Congratulations! You’ve just graduated college (complete with a killer grad party you’ll never forget) and are now facing some major life decisions. Some of your friends probably rocked their first group interview and are now signing leases on new apartments, but that kind of seamless transition isn’t always in the cards. Whether you’ve taken an unpaid internship after graduation or you’re still working on landing your dream job, sometimes it just makes sense to move back in with your parents post-graduation. We promise that the time to sign the lease of your first apartment will come, but in the meantime, career and life coach Jenn DeWall is here to give us five tips on how to make moving back in with the ‘rents as painless as possible.
1. Reframe your brain. DeWall understands that it can feel like a major bummer to move back home immediately after college, but she says the experience is what you make it. She says to “reframe it as an opportunity to be more strategic and intentional” with your job prospects — you can (literally) afford to be more selective about what jobs you apply to and where. She also reminds us that job hunting is a stressful endeavor, and it never hurts to have Mom and Dad around to be your cheerleaders (and proofreaders!).
2. Set clear expectations. Before you get to the “ugh, Moommm!” phase of living back at home, DeWall suggests setting up clear expectations about cleaning, financial obligations, laundry, meals, and, yes, even what time you come home. Just because your parents know you came and went as you pleased in college doesn’t mean they’re chill with you rolling up at 2am every night without at least a text. DeWall puts it this way: “When you set expectations and everyone is on the same page, it can reduce stress and frustration down the line, making your parents’ place somewhere you want to live, not somewhere you have to live.”
3. New routines reign supreme. If you’re worried about falling right back into your old high school patterns like the last four years didn’t even happen, DeWall says you have to stay strong and “say no to those social events that no longer serve you as the person you are today, even if they would have been cool in high school.” Instead, try extending your newfound college passions into your home life, whether that’s taking a yoga class in the morning, volunteering with a political organization on the weekend, or joining a book club. You’ll meet people who most closely align with post-college you, and who knows — you may make some career contacts in the process!
4. Let future finances take immediate precedence. Want to move out as soon as possible? DeWall says you have to create a budget outlining every expense you’ll have once you live on your own. This means “calculate everything from student loan debt and rent to travel and lifestyle expenses.” Knowing where you want to be financially a year from now will help you make more responsible decisions today.
5. Set goals. It may be easy to while away your hours with Mom in the garden, but if you’re serious about moving out, DeWall suggests you write out “where you want to live, what you want to do in your free time, and how you want your life to look. Create goals that excite and empower you.” This could mean setting a goal to apply for one job per day, attend one networking meet-and-greet per week, or update your personal website with your current portfolio by July. These small goals will keep you motivated and working toward something much bigger.
Are you moving back in with your parents post-graduation? Tweet us @BritandCo and let us know how you’re coping back at home!
(Photos via Getty)