There’s a reason that college graduates from the last couple of years are being labeled the boomeranggeneration—it’s because we leave home in hopes of progressing as independent and professional adults but somehow find ourselves back in our childhood bedroom, living at home with our parents.
According to a new study using data from the Census Bureau compiled by the University of Minnesota, the number of 18 to 30 year olds at home with the rents is up to 20.7 million. This is a 3.9 increase from 2010. Specifically, the amount of 26-year-olds that graduated as part of the class of 2008 has gone up 46% since 2007.
For someone like me (among many others) who recently graduated, these numbers are absolutely terrifying.
Before I even graduated, I was aware that the economy was far from being at its prime and that unemployment rates were at a low. While this instilled some fear in me, I didn’t allow it to stop me. I graduated and was ready to begin my post-grad adult life. Sadly, enthusiasm and determination doesn’t always lead somewhere. In fact, sometimes in spite of it, you still end up surrounded by lavender walls in a bedroom adjacent to your parents’. It’s the harsh reality—and it’s certainly mine.
Even though it may not be an ideal set up, especially after going to college for four years, living at home with your parents can still be beneficial to your overall development—personally and professionally. So while post-grads can focus on the awful aspects of living at home (such as lack of privacy, constant questioning about whereabouts, reinforcement of curfews and other parent behavior) it can and does have its benefits.
While it’s taken me a while to realize it, here are some of the perks of living at home:
1. Rent free! I don’t know about anyone else’s parents, but mine certainly do not expect (nor demand) rent money. Of course, if I was employed I could pitch in for bills, but alas, I am moneyless. Just think about all of the thousands of dollars that you’re saving up while staying with your rents. It is worth it.
2. Down time. Yes, you’ll be busy, but if you’re living at home and are currently unemployed then it’s the perfect opportunity to really think about what you want—in your personal life and in your career. Not many people have that privilege, especially if you’re working full-time. Perhaps like me you’ll realize that you want to go back to school or you can be really selective in your job application process. Perhaps you don’t want to consider a career yet and want to travel the world. As a culture, we’re very used to doing things in a particular order but life isn’t always so linear—think about what you want and then work to get it.
3. Food. This is definitely the best perk of being at home, especially if you have a mom like mine who is an incredible cook. Think of all the home-made soup, freshly-baked cookies and delicious lasagna you’ll be able to consume. Side note: keep active, or living back at home can be worst than the freshman-fifteen.
4. You can save. If you are living at home and are employed then it’s a fantastic situation! You can concentrate on saving for yourself rather than having the hassle of paying bills. All the money that you’re earning can be saved and used towards what you want, whether it be for a down-payment on an great new apartment or to pay off your loans. This is hands-down the most beneficial perk of living at home.
5. Your fam. While it may be completely chaotic and maybe even a bit uncomfortable living at home, at the end of the day it is a wonderful thing to be surrounded by your family. You get to avoid all that roommate drama because you’re surrounded by people who will love you no matter what. That’s a pretty great perk if you ask me.
Moving back with your parents after you graduate college is tough—there’s no doubt about that. It hurts your pride a bit, it interferes with your independence and can be completely uncomfortable. It can be a really bad experience, especially if you expect the worst, but if you try to remain positive and communicate with your parents, it can be a really rewarding experience too. Granted, there will be times where you will be ready to get the hell out of there, but there will be other times when you will love it.
There’s no shame about living at home, especially nowadays when it’s so common among our age group. So keep your head up and enjoy your childhood for just a little longer. After all, you have the rest of your life to be an adult, so why rush?