The last two years of my college life I have spent living at home with my parents and three younger siblings. I moved home after I spent some time—and most of my money—on a study abroad in the British Isles. The thought of moving back home after being on my own was frustrating, but the last two years have been much different than I expected. Here are four things I learned about what college kids and their families can do to make living together a good experience.
Space is blessed. I am gone at school and work nearly all day, and when I am home, I’m usually doing homework. I need a sanctuary where I know I can take time for myself to get things done or just veg out. Families, remember that your stay-at-home college students are still adults with their own busy schedules. Help them by giving them physical and mental space to breathe.
Family is an investment. Speaking of a busy schedule, there just never seems to be enough time for everything! However, even though I have my own agenda, I have found it’s important to make time for the people who not only house and feed me, but the people who also love me. I’ve grown closer to my parents and siblings in ways that I never could have had if I didn’t live at home. If you give them time, they will give you time. It’s a win-win.
Save that dough! If you’re like me, chances are your family isn’t making you pay for everything—utilities, garbage, insurance, mortgage, etc. And with all that extra money, it’s way easier to feel like I have more to spend. But don’t get caught in a trap. Some months I have actually saved less money living at home than I did living on my own. I’ve found that maintaining some form of responsible adult spending habits (like keeping a budget and pitching in on groceries or rent) keeps me from overspending.
Remember to stay socially healthy. Between school and work, I don’t always have the energy (or the desire) to go out at the end of the day. But even though spending time with family is important, participating in activities with my friends and peers is also important. It actually gives me more energy, reinforces my networking, and helps me find new cultural experiences.
How much does science play into your love life? According to recent studies, it may be much more influential than you think. An important part of the human immune system involves Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) molecules, which are antigens that coat the cells in the human body. The diversity of these MHC molecules in the body determines the effectiveness of the immune system, but it seems to have other implications as well. Would you believe that it could influence who you crush on, or even more, who you marry?
Picture from here.
There is evidence that the diversity of MHC molecules in individuals influences mating choice in animals and humans. Natural sexual selection occurs so that humans are attracted to those with dissimilar MHC molecules, which allows them to produce offspring with greater biological diversity, and therefore, a greater chance of survival. So how does this natural law of attraction work? You may be surprised to know that body odor—yes, that rank stank that you always try to cover up—is the key.
With this unusually warm weather, spending time outside is a great way to spend time with your family. Eating together means being together—when people share a meal, they get a chance to relax and converse.
Exchange Park, Provo
Provo and Orem have lots of great parks to choose from when looking for a place to picnic with the family. Provo alone has at least 20 different parks to choose from.
Nielson’s Grove Park, Orem
Many of these parks offer facilities so you can play different sports. There are volleyball courts, baseball/softball fields, and disc golf fields, just to name a few. After eating together, continue the family fun by bringing your old baseball glove or volleyball net.
Click here to see a listing of all the parks in Provo and their different features. For a listing and map of Orem parks, click here.
“[C]hoose you this day whom ye will serve . . . but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).
I’m not sharing this scripture because it is my favorite, or because it changed my life when I memorized it in Seminary. I think this is one of my dad’s favorite scriptures, and I remember enjoying it when I read it for the first time in Seminary. But it’s never been one of those scriptures that stuck with me. It’s never been my go-to scripture.
Although it has never been that scripture for me, someday I want it to be one of the most applicable and meaningful scriptures in my repertoire. Someday, when I have a family with little children who depend on me for so much—I will want this scripture to have meaning. When I have a family I will teach my children the gospel of Christ. I will teach them right from wrong. I will train and guide them in all that they need to know. I will teach them who to serve. When I have a family, we will serve the Lord.