When my family moved to Knoxville, I didn't have much of a choice of where I went to school.
But I really couldn't complain. The University of Tennessee is in a beautiful location, has a nice campus and a student newspaper, which is what I was most excited about. So I really came to embrace UT and all it had to offer, but attending this school would mean living at home with Mom and Dad. Home, for me, is exactly 30 minutes away in West Knoxville. Every day I travel a total of 60 minutes.
One. Whole. Hour.
By now, in my second year, I'm quite used to the drive. I bet I could drive it with my eyes closed (Disclaimer: I won't do that).
But living at home has taught me these things, which you may want to consider if you're planning on moving back home and becoming a true commuter, as I like to call people like myself.
You will never go hungry
Even though living with your parents during college seems like a bummer, consider the food. There is nothing I enjoy more than coming home to a warm, home-cooked meal after a day of constant class, work and meetings. Plus, Mom always knows what you like, and you're almost guaranteed to never get food poisoning, something The Strip cannot ensure.
Responsibility is key
Just because I live at home doesn't mean I don't have fun. I find myself staying on campus on weekends to hang out with friends downtown or in The Fort. Although, because of that 30-minute drive home, it is important to stay sober and alert and away from alcoholic beverages. No one wants a DUI on his or her record when applying for internships, and don't let peer pressure make you give in. I get hype off a can of soda, so it's not a terribly big deal for me. True commuters: if you do drink, sleep at a friends place and avoid your car in general.
Water, heat, electricity
There's nothing more comforting than knowing there will be water, heat and electricity at home. I have heard so many stories about my friends ending up having to pay their bills last minute since they know their electricity is going to go out the next day. And the hot water complaints in dorms? Ain't nobody got time for that. Having a home with its own heating and cooling system is extremely convenient.
The Mom-soon and the Dad-ster
Mom and Dad can get on everyone's nerves every once in a while. This is even more annoying when you're a college student. But it's important to remember that all the aforementioned reasons on the great things about living at home are because of your parents. Your home will always be your home; even though it's where your siblings are and where your childhood teddy bears may live, it's also where the heart is.
The importance of the playlist
Driving an hour every day can seem like a dull chore. That is, until you turn your car into a major Broadway stage. Through the likes of Spotify Premium and Pandora, my small blue car becomes the Bijou Theatre and I am the top name on the Playbill. From "Chicago" to "West Side Story," I'm Broadway's latest "It Girl" in the morning and at night, and especially on those encore nights when I go downtown for dinner. The car ride is a perfect way to practice your singing skills and stretch your pipes, whether you're jamming to some rap or the latest pop jams. Just make sure you're not texting and driving.
Melodi Erdogan is a second-year student in journalism and electronic media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This content appeared as a part of the spring 2014 housing guide.