Being away at college gives you a whole new sense of responsibility and a huge amount of freedom. I always found coming home during college breaks to be a difficult transition because of this – I was so used to having my own space, doing what I wanted to do when I wanted, and being on my own schedule that coming home and being under my parents roof, having a younger sibling in the house, and making sure I put sticky notes on all my food so no one would eat it, a hassle. I like my freedom. I don’t want to tell my parents what I’m doing every second of the day. I don’t want to get dirty looks and questionable glares when I decide to go out for drinks at the last minute even though it’s only ten o’clock and in my previous, college world, that’s early.
With my last week of college under way and my college graduation sneaking up on me fast, I am in complete panic mode about moving back home. I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels this way and that others find it annoying when adults say “Oh, you’ll love being home, you’ll save so much money that way!” or “Live at home as long as possible, it’s cheaper!” Do these people not remember what it’s like living on your own and having complete freedom and then moving back in with your parents and them nagging you like you’re thirteen years old again?
To make the transition from living on my own to moving back in with my parents (and sixteen year old brother – who does not reciprocate my love) a little easier, I’ve made it a point to figuring out the best ways to make this new chapter a little easier on me (& you!).
1. Make a list of all your expectations
Do you still want to be able to do your own thing whenever you please? Do you want your significant other to sleepover? Making a list of the things you expect from living at home allows you to be open about what’s going on and to be independent event though you just gained new roommates (your parents, your siblings, your family pets). Take your time and really think about what you want, what is realistic, and what you know your parents will be cool with.
2. Talk to your parents
Set aside some time that you and your parents can talk in a neutral location about what you expect from them, what they expect from you, and be sure to talk about all the nitty gritty – bills, paying rent, groceries, etc. I highly suggest you bring said list of expectations with you when you have this talk so that nothing gets left out and so you also have something to reference when you get upset and start crying because you feel so awkward (me.).
3. Make a deadline of when you’d like to move out
Whether you have a specific date or a generalized timeline (I made mine 6 months – 1 year after graduation) figure out when you’d like to move out of your parents place and into your very own shoe box. Having a date in mind will help you set your mind to saving, make you realize that you aren’t going to be living at home forever, and allows your parents a sigh of relief. When you’re figuring out what your deadline is, be sure to take into consideration your budget, moving costs, a job, etc.
4. Freshen up your space
My favorite part of all – freshen up your space. Moving back home into the bedroom you lived in for over twenty years with the same posters of the Spice Girls on your walls and your high school trophies scattered on shelves throughout your room, can make you feel even worse about moving back in with the ‘rents. Set a budget and freshen up your space – change out those Spice Girls posters for a cute gallery wall, find a box to throw your trophies in, and really make your bedroom an adult space. My first task is to purchase a new comforter, switch out my wall decor, and bring in some fresh flowers.
5. Be open to new things
Don’t be negative about the things you can’t change right now. Keep an open mind about everything, from living at home (hey, you’re saving money! *wink*), to accepting a new job position (that’s halfway across the country!), or how your relationship with your parents is maturing. An open mind is less likely to be disappointed, because you don’t have any strong expectations.
Just remember, you won’t be living at home forever so take advantage of the little things (like spending more time with your parents) while you still can!