I was recently informed by one of my Twitter followers that I am a loser because I still live with my mom (What’s up, @BrettBarfBag? I see you!). And yes, the rumors are true: I am a 25-year-old college graduate who lives at home with Mom. And guess what? I’m okay with it.
When I left for college in 2005, living at home post-college was a scandal. It meant you were broke/ couldn’t find a job, and/ or were generally a total loser. But guess what? Eight years later, we’re all broke and can’t find jobs. I’m 75% sure I’m not a total loser, but I definitely am living in my hometown… in my mom’s house… at 25. I didn’t make the best grades in college, but I graduated, and I’ve got the papers to prove it.
I can’t lie — I am super embarrassed to be living at home right now, as it’s obviously not what I wrote on the “Where do you see yourself in ten years?” line in the “Graduating Seniors” column of my high school newspaper. Moving back home when you made such a big deal of leaving in the first place (as I did) is a pretty tough banana to peel. Running into a high school acquaintance at Urban Outfitters and muttering your reason for being in town as they pay for a $175 rabbit fur vest while you’re scuttling back toward the sale racks? Even worse.
Despite the occasional humiliation on the downtown strip, I’ve come to accept and even appreciate my status of mid-twenties embarrassment to my parents. I’m super crazy lucky to even HAVE a family that is willing and/ or able to take me in post-college. If I didn’t have them, I’d be just another crazy, college-educated homeless person on the streets of Los Angeles, and for that, I’m exponentially grateful.
I also feel pretty damn ashamed of myself that I care what other people think, but I think it’s more anxiety than anything else. Even though I know I made the right decision in moving home and I’m not just an adult sloth who’s too unmotivated to get a Real Job, there’s a big part of me that feels like I’m failing, and having even the most random people confirm that fear serves as validation for my concern. I admit, I’m still working on my “special snowflake” complex that sucks me into this space where I think I’m somehow better than the hundreds of other college grads filling out applications at Starbucks, leading me to host a pity party for one consisting of me eating pizza and listening to Cat Power in the dark while thinking even darker why meeeeee? thoughts (and possibly weeping), but I take comfort in knowing that I’m not the only one.
Between the more or less constant phone calls from student loan collectors (hey, you bitches in Vermont, I KNOW WHO YOU ARE AND I WILL NEVER EVER PICK UP THE PHONE YOU’LL NEVER CATCH ME), the not-so-subtle questioning from my mom about “what I’m doing,” and my current employer refusing to give me more than a .15 raise every six months, I am well aware that things need to change, and soon. I’m also aware that I’m not the only one like this out there, and on our behalf I implore, beg, and plead — please don’t make us feel worse than we already do. Trust us, we know.