Reassuring enough, watching a lot of my college and high school friends move back home permanently made me realize I wasn't alone. When I was able to finally put my emotions aside I realized: hey! as a matter of fact, a lot of people I know decided to move back home after graduation.
So it cant really be that bad, can it? The more important question is, how can you stay sane when facing financial issues, family drama, and all the potential pitfalls of returning home after school? Lucky for you readers, I'm here to show you how, and hopefully you might find that it’s not as bad as it sounds.
First, lets list some pros:
Rent is cheap (like the cost of an electricity bill), or if you're lucky, free!
One of the major benefits of heading home after school is that unlike living in a dorm or an apartment, staying in your childhood bedroom is free of charge! You might want to take down those embarrassing N’SYNC posters, but otherwise, living at home comes with this notable, wallet-friendly perk. Unless your parents have asked you to chip in monetarily, moving back home will give you the unique opportunity to save money while planning your next move, before your student loans start coming due
You have time to make a plan:
One of the major benefits of not rushing into a job or internship right after graduation is that if you’re like millions of other grads and don’t know exactly what you want to do with your freshly minted college education yet, you’ll have plenty of time to figure it out in the comfort of your own home.
Reuniting with old friends:
Even though you and your best girlfriend from high school pinky-promised you’d be best friends forever, many changes take place between high school and college. The good news is she’s back home for the summer, too, and after attending school on opposite ends of the country, you’ll finally be able to reconnect! You can visit all your old high school haunts and catch up on everything that’s happened over the past few years, and if it’s as good a friendship as you think it is, you two probably won’t miss a beat when you meet up again.
Andddd... OF COURSE THERE'S CONS!:
Less privacy and less independence:
Remember your high school days, when mom and dad wanted to know where you were going, who you were going with, what you were doing and when you’d be back? Now you’re in your early 20s, and they still want to know all of that information. Just because you have a car (if you’re lucky) and a college degree doesn't mean they’re any less curious about your life and who’s in it and when it’s taking place. It can be challenging to keep your cool while maintaining the hard-won independence you found while away at school, and throwing a good old-fashioned teenage tantrum can become oh-so-tempting. Resist the urge to lash out at your parents, who are not only giving their college grad a free place to stay but are also coming from a place of parental concern, not nosiness.
Falling into a rut:
Keep in mind that you’re officially a college-educated adult now, do not revert back into old teenage habits. Your parents are nice enough to let you move home after school and provide for you, so show them your appreciation by being responsible. Clean up after yourself, do your own laundry and make your own meals. If you’re clueless in the kitchen, ask your parents! They’ll probably be pleased by your initiative and it’ll make for a great bonding moment.
Readjusting to a quieter social life:
Whether you lived in a dorm or in an apartment for most of your college life, you know how easy it was to find someone who wanted to hang out. After simply walking down the hall and knocking on a few doors or sending out a text or two, you had plans for the night and could successfully procrastinate on your term paper. But now, your friends are all over the place and it will take a bit more effort to get together.
And last but not least, here are some survival tips:
- Expect them to treat you like an adult. You don't need a curfew anymore. Have that discussion before you move in. Some parents may have been in the habit of waiting up for you, so talking about it upfront relieves them from that responsibility. Also, before college mom may have done your laundry and prepared your meals. If you allow her to continue to do that for you, you're subliminally telling her that you're still a child. Don't be surprised if she treats you like one.
- Expect your parents to supply a pathway, not a destination. Their job is to help you become a fully functional, self-reliant adult—not someone who's dependent upon them forever.
- Be willing to help with routine family chores. If you're not working, it makes sense that you should help with the family grocery shopping or vacuuming.
- Offer to pay part of the utility and grocery bills. You'll be using electricity and hitting the fridge; it’s only fair that you should pay for it. Also, knowing you have bills to pay will force you to look diligently for work, and when you move out and start getting your own utility bills, it won't be such a shock.
- Have a plan to get back on track. Create a detailed plan of what you'll need to do to get your career started and branch out on your own. Make sure the plan contains specific things that will move you closer to your goal. Then, work on at least one item on the list every day.
- Be willing to take a job that's "beneath" you. You could wait years to find a job that exactly matches your education and training. You need money now. Take a fair job today, then look for a better one tomorrow.
- Don't ask your parents for money. When you were a child, you might have gotten an allowance. As an adult, you don't get one.
- Set a target date for moving out. To assume that you can stay as long as you like is to assume that you'll never grow up. Part of your goal should be to have a target of when you'll be able to afford an apartment. Your plan should keep that target date in mind.
- Don't get too comfortable. Comfort is your enemy! You shouldn't be comfortable until you've reached your goals. To get comfortable now is to accept that you'll always be dependent on your parents and will always need to hold their hand when you cross the street.
- Last but not least enjoy yourself! This may seem completely unthinkable if moving back in with your folks was the last thing you wanted to do. However, living at home can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to finally learn your mom's secret recipes and your dad's amazing way with woodworking tools. Live it up and take in as much as you can, focus on the positive aspects rather than the negative!
I hope this post has prepared you to handle moving back home after college! Have you already moved home after college? What was it like? Are you still living at home? Let me know below!