So often I hear other millennials say, “but I still live at home” with a tone of embarrassment and sadness. For the longest time that was my part of my response when being asked what I’ve been up to since college. It’s natural. We have been conditioned to believe that once we graduate college, we are “true adults.” Meaning we shouldn’t be “mooching” (I cannot stand that word) off our parents and should have our own home, new car, great job and possibly a relationship on the road to marriage. But sadly, we aren’t living in the era where all those expectations are realistic anymore. Things move at such a slower pace, it can be quite hard for some of us to cope. Especially since we are the generation of instant gratification.
The expectation of moving out of our parent’s home permanently is one I would like to assume most of us deal with. It’s just not realistic. As a college student, there is no way I could have afforded my own home after recently graduating. It’s not even on my list of priorities!
Remember, coming to terms with the fact of moving home will take time. It’s not instantaneous. But also keep in mind, there are great changes you will notice by living at home with family. Here are a few reasons why you should not be ashamed to admit you still live with your parents:
Great Financial Move
Fortunately enough, in college I received grants mostly and only had to take out a loan to finish my last year of undergrad. Though it was wasn’t a huge amount of money, having the weight of owing any amount of money is daunting. Thoughts like, “what if I’m in debt forever?” whirled around in my head. Don’t get me wrong, they still do, but not as frequent anymore. Moving back home with my mother has saved my financial ship from going under. In college, I dreamed of having an actual nest egg in my savings account. Now, I actually do. Stressing over money to the intensity of giving myself a migraine is gone. My relationship with my finances is at a healthy point where I feel like a “real adult” who makes payments on time and still enjoys living my social life.
Built In Support System
My mom has always been my rock and biggest fan. Though we’ve gone through our rough times when I was struggling with treatment for my eating disorder, it only made our relationship stronger. This honestly has to be the biggest advantages to moving back home for me. I like to believe that I am a independent person in all aspects, especially with my emotions. But truth is, no healthy person is. We all have the solid group of friends who we go to for advice, and sometimes that person is a parent. I’m lucky enough to have my group of friends I’ve known since grade school and have a parent I have such a close bond with. Having that support everyday has had a huge impact on my life and mental health. To have someone constantly rooting for you is the best feeling.
When I lived out of my mom’s house, I saw her maybe once a week. I can’t count on my fingers the amount of times I saw any of my extended family. Reflecting on it now, it makes me quite sad. I missed out on a lot of time with my loved ones. I missed my younger cousins growing up into rebellious teenagers. I missed watching my grandma adjust to her freedom as a new retiree. There is so many things I missed out on. And in turn, a lot of my relationships with my family members became strained.
“Love your parents. We are so busy growing up, we often forget they are also growing old.”
But now, being back in the family environment I feel so much more connected and in tune with every person in family. No, I don’t see them every week, but we communicate more. I think of them more. I am able to see how much family matters, and how I should always be making them a priority, because truthfully, they are all we have.
But now, being back in the family environment I feel so much more connected and in tune with every person in my family.
Freedom to Explore Different Career Options
I worked two jobs during college and I wasn’t happy at either of them. One was menial work which didn’t intrigue me at all. The other was extremely intense and demanding of me. But being a student who was responsible for rent, bills and part of tuition I had no choice but to stay employed with these two jobs as I had financial responsibilities I could not just push off onto someone else. Now that I live at home one huge responsibility is gone: rent. Woohoo! By just eliminating that one responsibility I had a huge weight lifted from my shoulders.
It also gave me the freedom to quit both of the jobs I wasn’t thriving in to explore other job opportunities. Since living at home I’ve worked two jobs simultaneously, quit one for the other, and went back to the other (meaning two jobs at once again). The freedom to be able to do that was great. I was able to try out different schedules and find what flows with my life without worrying about the financial responsibilities I still had.
Traveling is Easier
Without having a rent payment, you have more money to play with. I haven’t traveled anywhere yet, but trust me, I’ve got big plans for 2017! The want to travel while living at home can make a lot of things easier than when you were living on your own. Have a pet? You don’t have to be too concerned with finding somewhere to board them, because by now your family should have already accepted your pet as their pet. Real life, my mom loves my Maltipoo and has no problem watching her when I go on small trips. The extra money gives you the freedom to plan a trip on a whim. It allows you to just do the thing, and enjoy all there is to experience.
Though there are great benefits to living at home with your parents. It’s only realistic to know there will be days you will struggle with the idea of being a college graduate who still lives with their parents. Here’s my one piece of advice for you: Remember, it’s temporary. This is not your ending. It’s your transition into your new chapter. Enjoy it for what it is.