To Live At Home Or Not To: The Post-Grad Question
It’s a common nightmare among college seniors. Graduating job-less, and making the slow, shameful march back into your childhood bedroom, South Park posters and all. Luckily for all of our collective self-esteems, what used to be a sign of despair has become the norm for millennials. These days, it’s fairly common for college grads to be living at home with Mom & Dad for the first few months (er, years), whether we’re job-searching or just saving our first few months of salary to prep for the insanity of NYC rent.
I feel particularly equipped to address this subject, since I am one of these college grads livin’ the home-cooked dream. I graduated in May 2016, got a job at this dope start-up (Scouted, heyy), and moved back to Connecticut to live with my parents.
So, college seniors, if you’re trying to decide whether to save dat money and regress back to teenagehood, I give you my official “Pros & Cons of Living at Home”:
Pro of living at home: Financial Responsibility
See, I use phrases like financial responsibility now. Because I’m an adult. I’m also an adult in my ability to avoid forking over 70% of my monthly paycheck to pay for a 90 sq ft bedroom with a fake wall on Avenue D. Even though recent grads have faced one of the most compelling job markets in years, the cost of living has been steadily increasing along with it. Living at home has afforded me the ability to steadily increase my savings account, so when I do inevitably move out I’ll have a cushion to fall back on. Go me.
Con of living at home: Commuting
Turns out that commuting while living at home, well, sucks. On average, Americans waste nearly 50 hours annually commuting with commuters in more metropolitan areas topping close to 75 hours. I personally commute nearly 3.5 hours daily, from my parents’ home in Connecticut to our office in midtown Manhattan. On top of the wasted time, paying for 10 weekly train rides cuts into those aforementioned savings. On the bright side, there’s apparently a petition circulating to bring back the bar car to my train line, so at least I can have the companionship of Bud Light en route home. Commuting costs time, money, and productivity. Major con.
Pro of living at home: Hanging out with your parents
I love my parents! I mean, er, they’re cool or whatever. It’s definitely an adjustment to be back home after almost 4 years of “living on my own” at school. Transitioning from sporadic visits to seeing your parents daily really reminds you of how awesome your parents are! They give great advice, like how to find the right credit card or what’s appropriate to wear in a client meeting. They stock your bathroom with the soft kind of toilet paper, and wake you up when you miss your alarm. And sometimes they have cool friends that make for great networking opportunities. Daily hangouts with the people who know you best: Pro, for days.
Con of living at home: Hanging out with your parents
Ah, the flip side. Alongside the joys of Charmin and a fully-stocked fridge, we have some downsides here. Turns out, you can’t use your bedroom floor as a closet or throw your beer on the floor when you’re done drinking it. You have to dump out your cereal bowl when you’re done with it. And sometimes your parents invite all their friends over and you have to explain to 20 (well-meaning) old people what you’re doing with your life and why you’re living at home. And of course, there’s the constant FOMO as you sit home on a Saturday night watching National Treasure while your friends send snapchats all of their awesome shenanigans.
Pro of living at home: The Fridge
Man, nothing beats a home cooked meal, especially after four years of ramen and Busch heavy. Given that I had some horrendous eating habits while at college, it is nice to enjoy a well-rounded diet that only *occasionally* includes pizza, and has all these green items that I’ve heard so much about. It is also something that brings my family together. We have just about all of our meals together and it really has allowed me to reconnect with my parents.
Con of living at home: (Not) doing grown-up / real people things
Sometimes I worry that I’m missing out on valuable life experiences that everyone in their early twenties should be going through on their own. Paying bills, shopping for my own groceries, doing laundry: my current set-up requires none of these things. Am I regressing? Maybe. Is it kind of great not to worry about any of these things? Hell yes. Nevermind, I regret bringing this up.
Overall, I am very grateful that my parents are letting me live at home. And it is genuinely nice to spend time with them after a busy four years of college. But I’m also looking forward to getting to the next step – and make sure I start becoming as accomplished and successful as my parents are. So here’s to hoping that my next blog entry is titled “The Apartment Search”!
If you want more content related to millennials, the job search, or life be sure to visit the Scouted blog!