In the past, it was avoided at all costs. Yet due to the current economic slump, more and more college graduates are choosing to move back home. In November of 2009, CNN reported that new college graduates had 40 percent fewer job prospects. Unfortunately, its not only the bleak economy that has the current crop of twentysomethings rethinking their post-graduation plans. In May of 2008, the Washington Post reported that wages for new grads haven’t kept pace with inflation, and rising student loan and credit card debt and a troubled housing market make a return to the nest more likely.
Are you planning to move back with Mom and Dad? Youre not alone. Naturally, some may find the transition extremely difficult. Fortunately, weve got eight helpful survival tips for the post-independent shock.
1. Learn How to be Financially Responsible
This is probably one of the most important things to put on your priority list. One of the main reasons why youve decided to move back in with the rents is due to finances, right? So why not take this as an opportunity to learn how to be more fiscally responsible? If youre one of the many thats left college with a degree and a pile of student loans, addressing the current state of your finances may be a good jumping off point. Make an expense list to help you be more aware of where your money is being spent. Try to cut out things that are frivolous and unnecessary. If youre living at home (and rent-free, if youve got generous parents), then you probably shouldnt be going on shopping sprees at the mall.
2. Set Guidelines with Your Parents
You may be back in your old room, but that doesnt mean that your parents want to be transported back to your high school days. After all, it wouldnt be realistic to impose those same rules on you now that youre an adult. Nevertheless, they still deserve your respect. Its probably not going to be easy trying to readjust to living at home again, so its beneficial for both parties to lay down some ground rules. Talk about how you want to divide your privacy. Is a closed door equivalent to a Do Not Disturb sign? If you think about it, establishing these types of guidelines isn’t that much different than sharing a dorm or an apartment with a roommate.
3. Reassess Your Daily Routine
Now that youre home, its probably a little discourteous to come barreling through the front door at 3 am after bar hopping with your best friends. Depending on your parents, you may have to reassess and reorganize your daily routine. Are there times when your parents need absolute peace and quiet? Were sure that you had that one annoying college roommate who, night after night, would stumble into the room and wake you up with her elephantine stomping. You really dont want to be that roommate, do you?
4. For Once, Listen to Their Advice
For years, whenever Mom or Dad started a sentence with When I was your age you automatically stopped listening. Now that youve given up your independence, so to speak, why not take the time to actually listen to what they have to say? Take the opportunity to talk to your parents about your situation, especially when it comes to job hunting and career planning. Even if your parents dont have any connections to land you that dream job in advertising, they may know the best ways to save money or pay off credit card debt. After all, they were in your shoes once.
5. Get Out of the House
So youre unemployed. We understand. Nevertheless, an absent income isnt an excuse for resigning to a Jeff Lebowski-type existence. Although you may not have your dream job, this is a good time to secure an internship, sign up for some volunteer work, or even get a part-time job. In order to battle cabin fever, its wise to look for outlets that get you off the couch and out of the house. Keep in contact with old bosses, internship supervisors, teachers, and/or mentors. You never know — they could be writing your recommendation once a job opportunity pops up!
6. Break Bad Habits
Who says resolutions only have to come at the start of the year? In addition to constant access to a well-stocked fridge, one of the benefits of living at home is having the chance to develop healthy living habits. Are you slacking on the exercise? Do you not get enough sleep at night? What are some of the things that are bringing you down? The first step is identifying the negative factors. The next is realizing that you have the ability to change them.
7. Reconnect with Old Friends
Chances are that your best friends are in the very same position. Why not make the most of your collective unemployment and catch up? For many people, as the years pass, it gets harder and harder to keep in touch with the people that matter most. Take this as an opportunity to visit that friend you havent seen in awhile. Once youre back in the job market and on your designated career path, itll be full-speed ahead. Ferris Bueller was right: life really does move pretty fast, and if you dont stop and look around once in awhile, you might miss it.
8. Plan Your Escape
Living at home can be great, but youll eventually have to leave. Instead of thinking about your situation as endless, try to set a departure date. If you have a goal in mind, youll be more motivated to reestablish your independence. It may be comforting to reclaim your old bedroom, but the last thing you want is to feel so comfortable that you never want to leave.