THE BLOG
22/11/2013 08:09 GMT | Updated 25/01/2014 16:01 GMT

Merrily Coping with Moving Back Home

Moving home after graduation is a scary time, not so much because you're delved into a horrible new lifestyle, but because you've had to say goodbye to such a fantastic one. It was always going to be hard to beat living at university with friends, without the divides of varying salaries, lifestyles and holiday allowances.

The issue with the 'six month' post-university move back home plan is that it depends entirely on your ability to convince someone to employ you. When you're the kind of person who phones fax machines instead of landlines, leaving messages after the 'screech', this begins to seem a steep slope to climb. Suddenly mum's cooking and guaranteed winter cooking morphs into a long term outlook of 'empty the dishwasher chicken' and 'compost bin day roulette'.

Moving home after graduation is a scary time, not so much because you're delved into a horrible new lifestyle, but because you've had to say goodbye to such a fantastic one. It was always going to be hard to beat living at university with friends, without the divides of varying salaries, lifestyles and holiday allowances. What's more, university is a brilliant place where you can be president of the jelly-mould society and drink a vodka coke for 90p, whilst home is a haven for Tesco vs Morrisons trash talk and severe plump the cushions policies.

However I bear good news in the form of some upbeat tips for fellow offspring lodgers;

Enjoy living at home, you probably won't ever do it again. We'll join our grown up friends eventually, but for now let that saucy fraction of yourself run wild and free which enjoys Bake Off dinners with mum and becoming a local at the pub where you learned to get smashed on Smirn Off Ice. At the end of the day, spending time with your parents when you've grown out of school-run yelling and bed time boycotts is pretty cool, you actually get to know them.

Following the thread of optimism, when your parents jet off on holiday without you and leave you totally home alone, don't weep straight away about the fact you live too far away for anyone to visit, because fortunately there are plenty of nights alone with the dogs to come, where you will be more than at liberty to shed a tear. Equally, if you do take the dogs for the walk and the big soggy black one decides to jump up on your mum's treasured Laura Ashley sofa, don't worry about her battering you with the duty free Toblerone and her newly tanned fists, but instead take the mentality of 'they left me, damaged furniture is inevitable collateral.' Everybody's a winner today.

Now for employment; searching online for local jobs may produce suggestions such as 'Santa's grotto helper.' An elf's secretary might not be the graduate scheme you had dreamed of, but nor is it unemployment. Instead of violently shredding your degree certificate in the food disposal unit (because your parents are away), entertain the idea for a moment. You can tell your friends about it at the pub, nay on Skype, because no one lives at home anymore.

On the absent friend note, cherishing conversation with the postman is nothing to be ashamed of. Meeting new people who don't use phrases such as 'crae crae' in any context other than a speech impediment is a wonderful thing. Just don't start saying things like 'Roger (who knows) is great bants'; this suggests you believe that the friendship has blossomed more than it ever will. Plus, Roger probably thinks 'bant' is a Dutch village in Flevoland. He is a postman after all.

Next, condescension is the problem of your adversaries, not yourself. In other words, Chinese burning 'how on earth you are coping?' whiners will hopefully be legalised soon. Don't tell yourself you're struggling just because other people assume you are; it is a sign of creativity, not coping, that you've choreographed an entire routine to accompany the Chicago Motion Picture Soundtrack. Still not noble enough to rise above the haters? Ask them how they are coping carrying a briefcase and not pulling it off, consequently losing their one shot at sex appeal as an accountant.

Learn to laugh. Yes, there will be moments when your Dad suggests you should date the B+B chef because he 'has a decent face' and yes you may actually fancy him. He's an inappropriate choice because he's a) been dubbed a 'hottie' by dad, b) cooked you meals while you've three wheeled your parents for four days and c) thinks your 15 years old as a result. No, life will not always be like this.

No news is good news. Keep this in mind when your university-bound brother asks how's home and your mum tells him about the window which broke in June 2001. Remain positive when you fail to think of a better anecdote. It was double glazed after all. Equally, refreshing Gmail repeatedly for job offers from places you haven't applied to is a step in the right direction. But probably start applying.

Lastly, blood's thicker than water. Relying on your parents for a social life is a funny, dreadful thing. When they don't want to go to the cinema with you, try not to threaten to hang out with more available middle-aged people, but instead look on the bright side. That evening you watched A Few Good Men slobbed out on the sofa with your dad will probably be something you remember with a smile in years to come.

Last but not least, be thankful we've still got about ten years before they start making television programmes about us.