When you’re in high school, you can’t wait to graduate and move out of your parents’ house. But after four years of living on our own, many college graduates find themselves going back home to shack up with mom and dad for a while. Some girls gravitate back towards home out of convenience. Others make the move in order to save money. Could moving back work for you? To help you figure it out, postgraduates and college seniors shared with HC some pros and cons of moving home.
Pro: Saving Money
Ashley Barnas, a senior at Elon University, plans to live at home in D.C. after graduating. She will live with her family while she looks for a job. “I want to work in the D.C./Virginia area, and since my parents live so close to where I want to work, it makes sense for me to live with them and save some money while I get things figured out,” Barnas says. Senior Elon student Jenna McNair is moving back home to Memphis for a year while she takes a break from studying before heading to grad school. “It would be kind of ridiculous for me to look for my own place, with no job guarantees, and only planning to be there for a year, when I can be actively saving money at home,” McNair says. Because they won’t need to pay rent or buy their own food, both Barnas and McNair will be saving money by living at home with their parents. “It’s nice that I won’t have to pay for food while I live at home,” says Barnas. “And another advantage is that I’m going to be able to learn how to cook from my mom, which will come in handy when I’m living on my own in the future!” Recent Elon grad Eva Jorgensen-Graham lives at home and doesn’t have to pay for groceries either, but sometimes she decides to pick up the bill. “When my mom asks me to stop at the store on my way home from work, or if I’m buying something that only I will eat, then I pay for it myself,” she says.
Con: Having Friends Over
After graduating a semester early from Elon University, David Wells is living at home in Maryland, in search of a job. But he’s finding that living at home now is very different from living at home during high school. “I got so used to being able to have whoever I wanted over and whenever I wanted at Elon, but at home it’s different. I find myself going out a lot more instead,” Wells says. Jorgensen-Graham,has had a similar experience. “I don’t have friends over, like I was able to do in college, because I basically packed up my whole apartment and brought it to my house. So my mom actually tells me not to have friends over, because my stuff is just everywhere!” Jorgensen-Graham says.
Pro: Getting Closer to your Family
Barnas has a good relationship with her family, so she is looking forward to living with them again. “For me, living at home is the ultimate set-up,” she says, “I never wanted to go out and jump into renting an apartment. And I’m happy about the arrangement. I’m looking forward being close to my family. I think it will be nice to be with them again while I’m looking for a job and a place of my own.” Unfortunately, the whole family won’t be there. “My younger brother is graduating from high school this year as well. So while he’ll be leaving the nest, I’ll be going back to it,” she says.
Con: Lack of Privacy and Freedom
Let’s face it. Parents and family members have an annoying knack for wanting to know where you are. “When you’re at school, you have your own room or your own apartment. I could stay at the library until 3 a.m. and no one would know,” Jorgensen-Graham said. “But now, when I’m out late, I always feel the need to let my mom know where I am, just so she’s not wondering.” Wells felt awkward about always sharing his whereabouts with his parents. “For the first few weeks that I was home, my parents wanted me to wake them up when I got home. But I never had to do that when I was at college. So I just stopped letting them know, and they eventually got used to it,” Wells says. Of course, it all depends on your parents’ attitudes; some are more relaxed than others, “I don’t make it out to the bar that often, but when I do, I call my mom to come pick me up if I don’t think I should drive home,” says another student. Moving back home after graduating may not work for everyone. But for some, it makes absolute sense. McNair thinks that her situation will be a win-win. “If I want to take a trip for the weekend I can - and it'll give my parents more freedom too. They won't have to find a pet sitter if they want to have a romantic weekend away!” she says. Sometimes, flying back to the nest is the perfect arrangement, if you get over a few bumps in the road during your crash time.
Ashley Barnas, Elon University ‘10 Jenna McNair Elon University ‘10 David Wells Elon University ‘10 Eva Jorgensen-Graham Elon University ‘10