We’ve all been there. Well, maybe not, but there are so many reasons that people move back home as young adults and yet we still seem to feel weird or bad about it. I’m living the shack life with the rents currently, as are many of my fellow college grads, and we all want to tell you that’s it’s ok and here is how to make it a little more ok-er.
Ditch the Shame Factor
We lovely Americans like to call people failures for a lot of things. You’re a failure if you didn’t go to college and you’re a failure if you are now in debt for going to college. Clearly you’ve failed if you are single and anywhere near the town you grew up in, especially if you are not making enough to have your own place. I’m going to tell you something that I hope you’ve all learned by now: America is often wrong! If you don’t believe me, believe these helpful lists I found on the internet.
18 Radically Successful People that Lived with their Parents (though the Jennifer Lawrence one doesn’t really count, who knew Yankee Candles started from a parent’s garage!)
11 Very Successful People Who Had a Tough Time (Horrible title, good info! Wendy Davis was a college dropout and a single mom and now she is still those things and so much more!)
The point is, no one single point in your life defines every other point in your life, so don’t stress about what other people think.
Make the Space Work for You
Yes, you may be staying in the same room you grew up in, but it doesn’t have to look like that. Try and reorganize your surroundings to match the adult that you have become instead of the kid you once were. Talk to your parents about letting you have more personal space or privacy or about doing some painting and remodeling (this works best if you are actually paying some rent).
Act Like an Adult
This sounds obvious, but “revertigo” is a real thing. It is easy to just sit on the couch while your mom brings you a sandwich or to let your dad give you a ride to the beach. To battle these habits, start making your own food, maybe get your own car or use public transportation, do your own laundry, basically be as independent as possible while still being claimed as a dependent on someone else’s taxes. This will help your parents remember that you are an adult who makes their own choices and will make it easier for your to eventually get up and out.
Get a Job
I know jobs don’t grow on trees, and I also know that one reason you may be living with parents is that you don’t have a job or have a job that doesn’t pay you enough or can’t find a job. I’m asking you to lower your standards just a tad (which is something I usually never say, so this is big advice!). Find that job that is not terrible but also not permanent. Why, you may ask? This is ideal time to save money. When you get that paycheck from said job, you will be putting an extra $500/month of rent, utilities, internet, and water right back into your pocket and doesn’t that feel damn good.
ALSO do not underestimate the potential for a job to get you out of your house and into meeting new people. Maybe focus less on what you are doing and more on who you are doing it with. Try and find people your own age or people you admire and work with them. Work in a town that is more exciting than your town and that maybe has one bar. Strategically make your availability for times when your parents are home so that you basically never see them and can forget that you are living there.
Of course, not everyone can commute to a job or find an ideal one, soooo
Embrace the free time you may be faced with to start working on new and potentially lucrative hobbies! Just look what making candles in a garage can bring you.
Get a pinterest account. Read more books, watch more movies, get crafty, learn to play an instrument, write poems, learn origami; really the possibilities are endless. Think about that one skill you have always wanted but never had and then get really excited because you might finally have time to achieve that dream. Embrace your status as basically a 20 year old retiree and knit that sweater!
The freshman 15 is nothing compared to the college graduate 30. Now your metabolism has really slowed. Now you can no longer rely on walking to class to burn calories or shopping on a budget to stop you from buying calories (see: Mom’s cooking). Don’t let this get you down! Exercise is a great way to get out of the house and boost your mood. Start running, hiking, walking, biking, yoga, use some of that extra dough to join a gym, whatever works for you but start working. Now is the time in your life when you make habits that stick. Decide to be the person who works out at least 30 minutes three times a week.
Most importantly, remember to hang in there! This is just one part of your life! You have a roof over your head and people who care about you, and that’s a whole damn lot.