals schedule. With some classes, they plan exams the week after break and force you to use your time off to study and prepare yourself.

Manage time around the holidays well especially if you have important family events to attend. Set the expectation that while you enjoy the time, you will need some time for yourself to study.

Make time for family

You are living at home after all. Some students are jealous of the fact that some can live at home with family and still attend the school they do. If you do live with family, be sure to still make time for the people that matter the most in between the studying and group projects. Your family will no doubt take notice and be more supportive and flexible when it comes to your college schedule.

Especially if you have younger siblings, make time for their games, recitals, meets, etc. They look up to you whether you know it or not and you lead by example whether you know it or not. Go for a walk with them, go see a movie, play catch, attend a game, etc. The most important thing is to spend time with them and remember your roots.

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