Graduation day is drawing nigh. You are excited about finishing school. At the back of your mind, however, a thought keeps nagging you; where will you live after graduation. Worry not, for you are not alone. Millions of college graduates are faced with this dilemma every single day.
Everyone expects a college graduate to be wholly independent immediately after graduating. The truth is that this is not the case for most people. Harsh economic times have made it especially hard to get jobs. Those who get jobs soon enough have to contend with measly salaries; scarcely sufficient to pay rent and cater for their expenses. These dire circumstances leave one with only one option; to move back home.
But living with your parents after graduation is not the same as before. For one, now you are an adult, fully expected to behave like one. You cannot resort to your childish tendencies such as whining and complaining. You cannot play video games the whole day like you did when you were a teenager. You are expected to show responsibility; to help out with chores, to chip into the bills and expenses if you have a job and to have a plan in mind of when and how you are going to move out.
Despite their expectations, your parents may not fully appreciate that you are an adult. They may still want to make decisions for you. They may expect you to follow the rules they set for you as a child. This could create so much tension between you and them. Moving back home after graduation could be pleasant but it could also be stressful. Below are a few pros and cons of moving back home that you should consider before you make that important decision.
1. It is cheap
Your entry level salary is barely going to be enough to cover the rent of that modest studio apartment, let alone your other expenses.
Living at home affords you decent accommodation at absolutely no cost. You have free board, free food and sometimes even free laundry cleaning. You are never going to get such a deal again, ever! Plus if you don’t have a job, it cuts out the worry of wondering where your next meal will come from or when the landlord will come knocking on your door.
2. It gives you time to adjust
Transitioning from a college student to a fully independent adult is not easy.
You are probably used to dorm rooms and dining hall food. You still think it is okay to sleep all day and party all night. You probably think you can live on biscuits and canned soda. Or you binge-watch Netflix movies all day long. You have lived this life for four years. It is not easy to change your college habits. Living at home will help you gradually get used to real life. It will jolt you back to reality.
3. You have time to put your finances in order
The average college student graduates with a student loan debt of more than twenty thousand dollars.
It is not easy to pay this debt off with your first-job salary when you have additional living expenses to think of. When you live at home, your expenses are catered for so you can divert some money to your debts. In this way, you can slowly clear your loan. Also, you have the opportunity to save up. You can save the money that you would have used for living expenses. This will set you up your future. Eventually, when you move out, the savings can help you start off well.
4. You can dangle with many career options
Perhaps you want to volunteer at this big multinational organization. Or you are thinking of starting a business. Or maybe you are toying with the idea of some non-traditional career options. You cannot follow these options if you are living on your own.
The pressure that comes with having to make enough to live on may prevent you from changing careers or starting a new venture. When you live at home, the pressure will not be there. You can quit your job at any time and start anew without worrying about where the rent will come from.
5. You can reconnect with old friends
Remember your best friend from high school. They probably just moved in with their parents too.
Moving home will give you the opportunity to rekindle that friendship. You could be friends for life. You may even find a soul mate among your old contacts. On the flipside, you are certainly going to meet that person that you didn’t like but who knows? You could even become friends.
6. You have a great support system
Being in your twenties and just starting out in life is not easy. Going through this time on your own may be nerve-wracking.
When you live at home, your parents can help you with the ups and downs. They may even offer some helpful advice. You will also learn how to relate as an adult with family members.
1. Loss of privacy and independence
You are used to doing whatever you want from your college days. You love your freedom and would like to keep it that way. You have changed; your parents have not.
They still expect you to inform them of all your movements. They probably want you to abide by a curfew they set for you when you were a teenager. They will want to walk in and out of your room at whatever time. They will want you to do your chores, remember you are used to slacking. All these expectations and the sudden loss of independence is certainly going to put a strain on your relationship. Know beforehand what they are going to expect and do it. You will certainly surprise them. Remember it is only going to be for a short while.
2. Your social life will take a hit
You are moving away from all your college friends. Your hometown may be full of people of your parent’s age and a whole lot of kids. No one your age lives in the neighborhood; they have all moved out.
You may find the local clubs boring especially if you are used to all the hip clubs in your college city. To make matters worse, you may find your dad in the local pub. The change to your social life may leave you feeling depressed and longing to move out.
3. May hinder your development
When you are used to getting free accommodation and food and not worrying about bills, you may get comfortable. You may move in with your parents with the intention of moving out as soon as you can afford it, but the comfort may make you complacent. Fifteen years down the line you may still find yourself living with them.
You may not be motivated to look for job opportunities. You may easily quit a job, especially if your boss is nagging or you are not feeling fulfilled. This will ultimately affect your resume and in the long run, you may be left behind by your peers. Also, you may find yourself getting tempted to drink up all your salary or buy unnecessary things online.
4. People will judge you harshly
People rarely expect college graduates to move back home. Some neighbors will view you as a failure. Your relatives and your parent’s friends will never stop asking you annoying questions. ‘Have you found a job yet?’ will constantly ring in your ears. And the aunts will never stop asking when you are getting married. If you live in a small community, everyone will stick their nose in your business.
Moving back home after graduation could be a blessing or a curse depending on your view. It could be a stepping stone for a great future or a stumbling block to your great future. Ensure you weigh the above pros and cons before you make that critical decision.