The final weeks before graduating college, or before beginning an internship can be a wonderful time for the imagination. Plans for the future begin to flourish in our minds, and we create this vision of what the perfect future will look like. Living in a city buzzing with young creative people, coffee shops on every corner, and breweries for days (I do live in Grand Rapids after all). And then, my great friend reality comes and slaps me right in the face. She reminds me that I’m broke; I’m about to start an internship (unpaid) and cannot afford the adorable loft I’ve created in my head in downtown Grand Rapids. So this leaves me with one choice- “Mom…I’m coming home!”
Now that paragraph makes it sound like moving home is about as enjoyable as getting a cavity filled (I have a terrible fear of the dentist, so you can only imagine my comparison). But I’m writing this article to myself, and for all the young graduates who are in my same shoes, or will be in a few short months. It’s perfectly acceptable to live at home. I’ve been home for a year, and honestly its great! I’ve completed an internship while under my old roof, and now I work full-time, and am still under that same roof.
Every situation is unique. I enjoy living at home, but I acknowledge that not everyone feels the same way. I’ve thought of a few ways that may convince you to embrace living at home, (besides for a cheaper rent) or at least consider it to not be as painful as you may think.
Home Cooked Meals
While away at college, cooking was not a strong suit for me. It was find whatever was quickest, cheapest, and in my dietary restrictions for my food allergies. I ate a lot of the same meals every week (probably why I still can’t eat a lot of chicken). But living at home, you can have mom’s famous chili or her homemade soups whenever! Offer to help out making dinner, or helping to plan meal ideas…don’t expect her to wait on you. But now you can have some variety in your weekly meals! Praise the Lord!
My TV Buddy
In our house there are some shows we watch religiously: The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Grey’s Anatomy (we’ve been watching since day one…can’t stop now), Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, Fixer Upper, This Is Us- the list honestly keeps going. At school I would watch them either after a class on my laptop, or in my room at their scheduled times. I would constantly text my mom, “CAN YOU BELIEVE SHONDA DID THAT?” (The answer is yes, because she enjoys ripping your heart out and stomping on it-but that’s neither here nor there). Now that I’m home I can sit down next to my mom on the couch, with our snack and watch it together. We can share in each other’s shock, tears, and laughs.
One thing I wished I had more of in college were snuggles with my two pups. I missed having my dog greet me at the front door after school, and just wanted to cuddle up next to him while I worked on homework. Now that I’m home, I can get endless Calvin snuggles. He’s the last one I see in the morning, and the first one to greet me at the end of the day.
>>Clearly I’ve stated some of the obvious, superficial benefits to living at home. While these may be the selling points for some people to live at home, there’s a deeper, more important reason why I encourage you to embrace living at home.
You're Making Memories
-Living at home is an opportunity to create cherished memories with your family. (A little louder for the people in the back)!
Since I live at home, I am able to attend my brother’s sporting events whenever, and not have to miss out because I’m at college or living somewhere else.
Since I live at home, I am able to eat a family dinner every night of the week and have a conversation with my parents and brother about our day.
Since I live at home, I am able to drive down the street (2 minutes) and have a bedtime cup of tea with my dad while engaging in some meaningful conversation.
Since I live at home, I was able to have the comfort of my parents while I experienced some personal growth in this last year.
Since I live at home, I am able to help Jack (my brother), with his homework after school.
Since I live at home, I am fortunate enough to hear Jack practice his trumpet (even though in the moment it doesn’t feel that way).
Since I live at home, I am able to cherish the moments my sister comes home from college to visit.
Since I live at home, I am able to share laughs with my family at silly things I would’ve missed had I lived elsewhere.
Since I live at home, I am aware that I am blessed with an amazing family. I already knew that- but it's a constant reminder being under their roof and in the same zip code as my dad.
For me, in a few years I’ll get married and move out of the house. And it wasn’t until a month ago that it really hit me what that will mean. I walked down the stairs and saw my mom, stepdad, and brother sitting on the couch laughing about something on the TV. It hit me then, that I won’t get those moments forever. I won’t be included in those every day activities. They’ll continue to make memories without me.
I’ve learned to ignore the little annoyances that come with moving back home. I’ve learned to be okay with not having the ability to do whatever I want with my tiny room. I’ve learned to accept my mom’s invite to the movies, instead of binge watching Gilmore Girls alone in my bedroom (hanging with my mom isn't annoying to be clear). I’ve learned to be less selfish, and embrace the gift my family gave me in the opportunity to live back home. They provide me with a roof over my head, food in my stomach, and the support to grow as a young woman in this time of transition. And for that, I am beyond grateful and fortunate.
It’s not a negative experience to live at home- it’s truly one that has allowed me to focus on being thankful for the small joys in life, and to soak up time with family.