You finally did it– you walked across that stage, received your diploma, and took pictures in your cap and gown. You’ve said goodbyes to classmates who have become close friends and roommates that have become sisters. You’re preparing to move out of the place that has become your home for four (or more) years.
I’m going to be completely honest, I had a lot of plans for what would come after graduation, and NONE of them included moving back in with my parents. But a week after the ceremony, I landed a job at a company in my hometown. And just like that, I had a week to pack up my college life and bring it back home.
I didn’t expect it to be good or easy. I actually expected to stay with my parents for a maximum of three months before I moved out on my own (it’s been a year now). But I learned pretty quickly that not only was living with my parents not that bad, I actually kinda liked it. And, it turns out, a lot of my friends still live with their parents too! It is completely OK to move back home after graduation; in fact, it might be a really good decision for a period of time. Here are five reasons why:
- Saving $$$
Perhaps the most obvious, but a really important one: in most cases, your parents will let you live rent-free (or with pretty low rent compared to most apartments). This means saving some serious money that you can put toward paying off student loans, buying a car, or saving for a wedding or house. This is especially important if you don’t have a job and an income quite yet.
- You can ease the transition into adulthood
Depending whether you lived in an apartment in college or not, you may or may not have superb life skills at age 22 (I know I didn’t). Living at home gives you a chance to ease that transition into adulthood and gain confidence in a place that’s familiar to you. You can learn to grocery shop, cook something other than pasta and frozen pizza, budget your money, and navigate the job application process. And you can learn all this with your parents as free life coaches!
- You’re not bound by leases or timelines
Moving into an apartment usually means you have to sign a lease for a specified amount of time. If you don’t know what you’re doing after graduation, you don’t want to be bound to someone else’s timeline for when you can start a job or move to a new location. Plus, the flexible timeline allows you to move out whenever you’re ready to be on your own, whether that’s a month or two years after you moved home.
- You already have connections in your hometown
Going back to your hometown means you can use relationships you already have to get a job. Chances are you have siblings or friends that can get you connected, even if it’s just for a temporary job at McDonalds. These connections also make it easier to adjust socially; you can join a sports team, get a group of old friends together for trivia at a bar once a week, or join a church where you can get plugged in. The phase of life where all your friends live in the same building is ending, and now you have to put more effort into your social life. It’s easier when you’re not starting from scratch.
- Family time
Your relationship with your parents is about to change drastically. You’re growing up and becoming independent, maybe getting married soon, and eventually you might not live in the same city or state as your family. A little more time at home before that transition is precious. It’s also a chance to learn how to communicate with them in a healthy way as adults, because that’s what your relationship is going to look like from now on.
Moving home isn’t for everyone, but it also isn’t as bad as it’s made out to be. It doesn’t mean you failed at growing up, and it doesn’t have to mean your social life is compromised. If you find yourself at home after graduation, take advantage of it; there’s a lot of good to be found there.