It’s ok to live with your parents after college

I promise. Social conventions mean nothing in the face of your own safety, comfort, or happiness. I know some people think it’s a cop out, or “cheating at adulting,” or whatever. But seriously. It’s okay, and here’s why.

To start, I do want to say that I realize not everyone has this kind of luxury. Some parents may not be able to afford this (especially if there are several children), some parents may not support this, some parents may live in undesirable areas, or just if people are estranged or otherwise separated from their parents. But if you are one of the lucky young adults who have parents that are willing to support you (financially, etc.) for a few more years, and the all-around living conditions are amenable to your life, I think it’s a little silly to turn that kind of opportunity down. Of course, I say this as someone who is living with their parents as an (almost) adult, so I am a little biased, haha.

The biggest advantage of living with your parents is obviously the low/non-existent cost of living. Chances are, your parents have a steady living situation. Maybe they’ve paid off their mortgage already (mine did), or make a steady income to pay for their house/whatever. They have a place to live and that place is likely where they will live for a long time. That place is also likely where you grew up and came back to during breaks in college, so there’s almost guaranteed room for you. And because they’re your parents, they won’t charge you rent (most likely; I have a friend whose parents actually were going to charge full rent, so he lived elsewhere, but in most stories I’ve heard parents didn’t charge or charged very little). I’m lucky in that my parents also buy me food and let me use their wifi and all that good stuff. (place to live + food + wifi = happy me). I hardly have to pay for anything (I mean, I pay my credit card bill…). Yeah, you’re still going to have to clean and stuff, but you’d be doing that if you live by yourself as well, so it’s nbd at all.

When I left for college, I didn’t bring all of my stuff with me. (How could I? I was going to have like half a small room for myself.) My parents live in a really spacious, four-bedroom home in the suburbs, so I had my own room plus some growing up. I mostly just left my stuff at home, and just brought the necessities with me to college. Even when I got my own apartment (with roommates) and my own bedroom, I didn’t completely fill it up. My space at home is still the one that is most suited for me and my needs. Why fix something that isn’t broken? If I left and lived elsewhere, I’d have to start all over again with creating a living space that I feel comfortable in. Compared to that, staying with my parents and going back to my childhood home definitely wins.

My parents live in a nice area. It’s in the suburbs, but close enough to downtown and a university that I can commute (I work at the university) with little problem. Yeah, it’s a long commute, but not that long by national standards. I have use of a car sometimes (I currently don’t have my own). Public transportation is pretty reliable and convenient and affordable. All considered, my personal situation is pretty much ideal for me. I’m saving like tons of money (by foisting off a bunch of the cost to my parents, yeah), and not sacrificing all that much.

Of course, living with your parents is not without downsides. For the people who are both able and willing to live with their parents still, I think one of the biggest obstacles may be location. This was a concern for me as well, because my parents live in the suburbs and there’s not a lot of places where I could find work that supports my career goals. But I am willing to deal with an hour-long commute, so it wasn’t too large of an obstacle. I’ve heard of some people and also have some friends whose parents don’t live close enough to wherever they want to find work, which prevents them from moving back home even when they want to.

But the very biggest problem that I’ve noticed is pride. As young adults in their 20s, we are just beginning to become truly independent adults. Moving back in with parents brings up a huge barrier preventing us from gaining that independence. It’s like going back to high school all over again (not the worst thing, but not desirable either). Your parents might also go back to treating you like a child because you are once again (or still) dependent on them. This loss of independence is kind of a huge blow to your personal pride. It’s kind of like a failure, that you haven’t grown enough to be able to make it on your own yet. This is the way that society seems to think. American society generally greatly values independence, so being dependent on your parents when you are supposed to be at an age where you can be independent is not seen favorably. In my humble opinion, fuck that. So what if you can’t support yourself yet? Is there a time limit where you have to be able to support yourself by? There are no laws that force you out of your parents’ home (as long as that relationship is amicable, obviously). If there’s one thing I learned in college, it’s fuck societal pressure. I think it’s ridiculous to not use all the resources you have in order to create the life you want to live. If that means having to depend on your parents for a few extra years more than your peers, so what? I mean, my parents are perfectly willing to do so, I am still in a position where I’m continuing to build myself up to reach my goals; I’m basically doing what my peers are doing, and saving myself a lot more stress from trying to pay the bills and whatnot. Like, in this economy (or even if the economy is flourishing), I don’t think there’s any shame in accepting help. I don’t care if it’s childish. Plus, my parents are also able to provide emotional support for me, and it’s very convenient having more experienced adults right there to help you if you need it. (Seriously, though, how many of us really knows how to do taxes? Budget money? Plan meals?) I know this society tends to place a lot of importance on figuring things out and doing things yourself, but honestly, as long as you don’t develop a crutch on others, I think you should use all the resources you have to help yourself.

TL;DR Living with your parents is great (in the right circumstances, which I have) and fuck anyone who says otherwise.

Cheers ୧ʕ ⇀ ⌂ ↼ ʔ୨

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