You’re fresh out of college for the summer and fresh out of options. You can’t afford an apartment and are being kicked out of your dorm room in two weeks. So, where do you go? If the only option is to bunk in with the parents again, have no fear! We are here to help you navigate the good, the bad, and the ugly of your new digs. There are pros and cons to becoming the “Cellar Dweller”, but here’s how to make the best out of your new living situation.
Probably the best part of living at home is all the free stuff. From wine to food to laundry service to maid service, your parents will hook you up with plenty of free goodies. Simply not having to pay for water, electric, and cable is a blessing. It’s a great way to save up some cash and get out on your own faster. Some parents might make you pay rent, for your food, or will keep you paying in stress and chores. But, it does pay off. You’re able to work and save up money to finally fly out of the nest for good, and have some extra cash in your savings once you’re on your own.
Con: The Responsibilities
You’ll have a lot of responsibilities around the house to keep you living rent free. Responsibilities suck, but really, getting everything for free is an offer that’s hard to refuse. You may be in charge of bringing younger siblings to school or work, doing housework, cooking, laundry, or yard work. Sometimes you will literally feel like a soccer mom, carting around your siblings to practice in your mother’s minivan while you drink chardonnay out of your Vino 2 Go cup on the sidelines. At some point, it will occur to you that you are turning into your mother.
Pro: The Responsibilities
You will learn so much from all the errands, chores, and juggling of responsibilities. You will learn how to actually master laundry, learn that vacuums have multiple heads for multiple surfaces, and that clipping coupons can save you a pretty penny. This will prepare you for life once you fly the coop, and help you for years to come.
Con: The Cock Block
It’s 2:35 and last call. You are out with your old high school friends having a great time. You meet up with the guy you had a crush on senior year and almost went to prom with. He’s finally single and it’s your chance. You talk all night and share some drinks and he finally asks you if you two can continue the conversation back at your place. But, you know your parents have their eyes on you constantly. In college, it’s easy to just shove a hook up out the door once you finish. At home, he runs the risk of running into dad on his walk of shame. You won’t be able to avoid the awkward “I live with my parents so I can’t bring you back to my house and bang you like a snare drum” conversation. (But don’t worry, he’s probably crashing at home with his rents, too.)
Pro: Gourmet Meals
The best part of living at home is all the amazing meals you will get every night. These are the meals you grew up with as a child that you couldn’t quite learn how to cook as good as momma did. You won’t have to worry about what is for dinner, and won’t have to cook right after work every night. Goodbye Ramen Noodles, Easy Mac, and stale pizza! Hello steak, real vegetables, and endless home cookin’.
Con: Rules and Regulations
You can’t take a shower at 4:30 in the morning, stay out until sunrise, or have that hook up buddy over on a Monday night. All those years of making your own rules and being in charge of yourself suddenly disappear before your eyes. It’s a hard transition, but the key is to discuss this with your parents. Try to calmly have a conversation with them about what is okay and what is not okay, and reach a compromise so you are aware of the rules. If you are not okay with the rules and your parents are not willing to budge, try proving to them why you should have a later curfew and reminding them that you are, in fact, a responsible adult.
Pro: Family Bonding
For years, you were receiving snaps from your mother of your dog’s ridiculous Halloween costumes, your grandmother’s birthday party, and all those family get togethers. You always felt homesick when you heard of the fun that everyone had, or were jealous how your parents decorated the tree before you came home. By moving back home, you are right in the middle of all the action, and can take part in all the memories that are being made. You will grow closer to your family and strengthen your bond with them …at least, while it’s still endearing and novel.
Con: Zero Privacy
In college, you probably had a common room, kitchen, and little to no supervision. You could do laundry in the middle of the night and sleep until 3PM on a Saturday. When you wanted privacy, you could just kick your roommate out for the night. Now, that’s all taken away? You are living in a small box that holds memories of your childhood with no personal kitchen, living room, or private space. You can’t walk around in a towel at all hours or run naked to your room after you realize you forgot the towel. But, you still need some private time. Talk to your parents about your needs, and set some boundaries and rules about knocking, locking, and privacy.
Con: Bye Bye House Parties
Say goodbye to girls’ nights in and margaritas out. The house parties are likely over, as are your days of jungle juice and themed events. Have no fear, you can still go out to a bar or a friend’s apartment to have a good time. Some parents are okay with their children having friends over, while others are more strict about guests. Respect your family’s rules, and realize you’ll be on your own and able to do whatever you want soon enough. If you really want to have a party, try discussing this in advance with your parents and giving them all the details, being especially aware of who’s invited. Try to work around their schedule, and always get their approval before – even if you’re just inviting your girls over.
No Place Like Home
There are cons to moving back home after college, but there are also cons to living on your own right after. Weigh your options, and carefully consider what’s best for you and your budget! The key to making your new situation work is communication. Try your best to set privacy boundaries, understand rules, and compromise. Moving at home is a great way to save up some money and spend some time with your loved ones, but it can also drive you crazy. Every situation is different, so the key to making yours work is to communicate with your parents and work together to ensure you are on the same page. Hopefully, you’ll both benefit from your new digs while it lasts!