Post-graduation life is both the ultimate blessing and the most depressing time ever. Sure, you’re done with the papers, the all-nighters, the midterms and the anxiety-inducing finals. But now things are getting real. Instead of bar hopping and random late night adventures, your life is now consumed with resumes and job searches. Those on-campus jobs won’t cut it and come May, the dorms are evicting you permanently. So, where do you go? Back home, of course. It’s an easy fix to possibly being homeless, but moving in with your parents is far more complicated than you can imagine.
You’re not in high school anymore. The last time you lived with your parents full time, you hadn’t experienced nearly half of the things you’ve experienced now. While you understand that you’re different now and therefore the household dynamic may need to be adjusted, your parents may have a harder time accepting this. Whatever your feelings are and no matter how difficult your parents may be, a few attitude changes and a bit of behavior tweaking can make the return to your former bedroom much smoother and more comfortable for everyone.
1. Don’t get too comfortable.
Don’t make it seem like you’re staying forever. Develop an exit plan, work on it and communicate with your parents so that they’re also aware of your goals. You’ll all be on the same page and no one will be confused by your future plans and whether you’re workings towards them.
2. Don’t be ungrateful.
Remember: Your parents are doing you a favor. Be appreciative and express your gratitude for the things your parents do for you.
3. Think positive.
Focus on your parents’ positive traits, not the things that drove you crazy as a teenager. You don’t want to turn back into that evil, moody teen girl who locked herself in her bedroom all day and watched Gossip Girl.
4. Help out.
Make yourself useful. Be helpful wherever and whenever you can. Surprise your parents by preparing dinner, cleaning the house and running errands. Sure, you don’t have to prove your worth to your parents but it wouldn’t hurt to display a little bit of initiative and to make their lives a little bit easier.
5. Be considerate.
College may have been a time for selfishness, but now try putting your parents first, just as they’re doing for you. Call them if you are going to be late for dinner or to let them know you will not be home at all. You have someone to answer to other than yourself now. Once a parent, always a parent. They will always worry about you. Don’t make them worry more than necessary.
6. Keep your private life private.
If you have an intrusive parent, keep your personal life separate by limiting the amount of information you share. They didn’t know everything you were up to in college and they don’t need to know everything you’re up to now. You don’t want them asking you 100 questions about everything, especially when you want things at home to be as easy as possible.
7. Start job hunting.
Don’t waste your days. Get up and fill out those applications. There’s nothing worse than your parents thinking you’re lazy and making no effort towards getting out of their home.
If you have siblings, you may have your parents all to yourself during this little return “trip.” For however long you stay, you will be their “only child.” Take advantage of the opportunity to view them as people, not parents, and enjoy getting to know them in ways that were not possible when you were growing up. You may just find out that they are pretty cool.