Unlike many others in the position of moving back in with their parents after walking across that big stage and receiving that diploma, I have been 85% sure that I was moving back in with my parents after I graduated since my freshman year of college. It made the most sense to me at the time. Why wouldn’t I move back in with my parents? They had free food, free cable, free WiFi, and I’d always have a room there waiting for me if I needed it. I had always planned on attempting to go to Law School at UNLV so moving back home also had it benefits because I would be able live near the school I was aiming to attend and I could work, start saving up money, and slowly pay back the tens of thousands of student debt I owed. I had the perfect plan…until I actually had to move back in with my parents.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my parents and I missed them very much in the 5 years I lived away from home. However, there is a difference between the theory of moving back in with one’s parents and actually doing so. I can imagine it would be even worse for those who never had the plans of moving back in with their parents but life happened and that’s where they ended up on their post-grad venture through life. Whatever the case may be, I’m going to share what I believe to be some of the biggest pros and cons to moving back in with your parents after graduating.
PRO: You get to spend more time with your family
This is one that many people might not think of but this is one of the most important ones for me. As someone who went to a whole different state for my undergrad studies, there are definitely many moments with my family that I missed. From birthdays to random Saturday BBQs for no reason, you miss out on a lot of quality time with the fam when you don’t live with them or near them. If you move back in with your family, you’ll always be there for majority of the things going on.
CON: You no longer have your own place so you have to follow the rules of the house
This one goes without saying but this has been the hardest adjustment for me. Besides the one year it was mandated for me to live in the Residence Halls at SDSU (go UT!), I always had my own place in undergrad. After my sophomore year, I always had my own room. Living on your own teaches you about yourself and how you live with others. One thing I have learned over the years is that I am messy person (there is a different between messy and dirty, but we’ll get to that another day). My mother on the other hand is one of the neatest, orderly, spic-and-span people to ever walk this earth, I’m certain of it. Now that I live under her and my step-dads roof once again I must make the adjustment back to living under the rules they have a established such as washing the dishes before my mom gets home from work (even if the dishes aren’t mine), and not coming home after a certain hour, and even keeping my room a certain way (it is in the house that is NOT mine, after all). For someone as carefree and constantly challenging authority as myself, this is the hardest part to deal with. You also can’t have sex in your parents house (well I mean you could while they’re not home but that’s just awkward and terrifying to imagine what would happen if you got caught) I have to constantly remind myself that my situation is only temporary and following the rules is the least I can do to not pay rent which brings me to the second pro of moving back home.
PRO: You no longer have to pay rent (usually)
As someone who struggled in undergrad to maintain paying rent, having money to go out with my friends, having money to buy things I needed, having money to buy things I wanted, paying my credit card bill, and starting a savings account (still have yet to get there); not having to pay rent has definitely been one of the best parts of moving back in with my parents. It’s no secret that the cost of living in San Diego is not the cheapest and rent for your own bedroom can range from $500-$1,000 depending on where you want to live and the amenities provided. Needless to say I was counting down the moments until I would no longer have to pay rent for somewhere to rest my head at night. I am one the fortunate people whose parents don’t need me to take up a full-time or even part time job just to make ends meet. I am very grateful for this fact. While I still haven’t started a savings account or paid my credit card off completely, I have been able to travel without having to worry about paying for it due to my working all Summer to establish “random trip” funds. So far I have gone to Orlando and Jacksonville Florida, back to San Diego for two days, and have plans to go to Washington DC in a week and a half.
CON: Your usual routine and way of doing things can be interrupted at a moment’s notice
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m obsessed with writing every detail of my day, week, month, and sometimes up to months ahead in my planner. During my final year of undergrad I started experiencing symptoms of anxiety and having a planner to plan everything out really helped me with that. Now that I’ve moved back home, it truly doesn’t matter what I have written down in my planner. If I’m at the house and my parents decide we’re going to dinner that day instead of a week from today, that’s one thing that gets changed. If my mom decides to take a weekend staycation to Pahrump and needs someone to take care of her dog, guess who has to take on the burden of a small yorkie who was raised to believe she is a princess reincarnated into a dog? Me. Now these are only a few examples and sometimes the things that my plans get replaced with are fun. However, sometimes it stresses me out. This was one thing I hardly ever had to worry about when I lived on my own and was in school. My days were planned out between work, internship, classes, gym, sorority, and whatever other shenanigans I could get myself into. My mom doesn’t understand my asking for her to give me a two weeks notice for all requests and activities.
