Moving back home after university can be tough. I know I for one wasn’t thrilled with the prospect of giving up my freedom and moving back with my parents. However, with crippling student debts and nowhere else to really go like thousands of other graduates, with a sad heart I packed up my stuff and prepared to get back to reality.
Moving back with my parents wasn’t at all what I imagined. It’s had its ups and downs but I’ve learnt a lot. So I’m here to share my newfound wisdom in the hope of helping other students prepare for the transition.
The Importance of Keeping Busy
One of the first things I learnt was that slipping back into old routines is very easy to do. With no job and a large debt to pay off, I handled the situation the best way I could think of – by distracting myself with endless re-runs of Scrubs and Sons of Anarchy. It was great, for a while. However, after a few months I soon realised something had to change. I wasn’t 15 anymore. I needed to get busy and put a stop to the lazy routine I’d fallen into.
Volunteering proved to be a godsend for me. Not only did it get me out of the house, but it also enabled me to get some much needed skills onto my CV. A degree is great, but I soon learned employers like you to have a few work experience skills too. There was also the added benefit that volunteering helped me to feel useful. It can feel humiliating in a way to find yourself back with mom and dad in the family home. Getting out and doing something productive gave me a sense of purpose.
You’ll Always be a Kid to Your Parents
Perhaps the biggest mistake I made when preparing to live back at home was thinking my relationship with my parents would be different. After all, I’ve grown up so much since I last lived at home so surely this would signal a brand new, deeper, richer relationship between us? Nope! The thing is, to your parents you are always going to be the kid they raised. So what does this mean? Well prepare for texts if you’re not home by a certain time and for disapproval if you’re caught snacking between meals!
Money Management – The Most Important Lesson of All
Of course the one benefit of living back at home is the cost saving benefits. Whether you’re living rent free or paying a small amount each month once you start working, you have the ability to save up a lot of money. That is of course once you have mastered the art of money management. I spent the first six months of living back with my parents treating myself to all kinds of shopping sprees. It was great! However, it wasn’t exactly getting me closer to my goal of transitioning to a more independent life. So I had to learn how to start saving.
Saving money is a tough thing to do when you’re not used to doing it. It’s going to take a lot of sacrifice and patience. What you need to focus on is your long term goal. So once you do find a job, be it full or part time, be sure to start putting a portion of it into savings. Set up an automatic savings account so you don’t even need to think about the money you are saving. Before you know it you’ll have a nice lump sum available to find your own place.
It was hard getting used to living by my parents rules again after spending the past three years doing what I wanted, when I wanted. However, I did learn a lot about myself, life and the harsh realities of the business world.
Some thoughts from my friend’s son who graduated from university earlier this year.