This article is part of a series known as #30DaysOfThanks


moving home

After graduating from college last December, I joined the hordes of twenty-somethings and moved back into my childhood home. After four years of sharing living space with a half dozen different people–some half-strangers, some impossibly dramatic roommates, and some of my best guy friends in the world–moving back into the quiet (albeit, sometimes boring) home of my youth certainly had some perks.

Regardless, adjusting to my old lifestyle was difficult. Despite my success at landing a local internship, I still felt as though moving back home stamped me as a failure. Society tells us that moving back home after college is a sign that we did something wrong. But after nearly a year of living at home, and enjoying the hot meals, free rent, and familiar company, I’ve adjusted my outlook. Instead of being ashamed that we moved back into our parents’ basements, we should be thankful that we had the option to at all.

[See: Advice to the Young and Employed – Live with Your Parents]

I’m thankful that my parents were willing to take me in when I failed to secure a salaried position after college. Here’s why:

Living at home is allowing me to more fully prepare for the future. ​I’m able to be selective about where my money goes. When I get my paycheck, I’m able to pay my bills each month, save money for future expenses, consider vacation options, and even set some money aside for dinner dates and events. Many people don’t have these simple luxuries, and if I didn’t live at home, I wouldn’t either.

What’s more, my parents serve as role models, and help me to live a more productive life. After work, it’s sometimes easy to pass out in exhaustion. Tasks like scheduling doctors appointments can sometimes fall by the wayside. I’d be lying if I said my parents didn’t remind to get a refill or transfer payments once or twice before.

I get to spend time with my family. Okay, so I’m forced to spend time with my family, but this is a good thing! I have no idea which state (or even which country) my career may take me to in the future, so I feel fortunate that my current position is right in my hometown. I’m able to spend holidays and birthdays with those who are most important to me. I’m able to attend my sister’s school events, and have dinner with my parents each night.

I get to watch movies in the family room, ask my mom for advice, joke around with my dad, and bicker with my sister just like old times. These things won’t last forever, and I realize how special they are. If I ever need to get away for a night or two, I can always visit friends in neighboring cities to give myself (and my family!) a little break.

I get to put off the “real world” for a couple of years. ​The prospect of moving into my own apartment–being able to wake up at 6:00 a.m. (yeah right) and noisily workout, burn candles in every room, and own a cat named Doge–is all very exciting. But I realize that living on my own won’t be all fun and games.

I’ll have utility and rent bills to keep track of, meals to prepare, and loneliness to conquer. Graduating from college is one of the most difficult transitions twenty-somethings have to make. It’s been nearly a year for me, and I’m just starting to take some pride in where my life has taken (or not taken) me.

I know that moving out on my own, likely in a new city, will be a huge and difficult transition. Living at home is allowing me to do what I can now, to prepare for the changes that will come later. 

Moving back home after college may seem like a step backwards for many twenty-somethings. It’s an adjustment that can be difficult after living in the chaos of a college townhouse, and it can be even more trying on a young person’s morale. Remember, we won’t be living in our parents’ basements forever, even though it may feel that way sometimes.

This Thanksgiving season, and until we’re able to make that leap into monetary freedom, let’s just be thankful for the parents that take us back, and for the familiar place that we have to call home.

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