Home. Home by definition is a place where one lives that offers shelter, which usually refers to a permanent residency for a period of time.
In our society, in the American culture, autonomy is prioritized. Moving out of your parents’ home and living on your own is crucial to proving your independence, and being independent is a way to convey to others your success in life.
Living alone can have its perks. You have your entire living area to yourself. You don’t have to worry about respecting another person’s space, having quiet hours, cleaning up after yourself, and so on and so forth.
To an extent, living alone gives a person unlimited freedom to do whatever they please in their home.
I’ve always looked forward to the day of having independence and having my own place to call home. But it is not something that I’m in a rush for anymore, and it was all because three friends came together and decided to live in a house together.
One Friday night, after a long day, all I could think about was coming home to my two roommates and snuggling up on the couch with a blanket and watching a movie with them. No conversing. No energy involved. Just silence. Just the comfort of their presence beside me.
As I made my way from my car to my front door, exhaustion from the day was settling in my body and the thought of the comfort of my living room couch brought me joy. I walked into my house, and there they were.
My roommates were sitting on the couch just about to hit “play” on the TV to watch “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.” I dropped my bags to the floor and sat in between them as the Harry Potter theme song began to fill the silence of our house.
We ate our late-night dinner and recited lines from the movie until we started to fall asleep. We made our way up to our rooms, but not without saying “goodnight, love you” to each other.
Humans are social creatures. Going back to the days when we hunted and gathered for survival, it was a group effort. Humans even have mirror neurons that cause us to react in certain ways based on observing others' actions.
We are not meant to be alone. It is not in our nature.
So why do societal standards tell us we should strive to be alone? Especially when you reach a certain age, society looks down upon living with roommates.
Some people see roommates as a sign that you don’t have skills or money to take care of yourself. But societal standards are often flawed and put unnecessary pressure on humans –– living situations being one example. So why not break societal norms, and live the way you want to live?
Coexisting in the same household is one thing. But living with your friends is special. It's like an endless sleepover with each other. We laugh together. We cry together. We protect each other from house spiders and rant to each other about life.
We’re there for each other through the ups and downs.
And I know that they’ll still love me, even though my recycling skills are still not up to par.
One day when we’ve graduated from college and gone our separate ways, I know I’ll look back on and reminisce about these days.
As of right now, I’m okay with not breaking away and being on my own. And I have my roommates to thank for making me appreciate having someone to come home to.
Natalie Fitzgibbons (she/her) is a junior studying journalism with a minor in American studies. She hopes to inspire people with her words and make a positive impact in people’s lives and the world.