When I left college, I never imagined I would move back home with my parents. I was very determined not to land back in the nest. I was lucky to have parents who were supportive, which isn't to say that they weren't also a little bit surprised when I did, in fact, return home. My mom said she always thought that I'd spend some time at home after graduation and hang out with her while I looked for a job, but I ended up graduating a semester early, buying a car with the money I'd saved and heading out to Nashville within two weeks of graduating to take a minimum wage café job and try to become a singer-songwriter – which is basically the perfect recipe for ending up back living with your parents.
Cue the record scratch. My bravado was big – my ego, not so much. By the time I ended up crawling back home, it had been nine months of moderate success coupled with daily rejection, sleepless 5AM shifts, indescribable loneliness, and – the final straw – several brown recluse spider sightings in the house I rented a room in (game over, Nashville.) It sounds so childish, but after all my big, crazy, "I'm-an-adult-hear-me-roar" declarations, I just wanted to go home. And oh, the FOMO was strong. I was suddenly resentful of the brother who stayed home after graduation and spent time with my parents; I was jealous even of the sisters who hadn't graduated yet and still lived at home.
After some lengthy indecision, I moved back in with my ridiculously supportive parents, and a year later, I'm still here. (So are all my siblings. Whoops.) Sure, just like all adjustments in life, returning home isn't always easy. There is new etiquette living as an adult with your parents, and new lessons you'll learn. And despite the slight blow to my pride, I am glad that I did it. I obviously can't stay here forever, but living with your parents as an adult has some beautiful upsides to it:
You'll Never Eat Alone
The first few nights I ate by myself I felt like a super groovy hipster (eating alone is something super groovy hipsters do, right?) I'd go out on the porch and contemplate the meaning of life over my microwave pizza. I don't even know if I noticed the first time I started talking to myself, but it eventually was brought to my attention with enough alarm that I knew something had to change – and fast. Now that I live at home there is always someone around at any given mealtime so that I feel slightly less awkward as I go ahead and occasionally talk to myself anyway.
You Save Money
This is an obvious enough reason, but still worth mentioning. You can't put a price on not paying rent. Actually, you can, and in this area it's WAY more than my sad post-collegiate earnings could afford.
You Already Know Your Roommates
I have found roommates through Craigslist on four occasions. And on four different occasions, I have wondered if I had just unintentionally agreed to live with serial killers. Luckily, they were not, but it's definitely nice not to have the anxiety of wondering who you're dealing with on those first few nights you come home.
You Have The Freedom To Explore Your Interests
There were several times when I first moved back home when panic prompted me to take the first job I could find, with every intention of moving out. I was embarrassed and felt like I had failed some sort of expectation, graduating from a good school with good grades and having nothing to show for it. But those weren't jobs that I loved so much as jobs that I endured, and my parents were very supportive and clear that they didn't mind how long I stayed with them, as long as I left supporting myself by doing something I loved to do (have I mentioned enough times in this article how awesome my parents are?)
You Appreciate Your Parents So Much More
Speaking of how awesome my parents are, you really do get a completely different view of them when you come back as an adult. You get a much clearer sense of everything they went through at your age to get where they are today, and also mad respect for the fact that they not only put up with you for 18 years, but that they're going above and beyond and putting up with you even longer.
All That Ridiculous Nostalgia
You may have left this house for college, but guess what didn't? All the angst-ridden pubescent diaries, gap-toothed pictures, and the Furby that refused to die even when you yanked out its godforsaken batteries. Sometimes when you feel less like yourself than ever, it's good to look back on the good ole days that you might have otherwise forgotten.
Solidarity With Other Millennials
Broke millennials living with their parents should have their own anthem, like the "Single Ladies" dance. Because there are many of us. And once you discover that a friend or acquaintance is a fellow basement dweller, you are bonded for life.
You Finally Get To Be Helpful
Hey, remember all those times you were a total slob in high school and never washed the dishes or walked the dogs? This game has officially been switched into REDEMPTION MODE. It's nice to actually be useful for a change, which is something that never really occurred to me when I was 17.
You Can Explore New Parts Of Your Hometown
Remember that bar you always drove past and could never go to? SURPRISE! You're an ADULT now. In fact, there are all sorts of places in your hometown or city that you might not have thought to go to as a kid because they weren't part of your normal routine or because you didn't have the guts to branch out and explore. Now you've got a second chance to experience it.
The Blessed DVR
I'm broke as all hell, do I look like I can afford to record The Mindy Project without using my parents' TiVo?
Someone Is Always There To Help You Out
The post-graduate world is messy for millennials. Being that we're only human (well, part human, part coffee, and part Instagram, to be specific), every now and then, we're unavoidably going to feel frustrated or down. We all left college with the expectation that things were going to work out for us a lot faster than they are. But the beauty of living at home is that there is always someone you love there to give you a pep talk, be it your parents or a sibling or even the dog (I feel like he has good intentions, at least.)
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