University of Southern California

Student Life Blog

Living at Home

By Isabella Sayyah Thursday, June 19, 2014

While many of my friends have spread out across the country (and even the world) this summer to new jobs and internships, I’ve remained in L.A. This isn’t that different from a lot of people who are living near USC for the summer while working, except for one thing: while they’re in Gateway apartments or Cardinal Gardens, I’m living at home.

I’m not exactly an L.A. native — I live about forty miles north of USC in a suburban community more known for good schools and quiet streets than a bevy of business and internship opportunities. This makes my situation a little bit tricky. My parents, being both loving and frugal, don’t see why I should pay to rent an apartment in L.A. when we live so close by and I can just stay with them.

One benefit of living at home? Constant pool access.

One benefit of living at home? Constant pool access.

Don’t get me wrong; living at home can be nice. I don’t have to do my own laundry, I eat better meals and I get to log some quality time with family. When I’m at school during the year, I tend to get pretty busy, even on weekends, and only end up coming home for a weekend every four or six weeks. Though I’m working 40 hours a week this summer, by some accounts a full time job, it’s still a lot less than my usual school load of five classes, Daily Trojan every night and (last semester) an internship. So, theoretically, I should have a lot more time to relax at home, see some friends and enjoy my summer.

And I do, kind of. I’m just spending a lot of that time doing a different activity — driving.

My morning commute on the 101.

My morning commute on the 101.

Last semester I had to drive from school to my internship in Venice. And let me tell you, the 45 minutes to over an hour it took to go those 13 measly miles could be painful at times. But going 40 miles from Downtown to Oak Park, where I live, twice a day everyday is on a whole other level.

Luckily, the end of school has come for most, and it seems to have slowed down the traffic. Either that or everyone just happens to be on vacation this week, because the last two days I got home in just over an hour, kind of a miracle. I have my fingers crossed that it keeps up and summer traffic really is lighter, like my parents keep trying to convince me.

Besides the time though, there is another downside to living at home. Being so far away from my friends who either are from L.A. or are staying at school for the summer can be a little isolating. Even many of the other L.A. Times interns are living near the office, making it easy for them to make plans after work or on the weekends, while I feel a little out of the loop with everyone.

As for my school friends who are around for the summer, coordinating can be hard. Everyone has different work schedules and locations, and driving within L.A. during rush hour to meet someone for happy hour can be a pain in itself. And after five days of driving back and forth, usually the last thing I want to do on the weekends is drive back into the city.

So, living at home has been a bit of a challenge these first two weeks of interning. Like everything though, I’m sure I will figure out how to make it all work — interning, driving and seeing friends.

And for those times I can’t, well I’ve got a lot of Netflix to catch up on anyway.