by Zack Downing, Staff Writer
The most unique part about the college experience is living away from home for the first time, and not having parents around to tell you to get out of bed at 1 p.m.
However, since we live at a state school, your home is probably within reasonable driving distance, with your lonely parents waiting for you to come back.
Not many of us go from the first day of classes to winter break without going home at least once. Some students only visit home once or twice a semester, while others drop by about every two weeks.
So, should you be someone who stays close to home, or should you ride out months at a time at college? It depends on a lot of circumstances.
Perhaps the biggest influence on your commutes is the distance you live from the school.
If you live a few towns over and enjoy seeing your family, then going home every couple of weeks isn’t a bad idea at all. You can live at college and still stay connected at home without the burden of long night drives.
Some people live far out in western Massachusetts, or in other states entirely. If that’s the case for you, it’s a good idea to get accustomed to life on campus, since you won’t be driving back and forth much at all.
Another important detail is whether or not you have a car on campus you can use. If you do, your parents would be pleasantly surprised if you dropped by home once in a while. You have control over when you visit, how long you stay, and when you leave.
On the other hand, if you have to get picked up by your parents whenever you want to go home, they might not be quite as thrilled, especially if you have a commute of over an hour.
Sometimes whether or not you go home for the weekend is a snap decision rather than a preset time. There are a couple tips to discern whether you should stay on campus or not.
For one, you can ask your friend group what they’re up to all weekend. Perhaps they’re going to go out somewhere for a day, or have a fun idea planned for that Saturday night. You wouldn’t wanna miss out on the fun!
Alternately, they might be swamped with homework, or going home themselves. You can avoid a boring weekend by saying hi to the family.
Another tip is to keep track of your meal plan. You can check your balance on the MyUMassD website, and on some receipts around campus. If you feel like you could be running low on swipes soon, heading home is a great idea to save on swipes and get some free food.
Everyone has their own individual circumstances to take into account as well. Sophomore Brendan Finegan told us, “I don’t go home more than once every couple months because of my rigorous workload, but when I go home it’s nice to be back.”
On the other side, Tess Maley, a psychology major, explained that “I go home multiple times a month because I miss my brothers and it’s nice to see them, and my mom’s cooking is better than Res.”
So, remember to use your judgment to decide whether you’ll be a homebody or you’ll hang out on campus all semester. And remember, every weekend is different!