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The plan was to graduate, walk into my dream job, rent an amazing flat and save to buy my own house. But of course nothing ever works out that way.

When I moved back home after finishing university in July 2014 I was in disbelief, I refused to accept my situation even as I unpacked everything into my childhood bedroom. I felt like I was back at square one. I had always been adamant that I would never return home, and if I did it wouldn’t be for long. But 7 months later I am still here.

In this blog I am going to discuss how difficult it can be to move back home after having had so much freedom, and things that can be done to make the whole transition that little bit easier.

Have an embarrassing photograph of me posing in my childhood bedroom. Oh dear.

This is an embarrassing photograph of yours truly when I was about 15/16 in my childhood bedroom. The entire room was covered like that. I thought I looked so cool. Oh dear.

I made some immediate changes as soon as I moved back home – to reflect the change that I had gone through. I was moving back into my childhood bedroom but I was no longer a child. All of my old posters were torn down and hidden away, old clothes were donated, my single bed was replaced with a double, and I began the short-lived task of redecorating my bedroom. However this seemed to make my decision to make back home more permanent, and what was the point in redecorating when I wanted to move out in a few months?

Moving back was hard for my parents as well. They had become accustomed to me living 100+ miles away, calling once a week if I remembered, and visiting once every couple of months. Sure they were happy they got to see me more often, but suddenly they were lumped with a 21 year old who had no idea what she wanted to do with her life and blamed everyone else. I had to learn to adapt to my parents routine too – gone were the days of 9 o’clock dinners and Game of Thrones marathons.

I’m fortunate – I know this. When I had a full-time job straight after uni my parents knew my outgoings for commuting/trying to balance a social life/paying tax were ridiculous and wanted to give me this chance in my life to save money. This means that I pay no rent – I will occasionally do the shopping or pick up things for the house, but I’m not expected to make monthly payments. I am so grateful for this, but it can be tough seeing your friends live exciting, independent metropolitan lives.

Being back at home can be stifling. I have had to adapt to a different routine – keeping it down at night/set mealtimes/daily chores/and the unending question cycle of “How many jobs have you applied for today?”/“What are you doing in the future?”/“What did you actually do today?” In general though my parents are totally cool with me maintaining my independence as much as I can: I will cook my own meals and I can come and go as I please as long as I let them know roughly when I’ll be home. I just feel that I had a better relationship with my parents when I lived a few hours away and we didn’t have to see each other every day.

And, as I will explain in an exciting post coming tomorrow, my New Year’s resolution to move out by next month has already collapsed. And, if my grand life plans work out, I will be at home until the end of June 2016 at the earliest… more likely September 2016. And now that I have written that down the thought is just terrifying…

But regardless of how this post has sounded so far, moving back home is not all doom and gloom! Moving back home is just a temporary solution and it does have its benefits: a fridge that is always full, a warm house, Sky TV, free alcohol…
But there are a few simple things that both you and your parents can do to make the transition as smooth as possible:

  • Set a goal! If you find yourself back at home without a job think of what you want to do and work towards that. Maybe take up a new hobby or volunteering to fill your days, because as appealing as marathoning Netflix is (and trust me, I’m a pro) it won’t help you much in the future. And if you can prove that you’re actually doing something with your days your parents are more likely to get off your back about finding a job immediately.
  • If you’ve moved back home reach out to your friends! Catch up with old school friends and see what they are up to, they may even inspire you to do something different. And if a lot of your friends stayed in your university city then you can always go and see them. I try and visit mine once a month and see my old housemates, uni friends and ex-colleagues. It’s a great way of staying in the loop and even better means that you get to escape home for a few days!
  • Help out at home! Whether that is by paying rent, cooking meals, or cleaning around the house there are many things you can do to show that you are willing to help out, and are proving your independent side.
  • Talk, talk, talk! If there is something bothering you – just raise it with your parents. If you want to cook your own meals because you hate enforced meal times and the lack of choice – tell them. If you want more personal time – tell them. Obviously you have a different lifestyle from your parents, so compromise and discussion is key. It is better to get it out in the open than bottle it all up.

I am sure that my parents don’t want back at home much either, but having a goal in mind for the near future is important so that you don’t feel downhearted, especially if you see others around you who seem like they are doing well for themselves. If you’re living at home so that you can save to minimize debt when you do move out, or are planning a once-in-a-lifetime trip, or even saving to return to education – then that is amazing! You have the motivation to achieve something and it will be even better when you get there!

How many of you have, or are planning on, moving back in with your parents in the future? How do you feel about it, is it really as bad as it seems?

On a happier note, I do have some amazing news that I am so excited to share with you all – and fits into this post about wanting to get out of my home town! Hopefully I will have a post up tomorrow and all will be clear ^_^

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