Photo by Amy Liu

Rediscovering home

In the beginning of my senior year, I had no idea where I would end up after high school: whether I would be staying or leaving home for college. As I weighed my options, my friends and peers constantly talked about moving to a different state or country. I felt like everyone would look down on me if I stayed home because I wouldn’t get the same experiences as them. Amid discussions and periods of reflection, I came to realize that staying home shouldn’t be stigmatized. 

After I made my decision to attend San Jose State University, I wanted to live on campus my freshman year so I could still achieve that college paradigm of self-reliance, but my parents were adamant I stay home. We constantly fought about housing and what my future would look like. I felt completely defeated when they told me that staying at home was my only choice.

I carried this feeling of indignance with me until we sat down for dinner to talk in a calmer manner about the benefits of staying at home: not having to share a room and bathroom with strangers, having access to home-cooked meals, not having to worry about the Freshman 15, having a strong and secure support system nearby, having a car that I could take anywhere and the chance to save money.

My parents and I also chatted about why so many students at Lynbrook want to move out for college. Lynbrook’s culture pressures students to obtain high grades and be locked into the Bay Area mindset, and as a result of this and other factors, many of my peers have a poor relationship with their parents that compels them to want to attend college far away from home. 

But, I never felt this parent-child strain. In fact, I realized that another advantage of staying at home is how I can still be around my parents. All my life, my parents have done nothing but tell me that doing my best is all that matters; they never pressured me to excel in whatever I wasn’t comfortable with. I am grateful for that and the continued opportunity to connect with them further.

As a child, they knew how much I hated taking academic classes outside of school, so instead, they would sign me up for ice skating, swimming and other fun activities. When discussing my future, they never pushed me to go into any specific field while encouraging me to do whatever would make me happy.

Once I saw just how much I had underappreciated my relationship with my parents, all the money saved and the opportunities I would have despite staying, I got on board with the idea of living at home for college. I wouldn’t be who I am today without them, so why not spend a few more years calling them my roommates?

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