PRO: Your mom is there in the flesh to answer all the questions you usually would have to call her twenty different times for as you remember them
I don’t know it’s something we go through after we turn 20ish but our moms suddenly become full of wisdom we didn’t realize was there in our teenage years. Either this or we were just too busy being teenagers to notice that mom’s know EVERYTHING. If Google can’t help me figure something out, my mom will know how to figure it out herself. Even though we sometimes, often times, bump heads (I blame it on us both being fire signs but that’s just me), My mom is one of my best friends and there is something comforting about living in the same house as her just in case I get sick or need advice and maybe sometimes even a hug. The first time around of living with her I was a teenage girl who thought I knew every damn thing. Now I’m a 23 year old who realizes I may be older but I still don’t know shit…but my mom does.
CON:You sometimes get depressed and feel like a failure
I had heard of post-grad blues from my friends who graduated before me but that wasn’t enough to prepare me for the sometimes depressing feelings that occur now that I moved back in with my parents. In the generation of posting everything on social media, it is easy to sometimes get caught up in comparisons with the way people’s lives are portrayed on social media. As many of my peers are buying new cars or getting promotions or starting their Masters programs I often find myself in a sad place in regards to realizing I have moved back in with my parents and haven’t really accomplished much else after getting my degree. While I’m currently unemployed, studying for the LSAT, and trying to find a job to help pay back these student loans once my extended vacation to Ohio ends, and I know all of these things will come fruition in due time, it doesn’t stop those feelings that creep in from time to time. People expect you to have it all figured out once you get that $30,000 piece of paper but unfortunately it’s not all that simple. I never stay in that place of self-pity long because I know what I have planned for my post-grad life and what I will accomplish but I would be lying if sometimes I didn’t feel dumb and like a failure for living back in my parents house instead of a condo on the beach in La Jolla.
PRO: You no longer have to pay for groceries
You can look at me and tell that I love eating so one of the greatest benefits to moving back in with my parents is that I no longer have to worry about paying for my groceries, toilet paper, body wash, or any other the other things I took for granted in my younger years that add up when you are living on your own. Grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s once a week has become one of me and my mom’s new ways of bonding since I moved back home and I even convinced her to try the Vegan Food Bar at Whole Food’s with me when we went in to buy some cauliflower pizza crust. Not only is free food the best but I also never have to worry about who’s turn it is to buy paper towels for the kitchen or toilet paper for the bathroom, two things that drove me insane during undergrad if I would forget to pick them up while I was already out at the store. My mom keeps our house stocked as if the Apocalypse could occur at any moment so I never have to worry about running out of any of these things.
CON: You are reminded of why you went away for college in the first place
Now don’t get me wrong, I love Las Vegas and everything it has to offer. From things closing at later times (or never) to being able to buy alcohol after 2am, Vegas has it going on. However, there are times when I remember exactly why I left my parent’s home in the first place. Many of the reasons are listed in the cons of this list. Other reasons include the experiences I’ve had in other places I have been. I love the beach and I hate weather above 85 degrees (Damn you, San Diego for spoiling me). I love being able to come and go as I please and not worrying about anything else and my parents calling me asking when I’m going to be home, etc. While I still think Vegas is one of the best cities to live in, San Diego definitely left an impact on me and moving back to my parents house is a reminder of why I left Vegas in the first place…for FREEDOM.
All in all,the first month and a few weeks after moving back in with my parents have been full of some major adjustments on both of our sides. I failed to mention that we also now have my mom’s friend’s 13 year old daughter living with us who moved in back when I was in my 3rd year of school. Having to learn to interact with a teenager on a daily basis and following my parent’s way of things again has been quite the experience. No matter what happens, I am very happy my family is well off enough that I can move in with my parents temporarily while I get my shit together and study for the LSAT, which is in less than two months. If you currently have moved back in with your parents, hang in there! It is only temporary and is far much better than being homeless. If you live at home, what are some ways you deal with it? Leave a comment and let me know!