So, late-launching millennial, you've found yourself moving back into a time warp of retro music posters, loudly coloured walls, furry furniture and an unacceptable single bed. You're either: part of a new crop of graduates, a time biding naval gazer or a career starter putting some money in the kitty for the future. I am your latter adult child and I am here to say that it's really not that bad - not great - but not as life crushing as you think.
Be honest, those sticky-floored student days were fun for what they were but now you'd rather have a glass of wine, civilised chat and a familiar place to wake up in. But you'd prefer to have all that and be living independently, yes? Well friends, there is a financial landslide happening and many dreams being dashed-weather the storm at a place where the toilet paper never runs out, the fridge is unfailingly full and (rationed) nagging comes without judgment.
If you're flying back into the open nest and making yourself feel better by calling your once playground pit 'The Studio' here's how to deal:
Have A Good Reason To Move Back
Although this whole multigenerational living scenario is a new rite of passage, it's not something you should aspire to do. If moving back home is a springboard to financial security and a way to stand on your feet in the long term, then cuddle up to your main squeeze teddy (avoid too much Stepbrothers sentiment here) and get on with it - but don't be that helpless victim with a conveyor belt of ice cream tubs on the go. Know what you're doing and why you're doing it.
Do Your Bit
Don't lapse into moocher mode, help around the house. After all, you'd have a cleaning rota if you were sharing with your own kind anyway. Now, rent - in some cultures the idea of a child paying their parents money for living at home is as ridiculous as having to bunk up with your parents in the first place in other cultures. So that you don't have a shock when you leave home, contribute to utilities, weekly food shops and general do-gooder things.
If you're still saddling a sad bank account even while you're living at home (sorry if you're eye deep in student debt), for shame! Get those spreadsheets up and money manage till you're back in the black. And just because I want to use my all-time favourite phrase: you gotta make do to make dough.
It's Not A Means To An End
Always remember that this is a temporary phase in your life. T-e-m-p-o-r-a-r-y. If your self-worth has been shot with a double dose of shit and loser, remind yourself that you have a massive life ahead. We had it chummy us generation Y-ers, therefore we think the world is over when things don't go according to script. You're not going to Peter Pan your whole way through life, so ease off the pressure. This is all just a PLOT TWIST!
Don't Get Too Comfortable
Every time I'd come home from uni for some TLC a little piece of me died inside when it was time to leave. There's no way to be sure the same won't happen again when I leave but this situation isn't an excuse to bum in the basement, grow hair where you shouldn't and drop personal hygiene. And boy does this next bit require a megaphone: GET OUT OF THE HOUSE. Don't socialise with the four walls, meet your friends, have a laugh, have a cry and do it often!
Your Parents Will Treat You Differently
Hanging out with your parents is not what it used to be. There is a closing gap between our and our parent's generation. We jam to the same music, confide our deepest and darkest and think of them as friends. If your mother was a drill sergeant in your youth, there was probably a reason for that. Now that you've blossomed and understand the concept of being a decent human being, you'll have a more horizontal than vertical relationship with your parents. Unless they're very uncool, you won't have to give an hour-by-hour breakdown of your gadabouts and - the stuff of nightmares for some - you won't have to walk on eggshells after a weekend bender. But common sense people, don't get paralytic and expect round the clock nursing from ma and pa.
I know how this works; you'll be dodging the "where do you live?" bullet at gatherings by making sure you've a. got something to masticate on at all times b. a lot of subject gliders at your disposal c. a smooth criminal exit strategy and d. a fantasy life you tell with so much conviction you genuinely think you're off to your converted warehouse flat with exposed brick at the end of the night. Let's face it though, enough of us are stalling adulthood with this arrangement to hush societal expectations. We are the shift in statistics and we're boomeranging. Chin up, soldier.
I'm not going to lie, you're going to get frustrated. But next time you're depressed about living at home, think about the Gumtree creep you could be living in a scum bucket with. Yes, exactly.