Moving back home with your parents after graduation doesn't have to be as demoralizing as today's twenty-somethings think it is. If you set some clear ground rules, you could actually end up enjoying the experience. Check out this article to find out what steps to take to make the experience less painful.
If you're considering the prospect of moving back in with your parents after graduation, it's probably not a voluntary act. Most likely, it's a consequence of little to no income and poor job prospects. If you've managed to accumulate some debt as well, things are looking even gloomier. Still, moving back home as an adult doesn't have to be quite as horrific as you currently picture it. You can use this time to figure out what you want to do next and save some cash in the process. Here are some tips that will help you get the most of the entire experience.
1. Set Some Ground Rules
If you're used to coming and going as you wish, leaving your dirty laundry scattered around your room, and eating pizza three times a day, your habits will have to change. We're not saying that you won't be able to enjoy your freedom, as most parents understand that the person moving in isn't the same as the person who left the nest a few years ago. On the other hand, they still worry about your well-being even though you're an adult.
That's why it's important to set some reasonable ground rules for everyone involved before you step through the front door of your parents' home. For example, you may feel like a curfew is completely out of the question, but letting your parents know approximately how late you'll be is the decent thing to do. On the same note, your family shouldn't be barging into your room without knocking first. Make sure everyone is clear on how things will work to avoid any issues that may come up along the way.
2. Decide on What Responsibilities You'll Have
Will you pay rent? Will you do the laundry? Will you be expected to do the grocery shopping? Sit down with your parents and decide exactly what your responsibilities will be. People living together have to agree on who does what, when, and how often.
If you're unemployed, lying around the house all day may not work for your parents. They may even require you to take a job you're overqualified for until you find something more suitable. Make sure you understand their expectations.
3. Respect Each Other's Privacy
Closed doors shouldn't be seen as invitations, and private conversations should remain private. Demand your parents to respect your privacy and make sure you respect theirs. Having overnight guests is particularly tricky, so make sure to talk about the issue prior to the move, no matter how awkward. If needed, invest in a set of door locks.
On the other hand, your parents may have developed their own routines while you were gone, so don't interfere with them. If your mom has her friends over every Sunday morning for brunch, don't intrude or force yourself on the group. Don't listen to your parents' personal voicemails or open their letters. To sum it up, don't do anything you wouldn't want them to do to you.
4. Don't Put Your Life on Hold
Just because you moved back home doesn't mean that you need to put your life on pause. Pursue a career, develop a new skill, volunteer, date. Make sure you do your best to continue learning and growing while you're at home. This is a chance for you to build your own life and work on your plans for the future, in the comfort of your own home.
Additionally, you should also appreciate the opportunity to spend more time with your folks. Enjoying yourself may not seem like a possibility now, but think about it this way: you basically got a second chance to deepen your relationship with your parents. Maybe you'll finally get to learn how your dad manages to cook the chicken perfectly or how your mom finds the time to read all those books while simultaneously holding a job and taking care of the household.
5. Set a Time Frame
Moving back home should be indefinite – all birds leave the nest eventually, and so should you. Set a reasonable time frame for how long you're planning on living there. Three months? A year? Until you can afford to get your own place? Until you find a job in your dream city? Talk it over with your parents. Having a clear list of goals will help you know when it's the right time to leave.
Based on a 2011 Pew Research Center Report, the U.S. is now experiencing the largest increase in the number of Americans living in multi-generational households in modern history. According to The Crimson's annual survey of the senior class, even 8-percent of recent Harvard graduates have no definite plans for the near future. Moving back in with your parents may not be your first choice, but it doesn't have to be a daunting experience. Focus on the positive – who knows, maybe if you apply our advice, you'll actually get to enjoy your parents' company.