Don’t worry. You’re not off track, or destined to be a garbage man.
If you’re a post-grad living with your parents, you probably have some mixed feelings about it. Your mom is all “Another episode of “Golden Girls,” huh?” and dad is up in arms about the utility bills. All of your friends are living on their own and you wonder if you’re off to a bad start into adulthood. You’re not. In fact, you could be doing a lot better than the rest of us in the very near future. If you think you might be failing straight out the gate, consider the very legit reasons living your parents actually sets you up for success.
1. You’ve got a linear timeline to get your shit together
Whether it’s financial, emotional or both, living back at home gives you the perfect, no pressure opportunity to really get on track. OK, maybe not NO pressure. Dad’s commentary on the electric bill increase is about as subtle as lip herpes, but it’s a lot more pleasant than Fran from Wells Fargo’s “show me the money” wake up call. Lucky for you, parental nagging does not effect your newly established credit.
2. You can save up money for that three-piece business suit
You’ve had time to decide what career is best for you—and without jumping into telemarketing in order to make rent. Now that you’ve decided your true calling in life is investment banking, you can save up the cash for the your entire Armani pantsuit collection.
3. You’ve always got cheerleaders rooting for you
Aside from the time you threw that rager while they were in Orlando, your parents are always on your side. They’re your support system. Whether it’s trash-talking the boss that fired you or bragging to the neighbors about your great GPA that one semester, they’ve got your back and genuinely think you’re great. Everyone needs a little more of that.
4. Your parents are old. Old people know things
Sure, they have seizure every time their cellphones buzz, but sometimes they surprise you with Gandolf-like wisdom. Old people have a broader concept of knowledge. They think long-term and big picture. While you may know more about the latest Snapchat dog filter or how the art of contouring works (please help me), they can teach you about 401k’s, purchase prioritization, and how the hell to make a proper grocery list.
5. Parents have great instincts when it comes to dating—and they’ll share their opinion. You don’t even have to ask!
They don’t actually care if you want their opinion, they’re just going to tell it to you straight. “You always date assholes,” mom says. And wouldn’t you know it, she’s right. Her number one priority is whether or not he’s “nice.” Unfortunately, your exes Tinder profile didn’t specify. Dad wants to know what he does for a living and what his family is like. They think big picture, remember?
6. They remind you to take care of yourself
I don’t live at home, but when my mom calls she still asks me how many days it’s been since I’ve showered. I’d probably lie to her a lot less if she was able to monitor my hygiene habits first-hand. They’ll also let you know when something looks a little tight and politely ask, “Are you sure you need that second piece of cake?”
7. You get to return the favor
If you were anything like me as a teen, you were all, “MA, take me and Ashley B. to the movies!” Basically, you were an ungrateful, unpleasant little shit. Well, here’s your chance to get back in the family will. Make up for all the unwashed dishes and pets that you didn’t walk (sorry, Rudy. RIP). Your parents are old now, so they might need a little more help mowing the lawn or taking out the garbage. Being useful is probably something that never occurred to you until your 20s, and it feels nice.
8. You’ve got BIG plans for the future that require more schooling
Hey, higher education is expensive. Why spend more money on residency than you have to? Shack up with two roomies who already know you’re not going to do the dishes and enjoy more TV channels while you’re doing it. You’ll be paying those student loans off LIGHTYEARS before the rest of us dummies who opted to do it on our own (aka living on loans).
9. It’s more responsible to live at home than move out on your parent’s dime
I thought so many friends somehow got REALLY successful straight out of college. Come to find out, their parent’s were still sending them a nice check every month for rent and groceries. THAT’S CHEATING. You’re not actually on your own. I’d argue it’s more responsible to spend a few months chillin’ in your parent’s basement and save them the extra financial burden while you get on track.
10. You won’t be racking up sexual partners
Remember that one (read: 12) one night stands from college you really regret? I can guarantee those wouldn’t have happened if your mother was hanging around in her nightie all, “Can I fix you and your friend a snack?”
11. You get quality time with your folks before they croak
Like they keep reminding you, your parents are not going to be around forever. Moving back home means you get to know them as an adult. You become comrades. You respect one another. Best of all, you have a lot more opportunity to make memories—especially since you taught dad about beer bong.
But remember not to get TOO comfy
There is an expiration date on the acceptable age to shack up with your rents. It’s probably around the time you attend Jazzersize with your mom. Once you leave the nest again, life won’t be as cozy as laying around in dad’s Lazy Boy, eating his Girl Scout Cookies. There will probably be bugs and shitty landlords—it DEFINITELY won’t be as tidy. But dad’s Lazy Boy is GOALS. You’ll get there some day. But You have to take the plunge to get there.