Ever since I graduated college, it seems that people see more and more issues with kids moving home post-graduation. The “boomerang” kids are graduating college and moving back in with mom and/or dad for any number of reasons. I’m one of those kids. And while it’s really nobody’s business why I moved home, I want to address the stigma of college grads who live with their parents.
I come from a very tight-knit family. We’re all close. I am also the oldest of my siblings. So when I made the decision to go to college three hours from home, I tried to prepare myself to be far away from my family and from the small town in which I grew up.
I stuck it out at Lock Haven for four and a half long years, including spending two full summers there. I visited home often, but after a while (especially after some significant hurricanes), I decided New Jersey was where I wanted — and needed — to be after college. I want to be near my family.
Those of you who are also from NJ, or know anything about the cost of living in NJ, probably know how expensive it is to live here. I knew I wanted to go to grad school in Jersey, and after living on my own for a while in PA, I didn’t want to be own my own during grad school. In addition, I had two part-time jobs (the hours equating to a full-time job) lined up in my hometown. It just seemed like the best course of action to move back home.
Maybe I moved back home for comfort — my depression and anxiety have definitely subsided since I came home. Maybe I moved back home for convenience — my bedrooms are still here for me, and my parents’ have the room in their respective homes.
But it is absolutely NOT because I can’t function on my own as an adult. I took care of myself pretty well during the three years I lived off-campus in Lock Haven.
Could I go out and get an apartment to satisfy society’s expectations of what a young adult “should” do after college? Sure. But why should I, when I have been welcomed back into my parents’ homes with open arms? My sister will be receiving her associate’s degree in a couple of weeks, and she too will be moving home to continue her education, commute to a school close by, and save for vet school.
This isn’t forever; I will only be living here through grad school. I am just getting really tired of the “news” and others telling me that I’m just mooching off my parents. My financial situation, as well as my parents’, and what we do is no one’s business but ours.
I just wish the media would stop making it seem like such a problem that students move back home after college. With the graduate school enrollment rising, undergraduate college is not the end-all-be-all you-are-now-an-adult, especially with how much debt students often incur. It is not anyone’s place, especially the media, to tell a family how they should handle what their child does post-graduation. I’ll get out there on my own again — I just don’t want to right now. I am not lazy — as I mentioned, I am working two jobs. I am not irresponsible — I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself, and often when my mom works late, I take care of myself and watch out for my seventeen year-old brother. So forgive me if I get offended when I see things like this: