Living with my parents and living independently have distinct experiences, each with their own pros and cons. Living alone brings pleasure and freedom, but when I moved to the U.S., I learned about the numerous responsibilities and roles that come with independent living. In Japan, I used to live with my parents and rely on my mom’s care. However, now that I’m in the U.S., I strongly believe that living with parents during college offers more advantages.
While in Japan with my parents, I never experienced loneliness as there was always someone available for conversation. The familial ambiance we possess fosters continuous communication and sharing among us. At times, their incessant talking, inquiries about my day, and playful teasing would irritate me. Nonetheless, I now appreciate this type of environment over returning home alone with no one to engage in conversation with.
Following a hectic week of school assignments, I experienced a sense of relief as Thursday night’s class came to an end. However, upon arriving home, I felt a profound loneliness and desired to share my joy with someone. Regrettably, my roommates were absent that evening, causing me to yearn for conversations with my parents and their inquiries about my day. Living with them meant I never had to engage in any domestic tasks since after they wedded, my mother made the decision to resign from her job and prioritize household chores.
Previously, I had great pride in my mom’s ability to handle all the family responsibilities and maintain an organized house by herself. This brought me immense relief as I had no worries. However, now that I am living independently, I lack any assistance. It is solely my responsibility to ensure bills and utilities are paid on time, do laundry regularly, and clean my room using cleaning products. Neglecting these tasks puts me at risk of being evicted from my apartment. Failing to pay bills would cause trouble for me whereas neglecting laundry and housework would result in a dirty apartment and potentially being kicked out by my roommates. Additionally, in the past, I used to come home to delicious meals prepared by exceptional cooks – my parents. These daily dishes were something I eagerly looked forward to as they always varied. Unfortunately, since I live alone now, I am unable to enjoy their cooking anymore as neither of my roommates cook; they are frequently absent from the apartment.
Instead of relying on pre-made meals, I now have to go grocery shopping for cooking ingredients. Despite feeling tired upon returning home, I feel the urge to prepare my own meals daily. However, this task becomes challenging as my laziness kicks in and I end up eating fast food twice a week. Living independently is a stark contrast to living with my parents; when I resided with them, I was unaware of what it meant to be alone or experience depression and stress. Nonetheless, this new situation necessitates me learning how to care for myself like an adult. Although I still long for comforting conversations with my parents, I am gradually adapting to this new lifestyle.
While I miss the nutritious and tasty meals from my parents, I am currently developing the skills to prepare them on my own. Despite recognizing the numerous benefits of living with my parents, this experience is fostering independence and appreciation within me. It offers a valuable chance to assume additional responsibilities and acquire self-care knowledge.