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Confessions of a College Grad: How to Transition into Living at Home

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mich chapter.

After four glorious years of being independent (well sort-of, since parents may have contributed to tuition and the pocket-money for your survival), the return back home can be a surprising change. All of a sudden, you may have curfews; yes those childhood rules that seem so foreign and far away from college life – meaning no 2 AM pizza runs, or driving over to friends’ places at odd hours. And how do you deal with the boyfriend topic (should he sleepover or not sleepover at your place)? Readjusting to the new dynamics of living with parents can be tough, and at times, frustrating. However, you’re not alone in returning to the nest, as over half of college graduates live at home for a temporary period of time before entering the professional world.* This seemingly stressful transition can go smoothly with proper communication and an optimistic attitude. Plus, with a few of our secrets, you’re guaranteed to have a successful experience with your time at home!

1. Communicate – Now more than ever, good communication with parents is important. Avoid throwing temper tantrums; it’s very high school-ish. Disagreements are inevitable while your parents adjust to your return as a college graduate. However, during arguments, stay calm and rationally discuss your side of the issue. Consequently, parents will take you more seriously and be more willing to loosen their reigns and give in to your requests. You don’t get your blood boiling AND you win the debates; it’s an obvious win-win.  When you’re not arguing, be more open to talking about your life. Opening your heart out to them may bring them closer to you as they try to understand the new adult you.

2. Be Responsible – Parents will always worry about us, no matter how old we are. As much of a pain as parents can be with their overprotective attitudes, the magnitude of their love is actually sweet. If your parents are the protective type, shoot them a text or give them a quick call when you’re out, just to calm their nerves. Even more so, avoid run-ins with the law. After the safety-net of college, police are much less lenient on alcohol and drug antics because, technically, you’re an adult. Therefore, use discretion and be smart!

3. Live Independently – Though it may be tempting to fall back into those high school habits where your mom did your laundry or cleaned your room, do it YOURSELF! Keeping yourself put-together will show your parents that you’re maturing into a responsible adult. In turn, they’ll stop treating you like you’re in high school, which may result in less stringent house rules.

4. Stay Motivated – If you’re getting antsy with the home situation and want the independent life again, channel the restlessness to motivation for your dream career. Make sure you’re extra focused during job-hunting and while applying for the specific company positions. Ex out those Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr pages while you finalize your job prospects! Without the social networking distractions, you’ll be surprised at how much more efficient you are. Plus, employers notice resumes and cover letters that are more polished because the effort shows. Therefore, the more time you spend perfecting those job applications, the better are your chances to nag that dream job.

5. Learn New Life Skills – While you’re home, why not use it as a learning opportunity for tips and tricks your parents have to cook, clean, fill out taxes, and other tasks? These are definitely mundane real-world tasks, but it’s better to learn them now than to stumble your way through it alone when you move out! Especially jot down your favorite home-cooked dishes, as these will come in handy during spontaneous cravings when you’re out of the house.

6. Enjoy the Home Benefits – Notice the silver lining in this situation; you currently have a (FREE) comfortable bed, cable TV, internet, cell phone, room, and more! Relax and enjoy it. Savor the home-cooked meals and the free time you have to lounge around. Spend time on new or old hobbies like scrapbooking, playing an instrument, or getting fit! Think about it like this, how much better is this than those all-nighters you pulled at the library, studying for a weeks’ worth of exams, with only coffee and jimmy johns filling your stomach?

7. Appreciate Your Parents – Having the luxury of returning home to parents who are willing to take you in means you are very lucky. They want to see you become successful and independent just as much as you do, but in the meanwhile are supporting you financially. Take time out to thank them or show your appreciation in other ways – perhaps help clean the house, or offer to do the grocery shopping every once in awhile.

As you begin this new chapter of your post-college life, remember to remain optimistic in whichever direction your life takes you. Being home may not have been the ideal path, but enjoy every minute of it because this time will flash before your eyes. Unwind a little and spend time re-energizing so that you can head out into the professional world with full force! With your beauty and brains, as a University of Michigan collegiette, you’ll find success in whichever field you decide to pursue.


*photo credit: http://www.michaellewisphotogr…