As a recent college grad (we are talking May – What up Class of 2014?) who is working an internship, I am currently living with my parents again. This is something I haven’t done in about four years. I could have chosen the freedom of living on my own (not) and trying to financially support myself with my current internship (basically I would be living in my car). I could have even chosen to stay down in Charleston, my favorite place in the world (see the last sentence – it would be like that, but in Charleston). I chose a different option; to live with my parents.That way I can enjoy both my mother’s cooking and not living in a cardboard box until I get on my feet working steadily at a full-time job.
I get it guys, it’s great living with your parents. Plenty of us do it. Like I said, I’m doing it. There’s nothing wrong with it. There’s nothing wrong with you if you choose to do it. You get food you haven’t eaten in four years (on account of being allergic to cooking anything for yourself). You get the support of your family. You get a little more time to figure it all out while you chase your dream job.
There is another side of living with your parents, and I am not just talking about the readjustment period. I’m talking after the readjustment period. That’s the not so great side. I mean, hey, there are pluses and minuses to everything in life. This just so happens to be a list of those minuses that make you want to move out before you tear your hair out.
1. Going Out
When you are away at college your parents are (obviously) not around. The reason it’s so important for me to stress this very blatant fact is that they are unaware of what you’re doing and when you are getting home. Not that you are up to no good, but it is kind of a freedom thing (which will be elaborated on in reason number 2). You come and go as you please, and your parents don’t care because they don’t have to see it. When you move home, your parents know where you are and when you are coming home. At least they want to know. Which is fine, because to be fair you are living under their roof. However, If I’m out late my mom gets so worried that she can’t sleep until I get home. She says it’s easier when I’m away because she doesn’t have to know about it. Yea, it was easier for me too.
The biggest kicker for going out for me now is your location. If you are like me, your family has a house in the suburbs, which is basically in the middle of nowhere. So if you want to go out for a drink with your friends downtown, you better hope one of them will be kind enough to let you crash on your couch, because a forty-five minute metro ride and a fifteen minute drive home is not gonna fly if you have had a couple of drinks.
When you’re away, you grow as a person. Develop. Come into your own, if you will. You come and go as you please (as I previously mentioned). You sleep, eat, and basically do everything wherever and whenever you want. When you come home, that is not the case. You have to form your habits around the other people living in your house. You can’t eat in the living room because if you spill on the carpet, not even the good lord can save you from your mother. You can’t stay up too late or be too loud because there are people who have actual jobs that they need to be awake for at an unholy hour (because getting up anytime before sunrise is just plain wrong).
3. Younger Siblings
Let me explain this to you: If you are the oldest child like me, (or have any younger siblings at all) you know that they could be a whole list of reasons why on their own. (Disclaimer: I love my brothers, but good lord, I could go on all day about it.) To summarize, they have grown accustomed to your absence. Specifically, the youngest has gotten used to, and enjoyed, the life of an only child. They take your seat at the dinner table. They sometimes want, and maybe even get, your old room because “it’s bigger than mine, and oh come on, she doesn’t even really live here anymore!” They believe that they are above you in the pecking order. Reality check: they’re not. Equal? Sure. But above? Never. Most of the time you start acting like a kid again when you are around them, even though you are an adult now. You just end up bickering with them over the dumbest stuff, like whether Joe Piscopo was on Saturday Night Live or not. (FYI he was, and I don’t want to talk about it.)
This is another one that could be a whole list of it’s own. You love your parents. You are thankful that they are helping you and your broke self out. You even gained a whole new appreciation and respect for them and all they did for you growing up after having to try and take care of yourself at college (like when you called them crying because you turned the majority of your clothes pink because laundry is just not for you). However, when you come home and live under their roof, it’s their rules again. You will always be their little girl/boy. Especially now. They want to know where you are, what you’re doing, if you’re grabbing a drink with your friends, how many drinks you’re grabbing, when you are coming home, etc. I love my parents. They have done more for me than anyone could ever ask. But being my own, slightly more independent self has become important to me, and if they could at least pretend I was all grown up than it would be much appreciated. For they record, we all know they are trying, it just isn’t in their DNA.
My friends are all over the country. However, they seem to be everywhere I am not, minus a few awesome people in my proximity. So if you want to see any of your friends who you don’t work with you or live within an hour’s drive, it’s going to cost you an arm and a leg. And a couple of organs. Trust me. I took a train up to Connecticut to see one of my best friends for July 4th and I almost cried when I saw how much it was going to cost me. Seriously, the cost of travel is ridiculous. People always say you will make new friends, and you will, that doesn’t mean you have to ditch the old. They just have to be worth that ticket to visit them to you (and they are, trust me).
The other problem is that if you were graced enough to live with some of your closest friends like I was, than you know how weird it is to wake up everyday without them. They aren’t there to jump on you in the mornings, make you breakfast in bed on your birthday, to make any menial task an Olympic-sized event, to watch your favorite shows with, etc. Basically you just miss their presence and everything about them. You even miss the time it took you basically all day to watch Frozen because of your combined stubbornness and a terrible internet connection. They made your life a party, and you miss everything about that party. Sure, you can group text, video chat, call, and even write each other. It’s not the same, though. It won’t be unless you move back in together.
6. Accepting That College Is Over
This one might not just be if you’re living with your parents, but if you’re a recent grad and you still have friends who are in college then you will understand. You see all their pictures, their posts about sorority functions, college sporting events, and basically everything fun that you’re not doing. You even miss the not-so-fun parts, like pulling an all-nighter to write a paper, or fighting for a seat in the library towards the end of the semester with people who haven’t been their all year. Sure you could move back to the area, but it will never be the same. That part of your life is over now. You need to accept that you’ve traded your party dress for business casual attire. Your life can still be fun, it’s all about what you make out of it. You can choose to cry about it (which I’ve already done. a lot.) or you can accept it gracefully while looking back on your college days with fondness.