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High school is over. You hung around the house all summer, throwing back more graduation parties than anyone person could possibly stomach, and you couldn’t be more ready for the next big step. For many  high school graduates, that means College. As we all know, College means dorm life, dorm food, new friends and crazy parties away from the folks…except when you don’t leave home. While distance learning may sound appealing, I mean hey you can get a top online PhD and that is pretty impressive. But, it may limit College’s earth shaking appeal.

For an increasing number of college students living away from home during college is simply not feasible. With college tuition shooting through the roof, more students are forced to continue living under their parents’ as living at home can certainly limit future debt. While those savings will definitely be appreciated once the debt is expected to be paid off, let’s face it…living at home during college sucks.

For many 18-year olds it, feels like a bum rap. The idea of college as a time of independence and experimentation has become iconic throughout pop-culture. Sure, “Animal House” takes place in the fifties, but for a college freshman, the idea of co-eds in togas is timeless and Dad in his bathrobe just doesn’t cut it. If you are a cash-strapped college kid forced to lived at home, there are options. Here are a list of ways you can approximate the wonderful decadence of college-life, without ever leaving dear old Mom and Dad. They may not be pretty, but darn it, you have to do something.

-Experiment with new substances: You’re folks may not have the same quality stash as that hippie-guy with the strobe-lighting in his dorm and the odd-smelling cologne, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have their own share of unorthodox relaxation methods. Try your Mom’s Tylenol PM or Dad’s Ben-Gay. You might not feel good, per-se, but at least it’s an altered state.

-Chug! Chug! Chug!: Okay, so you’ll never have the same stories about mixing Guinness with Jager with Bacardi with Natural Ice. In many ways, this is a good thing. Anyway, when your friends come back for the holiday, you’ll be able to drink them under the table when it comes to boxed chardonnay and merlot.

-The Opposite Sex: Yeah, this one is tough. The only people around are your siblings in grade school, and their annoying friends and the weird retired neighbors who glare if you get too close to their lawn ornaments. No triads or Delta Gamma ladies anywhere. No panty raids to be found, and if there were, well, you wouldn’t want to be a part of them.

So, you’ve made the most of it, and let’s face it, the situation still stinks. HOWEVER…there is one advantage here, and it’s a doozy. All the other students your age living in your town are all in the same, crappy boat. Stuck at home, jealous of their friends living it up at college, seething in quiet desperation…and desperation mixed with jealousy, my friend, is a potent mix my friend. Scour the local Denny’s, IHOP, or your towns equivalent at two-in-the-morning for other wayward live-at-home college students searching for any sort of escape. You’ll find a group so repressed, so ready to party, that anything could happen. Make some memories (or don’t), do it on your terms, and make those snotty jerks at college jealous of whatever debauchery you can come up with.

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