If, like a lot of graduates, you have to move back home after your studies. You may be filled with feelings of either relief or dread. Moving back in with your family is an important transition for a lot of graduates and one which you have to ride out. I am not saying you should be scared, but you will notice a change. After having 3-4 years of freedom it can be a challenge to settle back into family routine.
Those of you who have read my posts before will know I put all my eggs in one basket with the job hunt and attended my graduation ceremony with no career or job in sight. I proceeded to move back in with my parents. I have 2 younger siblings who, at the time, were 17 and 15 – YAY TEENAGERS. My family had moved into a smaller house (with the assumption, but no guarantee I had flown the nest). They didn’t do this as a signal that I wasn’t welcome at home, they just wanted to down size and I just had to adjust. I won’t go into the personal details of living with my family. It wasn’t smooth sailing but it also wasn’t a complete nightmare. This is all written from the point of view of the eldest child.
To put things into context, I hadn’t done as well as I had wanted and generally I felt a little bit like I had failed, even though I hadn’t. Especially without having a job lined up I felt pretty down on myself so that’s bound to make adjusting to family life again even more challenging.
A few things to consider when moving back home;
To your parents, you are still their child. You may have roamed free at uni but you could be faced with a “my house, my rules” deal. Don’t fight it. It is inevitable. All the “where are you going?” “what time will you be back?” will return (or at least it did for me…not that those questions are asked of my siblings *bitter*) but it is because they care, not that they want to annoy you.
You have been away for 3-4-5 years and if you have younger siblings they will have grown up. If you’ve seen them briefly over the course of your studies you will have seen it happen gradually but BAM suddenly you end up living in a house with 4 other adults. (In my case, 2 adults and 2 strong minded teenagers). Your uni housemates do not compare to this situation – you have to learn to get on with/co-exist with a group of completely different people.
If you have a job
I’ll start with the most positive scenario 😀 YAY YOU HAVE A JOB! Adjusting to a new work routine will be tricky depending on whether you stuck to a 9 to 5 routine at uni. If you hit the ground running and can manage the early starts etc then good for you!
If you find the family life/work balance difficult (i.e. get home from work and want to be left alone) you might think visiting friends elsewhere is the best means of escape. HOWEVER the 9 to 5 routine is draining and you will have to concentrate for much longer than you used to in lectures.
You may therefore want to visit friends at the weekend which can feel like a really good way to escape. BUT take into account how much rest and down time you will need. Visiting friends will take time (travel etc) and you may want your weekends for rest. Don’t commit to something every weekend, you will soon come to appreciate the wonder that is doing nothing. You thought you had that down as a student when you slobbed out in your PJs but that was amateur in comparison to the nothing you may end up wanting to do at the weekends.
I still find weekends a luxury despite having been out of uni and retail work for nearly 3 years. MAN I sound old.
If you don’t have a job
Sorry to say -you will be BORED OUT OF YOUR BRAIN. So do productive things. That doesn’t mean job search every hour of every day but it also doesn’t mean sit on the Sims for 5 hours either (pffft… what am I talking about? Of course you could totally do that!)
Finding entertainment could prove tricky depending on the area you live in and the number of school friends who have come back home. Try and contact old friends but don’t be offended if things aren’t like they were at School. I often think that some of my better friends are the ones I don’t see for ages but then when we are together it’s like nothing has changed. Some people might prove to be hard work and that’s not a reflection on you. Everyone will be busy and most will have a 9 to 5 deal with work and so won’t have much spare time. It is no longer like Uni (which I compare to a bubble) you won’t have socialising on tap.
If your parents can’t afford to support you (or you don’t want their money) then you may end up at the job centre. This sounds like an obvious one, but I didn’t consider “signing on” until my mum mentioned it. Jobseekers allowance is not to be sniffed at! Don’t be proud, suck it up and get down to it. Don’t be too proud! Take what jobs you can get – it’s all experience. Oh, and don’t expect in depth career advice from the job centre. You’re in -> processed -> out in most cases. So be proactive! I found this the biggest reality check and kick up the bum to work hard and make sure I would never be in that situation again.
You might experience some feelings of inadequacy, which is normal, but not productive. Do something outside every day. Make sure you leave the house and try and have conversations with people as much as possible. You are not a failure for moving back in with the rents! If anyone tried to ridicule you or say you’re not good enough -walk away. This is no time for negative influence THANKS!
The working world after uni is difficult. Try and form a routine even if you’re not working, get up at a reasonable time and go to bed at a reasonable time – it will make the transition to work much easier. Getting into full time employment can be a shock for some.
Also, on a side note you might notice that you’re not quite the same drinker as you were at Uni. Most people go through a detox really. You watch, 2 glasses of wine and you will be DONE! If not drunk you will deffo want your bed by 10pm (especially if you’re working).
I might sound a bit negative here and some of these things may seem obvious but no one told me any of this and I felt quite lonely after graduating. You should enjoy living rent free (if you’re lucky enough) and having food bought and cooked for you! The end is not nigh and you will not crumble being hugged back into the family bosom I PROMISE.
For most people it’s not forever but if it is for a long time and if you still feel bad – read this post! 18 radically successful people who lived with their parents