My friends tell me: “If you don’t move out before you graduate, you’re a failure”
Acquaintances ask: “How do you have a social life?”
Complete strangers inquire: “What are you doing with your life?”
These are some of the reactions I get when I tell people that I’m a 19 year old university student living with my mom. And you know what? Despite the criticism, I have no plans to move out just yet.
My parents divorced when I was very young, so I’ve pretty much always lived with my mom. Since I’m her only child, the two of us are nearly inseparable. She also helps pay my tuition and is supportive of my hectic school and work schedule.
I have this excellent support system at home. Why would I leave?
Also, I don’t know where everyone else’s priorities are, but I wouldn’t consider myself a failure for trying to be financially conscious. By living with my mom, I don’t have to pay rent, which averages at $1,090 a month in Edmonton, or buy groceries. This leaves room to save the money I earn from my two jobs and freelance writing for productive things like textbooks and saving to eventually get my own place. Thanks to the support from my family, unlike most students, I’m debt free.
I also don’t have to deal with rowdy roommates while I’m studying. I have a friend who has a hole the size of a beach ball in her wall from a crazy drunken roommate and that isn’t something I want to worry about just yet. My mom isn’t likely to get tipsy and start breaking things in the house.
I’m also very glad to say that my social life is not suffering because I still live with my mom and I don’t have roommates. I’m still able to do fun things on campus, like going out for wings with my friends in a nearby pub, thanks to my school-provided bus pass.
I’m getting an education, working hard at multiple jobs, and not worrying about all of the hardships that arise from leaving the nest at a young age. I’m getting a pretty great head start on my professional life and I owe that to the amount of support I still get by living at home.
Ravanne Lawday is a second-year English student at the University of Alberta.