If you’re over 22 years old and graduated from college, you might be waking up in a place that you never though you’d be again: your childhood home. That’s the case for me and has been for over two years. The plan at eighteen was simple: go to college, graduate from this college, get job, rent apartment, get the man of my dreams, etc. Easy enough, right? Unfortunately, the failing economy brought that simple plan screeching to a halt right after graduate from college. My job hunt became desperate; I interviewed for a job checking addresses for a newspaper and then interviewer said, “Are you sure you aren’t trying to apply for a job writing?” Of course I wanted that job but he didn’t have that job to give to me. Then a chance decision led to my current job working with the elderly. It wasn’t the dream art museum job (this fantasy now seems like a dream from another life) and it certainly did not pay anywhere close to my dream salary. Not that I had a dream salary but that would salary would most definitely include enough to cover rent on a small one bedroom apartment in an area safe enough for a young female college grad. Hey, I would have even taken a studio! But I didn’t even make that much and the unthinkable but inevitable occured: I was moving back in with my mom.
After going away for college things like having a large living space to call your own, going out with friends any time you want and cooking and cleaning for yourself seem like an undeniable right. When you move back in with family, they are not. You must adjust and it’s hard. It’s not only hard for you but it’s hard for your parents. Think about having a fully grown adult move into your space with their own ideas and needs. On top of it, this adult is someone you still consider your child and want to help but maybe aren’t sure how. There may be fights and there may be stalemates but there is also advantages. You just have to give yourself and your parents the time to adjust and consideration for everyone as you make the transition back to home.
Living at home for this new crop of college grads is more normal than ever before and you can do it. The most important thing to remember is that you don’t own this home. Until you are paying the mortgage on your first home, you don’t own the place you call home. Even if you were able to move into an apartment, you’d have to abide by the rules of your landlord. There will still be rules to follow at home, even if you don’t agree with your parents. If it’s easier, think of your parents as your landlord. You wouldn’t risk getting kicked out on your butt for not taking out your trash, would you?
You should also take the time to talk to your parents. You want to be considered an adult and, well, adults talk. They discuss the issues they have with one another; they definitely do not yell and slam doors or whatever childish behavior you might lapse into around your parents. It can be easy to slide back into old habits from childhood when you’re back in your twin bed but don’t let that happen. Handle problems like an adult and you’ll receive adult respect.
Finally remember that it’s only temporary. You will most likely move out within a year or two and finally achieve the independence you crave. Be thankful that you have a family that will take care of you and support you in your time of need when many others do not. Unlike others, you do not have to struggle to make ends meet. You have a warm bed to sleep on every night. If living at home still gets you down, try to remember that.