Ah, so you’ve graduated college. Now what? Sometimes your thrust into the “real world” after graduating from college isn’t as exciting as you’ve made it out to be. Maybe you don’t land your dream job, complete with your dream apartment, dream car, in your dream city, etc. etc. That’s ok. You still have time to figure yourself and your next moves out. If your after college plans look like spending some time under your parents roof for the first time in four years, that’s completely normal! However, this version of an after-college transition comes with its own set of challenges. Let’s face it, things have changed since high school, and your time away from home will only make that more apparent. Even if nothing around you has changed, maybe it’s you that’s done the changes, because this time around the situation feels a lot different. If you’re a recent college grad startled at how out of practice you are with living in your home with your parents, then you’ve come to the right corner of the internet. Here’s your ultimate ‘I’m moving back with parents after college’ survival guide.
Show Your Maturity
You’ve already been out on your own and experienced the world. You know how to do things on your own, live on your own, and get things done without the help of your parents. However, it can take a little while before this semi-newfound maturity is acknowledged by your parents. This doesn’t mean they think you’re incapable or immature, they might just be used to having you need their help often. It’s what parent’s do. But, you’re an adult, and you also deserve to be treated as such. So, establish and show off your maturity by having your ducks all in a row when you start living with your parents again. Moving often requires a lot of adult and logistical to-dos along the way, and having everything in order for yourself before your move is a great way to establish your capability and maturity with your parents right off the bat.
Submit a change of address request with the post office, make copies of keys that you will be needing, transfer your prescriptions to your home pharmacy, pack in an organized system, etc. Doing little things like this ahead of time and being organized is a great way to show your parents that you are mature and capable, and you’ll likely be treated as such. Although, it’s important to also remember that you’re your parents’ kid, and sometimes they can’t help but see you as their child – I mean, that is what you are after all. If you feel like you aren’t getting treated like an adult, opening up a respectful and thoughtful conversation about that is a great way to avoid hurt feelings and drama.
Offer A Helping Hand
Even if your parents are happy to have you back home and ask nothing of you while you’re staying there, you shouldn’t just be taking advantage of their kindness. Even if you’re only able to every once in a while, offering a helping hand to a parent can go a long way in showing you care and lightening their burdens. Is there a chore your parents have been avoiding getting to? Do it yourself. See the grocery list getting full? Offer to pick up some items. Have a free evening? Why not make your family dinner that night? There are a ton of easy ways to show your parents that you care for and appreciate them, and a lot of those ways are through giving them the help they often didn’t even know they needed.
Though, when you live with someone, it’s a two way street. You should also feel comfortable asking for help from your parents if you are living with them. Opening up and discussing things that you might need assistance with is an excellent way to bond with and feel supported by those around you.
Clear, Written Responsibilities
Is your way of keeping house driving your parents crazy? Is their way of doing chores difficult to maintain because of your schedule? Whatever it is, there are tons of ways people can get bitter when it comes to keeping things tidy. Getting the chores done, as unpleasant as it is, is necessary to maintaining a healthy environment at home. Working out a system that fits into everyone’s schedule and divides efforts in a reasonable way is a great trackable way to keep everyone happy with the upkeep of your home. With a dynamic different from your childhood, expectations and responsibilities look different too, but no one should feel like they’re the ones carrying the household completely. Everyone has a part in the upkeep of your home, so making those parts clear is nearly essential.
Have the Visitor Discussion
With roommates who are also your parents, you have to be just as courteous as if you were living with anyone. But, you may not be met with the same expectations as your 22-year-old apartment roommate. Having a discussion with your parents about how often you have people over, who comes over, what you do when you’re home, and how many people come over is great to get out of the way when you first move in with your parents. Letting your parents know what to expect is a great way to avoid conflict, but if they don’t want certain people, amounts of people, or activities at their house, you’ll also have to be prepared to accommodate their expectations. Having a conversation about these things is the best way to make sure you can avoid conflict down the line.
Find an Out-Of-Home Hangout
If you’re moving back in with your parents after college, chances are you’ll need a break from them every so often. Not to call your parents lame or anything, but we all need a bit of time away from them, don’t we? This can be a little bit harder now than it was in college, but you can make it easier on yourself by finding a super cool out-of-home hangout that’ll become your new favorite spot. Scope out somewhere cool and set up camp (so long as you’re allowed). Whether you’re studying, reading, working, hanging out with friends, or just relaxing at your hangout, having somewhere other than home that is also a safe and comfortable space for you can be life changing, especially in those moments when you do need to escape from the parentals.
Find Hobbies That Get You Out
Speaking of needing a break, there are other ways you can excuse yourself from home life with your parents, including finding a hobby that gets you out of the house. Perhaps there’s a sport you’ve been saying you’d pick up again but never did. Maybe you really want to get into skating, or cooking, or photography… Whatever it is, pick something that will get you outdoors or somewhere other than home and stick to it. Not only will you be getting out of the house, you’ll also be interacting with new people and hopefully making friends. Having a social support system outside of your parents is also such an amazing thing for your mental wellbeing.
Designate Quality Time
Finally, why don’t we talk about the good times with your parents? A lot of this survival guide has been about conflict avoidance and keeping your sanity while living at home after college, but who said we didn’t love our parents’ company? Sometimes our parents can be our best friends, I mean, they’ve been there since the start with you. Having you home again, your parents will likely be looking forward to spending lots of quality time with you. Or maybe you’re expecting to spend lots of quality time with them. Though, the truth of the matter is, you all have different schedules and need to get adjusted to working with all the new schedules together. Maybe you won’t be able to make it to family dinner every night like your mom was hoping you would, but you can still be sure that every Thursday, you’re sitting at that table ready for a home cooked meal. If you discuss and designate quality time with your family, both you and they can designate how much time you’re spending together and make sure everyone is happy and supported.
Have you moved back in with your parents after college? What other survival tips do you have? Share them in the comments!