Life after college might not look exactly how you imagined, and if you have to move back home you might be feeling like you’re moving backwards instead of forward.
If this is you, you’re not alone. After completing a four-year degree, 36% of young adults ages 18-31 returned home to their parents according to a PEW research study from 2012. This is a significant rise compared to past generations in the same age bracket. In 2015, this move whether it’s intentional or by default, due to a difficult job market, or underemployment, may be the best thing for recent college graduates. Although it can be frustrating to have four years of freedom taken away upon accepting your degree, moving back home can be a blessing.
First and foremost, it will help you save money. In cities like New York City, the average cost of rent is $3500 for a comfortably sized, one-bedroom apartment. If your parents ask that you assist and pay rent once you move back in, it most likely will not be the whopping $3000 a landlord will expect on the first of every month, use the opportunity your parents are extending to you as a way to begin saving up your coins for when you’re eventually ready to move out on your own, begin an IRA account (because it’s never too early to begin investing in your retirement plan), or go backpacking across Europe, whatever floats your boat.
Sometime within the first week of the move back in, sit down and talk to your parents. Create boundaries and hold up your end of the bargain. Help out around the house whether it may be with groceries, assisting with paying the cable bill or, something simple like housework without asking…show your parents that you’re grateful for their support and college has—to an extent—matured you.
Also, if you’re going to be out late, or not going to go back home at all for the evening, a simple text or phone call notifying them would help. Although you’re not a baby anymore, you’re still their child, and they will worry. Save yourself from a future argument, anxiety and your phone from the fate of 23 missed calls and 11 ‘Where are you???” texts, don’t think of it as checking in with your folks…think of it as a courtesy call.
Lastly, don’t be down on yourself because you have to return home, it’s not a step backwards, it’s still a step forward in the journey of young adulthood.