In May, I moved back in with my parents and started getting serious about my job hunt. While I still don't have a job, I've learned a few things about how to handle living at home when you're at an age where you feel independent. This will be the first post in my series on navigating the post college world without going crazy.
Dear Mama and Daddy, I am so thankful to be living at home for free. I love you both very much. You might want to skip ahead to the end where I talk about the good parts of the experience, though.
Here's what you need to know about living in your parents home
- Say goodbye to privacy
For the past 2 to 4 years, you lived on your own and did whatever you wanted whenever you wanted. But now you're not paying rent... Or living with roommates who don't care if you stay out late or stay in bed for an entire weekend. You're living with the people who created you and who are paying all the bills for the house you're living in.
If your parents are anything like my parents, they will walk in your room without knocking. They will ask you where you're going when you leave the kitchen even if you're only going to the bathroom.
And God forbid you ever want to be lazy for no reason and lie in bed all day watching Grey's Anatomy on Netflix. Being a parent means being a responsible adult. They don't quite understand the urge to be extremely lazy every so often (though to be fair, I have many peers who also don't understand it). Which brings me to my next point...
- Say hello to judgment.
Don't get me wrong. My parents are great. But my roommates didn't judge me for doing stuff like binge watching Netflix or being on my cell phone too much. If I wanted to be bad and get Oreos, my roommates didn't tell me I need to be healthier, they got their own package of Oreos and were bad with me. Your parents probably will judge stuff. I mean it's because they love you and want the best for you. I have this suspicion that they think you're wasting all the wonderful potential they gave you when you waste your time on inane or unhealthy things... They're not necessarily wrong so try to take it with a grain of salt. Feel free to rant about it to your friends or siblings when you need to get it off your chest though.
- Expect to be the errand runner.
"Oh, my grown up child lives at home? I can make her/him do anything I want! I need groceries? Let's give our child the list. Left something in the other room. No need to waste energy on stuff like standing up and walking. The graduate can get it. S/he's young and capable."
This is the monologue I think occasionally goes on in my parents head. The same goes for personal maid. How the parents did things like load the dishwasher and set the table before you moved back in, I don't know. But you parents will not waste free labor. So get used to things like doing other people's laundry (gasp!).
- Junk. Junk everywhere.
During college, your room became your room + the extra storage room. There's also the issue of your room having embarrassing journals from when you were 12 and a whole lot of other stuff you haven't touched in years plus the extra stuff you accumulated throughout college. *This one probably doesn't apply to everyone, but it was definitely an issue for me.
While living with my parents has been an adjustment for sure, it's been good. Most of what I've mentioned are the downsides, but there are so many upsides. I love getting to know my parents as a grown up. There's a whole other dynamic to our relationship now that I'm old enough to take care of myself. My mom and I have Boggle game nights. Last week, I was sick, and I was able to whine to my mom. That's probably the worst part about college: when you're sick you have to take care of yourself and be a grown up. But if you live at home, you can act like a child when your sick. So it's a struggle and a learning experience, but it's definitely rewarding and fun.
Comment and let me know if you've had a similar experience moving back in with your parents. Did you have issues I didn't mention? Let me know. I'd love to let you vent :)
Don't forget to share if you know of anyone who needs to know this or would appreciate it!
Be on the lookout for the next tip in the Post Grad Guide next week. Let me know if you have any particular topic you'd like to talk about!