Moving Home: A Post-Grad Lifestyle3/08/2013
I, like many of my fellow recent college graduates, begrudgingly moved back home after graduation. ...
I, like many of my fellow recent college graduates, begrudgingly moved back home after graduation. While it is a common move, especially in today's economy, it was unexpected and forced me to reevaluate my life and some of my future goals.
Last November, during my senior year of college, I applied to a year long, tutoring program. I was offered a spot in Texas and after some serious consideration, decided that the program was not something that I could do. After coming to that realization, I took some much-needed time away from applying to post-graduate programs and fellowships, to reflect and figure out what I wanted to do next.
Then graduation came. I went to college eight hours away from my home; so coordinating the arrival of out-of-town family, in addition to the three graduations I attended, was my focal point immediately following my last exam of undergrad. My mind was nowhere near thinking about finding a job.
I resumed my job search in May, uploading resumes and cover letters to numerous employment websites, oftentimes never hearing back. A few applications resulted in phone interviews, none resulted in job offers. So at the conclusion of my summer job at my Alma Mater, I packed up four years of my life and headed home.
Moving home was very bittersweet. I was relieved to not have to pay rent, bills and, for the time being, my car note. I’m not saying that I am spoiled, but there were a few stressors that I did not have to worry about living at home, and I was not upset about that. I had saved a little money from my summer job, to hold me over while I continued my job search, and used that on extracurricular activities.
After living on my own for four years, and in an apartment for the past two years, moving back to my childhood home was a challenge. I no longer felt solely responsible for myself, but for my entire family; everything I did would affect them. I had the freedom to come and go as I pleased, but things were not the same.
In my own apartment, I was in charge of my decisions and myself. I could invite friends over at any time of day or night or listen to music at whatever volume I chose. I could sleep all day without disturbance or judgment and stay out all night without having to explain my whereabouts.
One evening last fall, I came home at six am. I came in quietly, accompanied by a faint sunrise and greeted by my father. All of my life, my father got up around four am for work but since retirement, I wasn't expecting him to greet me at the door like he did. He expressed his dislike by chastising me for coming home so late, that it was early. Needless to say, I haven't stayed out that late since.
While there are many other costs and benefits, the ultimate pro of living back at home, for now, is the ability to invest more time and money into myself. I now have the flexibility to spend time and money out outings with friends, go to concerts, take an adult theater class, things I could not afford to do if I were on my own somewhere.
While I can’t wait to live in my own place again, I am learning to accept my post-grad living situation at home, for now, and make the best of it. Instead of wishing for different and beating myself up about not finding a job sooner, I have found the silver lining and I plan to enjoy my rent-free life for as long as I can.
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Precious J. is a 20-something, aspiring culture writer and music enthusiast located in DC. For more on her contemplations about blackness, culture and music, email her at: Precious@ForHarriet.com