December 9th, 2010
The enthusiasm and optimism that comes with college graduation doesn’t last long these days. After walking across the stage and celebrating with your family and friends, reality hits — you’re starting all over yet again, and you’ll be doing it back home with mom and dad. According to CNN, 85 percent of college grads move home after graduation, an increase of almost 20 percent since 2006. That staggeringly high number is somewhat affected by the unemployment rate of people age 20 to 24, which reached 15 percent in November of 2010. Even still — job or not — it’s not practical for broke and in-debt graduates to become fully independent when they barely have the means to do so.
Given that a vast majority of your peers will be doing the same thing, you shouldn’t feel too down about returning to the nest. Your real concern should be how you’re going to make it work so that all parties involved are happy. It’s important to be respectful to your parents, who likely paid for your college education and are now letting you stay with them (likely) free of charge. So when you’re returning home at 3 a.m. after a night of drinking with your high school friends, don’t make a ton of noise while scavenging for leftovers and tipsily navigating back to your room. Don’t expect mom to prepare dinner for you every night, do your laundry, and clean your nasty bathroom. In order to keep your dignity intact as an adult, treat the situation though you’re living on your own and not reverting back to childhood. Take initiative and do your part; it’s the best way to express your gratitude to your parents for everything they致e done to help you out.
On the other hand, it’s also important that you set boundaries with your parents. Although it’s generous of them to let you back in their home, it doesn’t mean they have ownership of your life once again. Taking care of your own chores and helping out around the house are the first steps to proving that you deserve to be treated as an adult and not as the same kid who left the nest four or five years ago. It’s also a good idea to sit down and have a talk with them upon moving in. Let them know how you live as a person in his or her 20s, and perhaps they’ll give you the space you deserve. With a little reason, you can turn a less-than-ideal situation into a manageable one.