French Pressed – Feb. 12 edition
Here in the United States, going to college usually means moving out of our parents’ house and moving close to or on campus. It feels like most of American students cannot wait to go to college and live on their own. It is different in France: unless they live really far away, college students usually decide to stay at their parents’ house. In fact, almost 50 percent of the French students choose the college they will attend based on the proximity to their parents’ house.
When I was a college student back home, I only lived at my parents’ house, even though it took me an hour to go to class using public transportation–and about thirty minutes driving. Many of my college friends lived with their families; some lived further than me. Some of you may wonder why. Why would we rather decide to stay with our parents who live far away than live closer to campus and alone or with friends?
Several arguments can explain this choice. First of all, living on your own or with roommates–although students sharing an apartment is less common in France than in the U.S.–is more expensive than living with your parents. Indeed, when you have your own place, you need to pay rent each month, go grocery shopping, be more organized and, most of all, manage your budget. Many students living by themselves or with roommates need to work to make ends meet. If you read one of my past columns, you would know that in France students are only supposed to study, not work. When you live home with your parents, all you need to do is clean your room, do the dishes and other simple things.
Another reason that French college students decide to remain at home is the lack of spots in the dorms. Indeed, students from a further city as well as international students are the first ones to get a room in the dorms. This means that if other French students want a place on their own, they usually need to go through a rental agency.
I have lived in the dorms at UALR and, although I have never lived in the dorms in my home university, I know from my friends back home that it is different from UALR. First, like I mentioned, students usually don’t share their rooms like in the U.S.
There is no Resident Assistant in the dorms.
This means students can do whatever they want, but it also means no floor activities to know the other residents better.
I experienced both living with my parents and living with roommates, I think both have advantages and drawbacks. Of course, living with your parents is cheaper, but on the other hand, living with roommates or on your own makes you more independent and responsible. I like both but I must admit that I like living with roommates better. Living close to campus also allows you to connect more easily with other students. And once you find the right roommates, and connect with the right persons, living without your parents is not that hard. It is actually nice and rewarding.
A bientot pour de nouvelles aventures! (See you later for other adventures!)