You may even consider joining the growing trend of young people moving back in with their parents.
More than half of American youth between 18-24 live at home. The same is true of Canadian youth between 20 and 29.
While you might not be thrilled at the prospect, a recent New York Times op-ed argues that living at home helps young people develop clearer goals and start their professional lives on steadier ground than going it alone.
Here’s some advice to help you with the adjustment.
While moving home will likely involve less freedom, the restrictions your family once placed upon you may slacken. If you had a curfew as a teenager, it might get pushed back or removed entirely. On the downside, you’ll probably be saddled with more chores. Restrictions on partying, unexpected visitors and the amount of communication your family expects may also be subject to change.
Take some time to reflect on the living environment in your family home. Ask yourself what rules your family might expect you to follow, and what accommodations you feel you’re entitled to.
Once you’ve given your living situation some thought, have a frank conversation with your family well in advance of your move-in. Know what your priorities are, especially if you think you’ll encounter resistance. Be prepared to push for one or two key things, not everything you want.
While it may not be fun to acknowledge, your parents are allowed to set whatever rules they want while you live at home. Stay calm. Nothing will detract from your “grown-up” discussion like a child-sized tantrum.
Try to arrive at a consensus before you’re back home, as you may find your family less interested in discussing rules once you’re already moved in.
You may get some peace of mind by establishing firm boundaries about your space within the house.
If you’re searching for work or working from home, you may find yourself missing the peace and quiet of your old living space. Ask your family to give you some privacy, particularly if you have attention-seeking pets or younger siblings.
You can also exercise more control over your schedule. Tell your new roommates that impromptu gatherings or family activities might not fit with responsibilities you’ve taken on.
Be aware that none of these strategies will be of much use if you’re looking for excuses to laze about and be unproductive, or if you’re simply trying to avoid unpleasant family functions.
When you’re busy, it can be pretty easy to fall into the habit of treating home like a hotel, only stopping in to eat or sleep. You’ll have fewer opportunities to spend time with your family once you find that dream job and move out, so it’s important to make the most of occasions as they arise.
Set aside some regular time to catch up, even if it’s just at the dinner table. Make sure you’re pulling your weight around the house and helping out wherever you can. Maintaining this contact will remind you and your parents alike that you aren’t just a hotel guest.
While moving back home will always involve giving something up (even if it’s just space in the fridge), it’s important to focus on the positive side, and go into the readjustment as well-prepared as possible.
Are you a college student or recent grad who’s had to move back in with your parents? Tell us about it in the comments!