My Roommates Were My Parents-A Memoir

Graduating college was one of the most unique and strange experiences of my life. After the best four years I could have asked for, I packed up my parents’ car and headed back home to Long Island like any other summer. Despite this being a grand milestone it all felt very ordinary.

I’m not sure if I ever made the executive decision to move back home. It was always silently understood that living an hour outside of the city, there was no real reason for me to get an apartment when I could just hop on the train to get to work. That, and I was very broke. (The devil’s name is “Sallie Mae.”)

I ended up living at home for six months after college. I’m incredibly fortunate to have an overly supportive family. They never once made me feel rushed, but tried their best to give me the space I needed to figure out how to be an adult. With that being said, living at home was not easy. Most mornings I woke up at 4:30am to hit the gym before I hopped on the train around 6:15am. And most nights, I didn’t get home or eat dinner until after 9:30pm.

The entire process of commuting is incredibly draining. My dad has been doing a similar commute for over 20 years, which made me feel incredibly guilty for whining (a lot). I’ve since realized that my dad is a superhero who does not feel exhaustion and for normal humans, this is pushing your body to its limits.

With that being said, unless you follow me on Snapchat or deal with me on a daily basis, you’d probably have no idea that my life was anything short of amazing. Anytime I saw friends outside the city, they’d comment that I was “crushing it.” Around month five of my time at home, I had a major breakdown about the fact that I wasn’t living up to everyone’s “crushing it” standards. I had a great job where I was doing well, but I still felt like I was in this perpetual state of drowning. After a day spent sobbing to my mom, I started to unravel the problem: I had no time for myself. Every moment of my day was spent in the company of other people: parents; coworkers; angry commuters. Literally the only time I was alone was when I was asleep and, as an introvert, my body had no time to recover.

It was after this breakdown that I realized that moving out was more than worth the money. I moved to Brooklyn, which cut my commute down by about 45 minutes each way. I started to live like a normal 22-year-old. I actually had time to go out — revolutionary! And I started to take time to do nothing, to decompress, reflect, and just watch a TV show every now and again. (PS — HBO’s Silicon Valley is really good.)

A lot of people ask me about living at home. Contrary to what you may think at this point, I do recommend it. Adulthood is hard and so is asking for help. Needing validation or help is okay and having your parents around to know when you need it is incredibly underrated. I do suggest setting some ground rules with your parents and siblings. You may think you’re all on the same page, but you’re probably not. Spelling out everyone’s expectations and responsibilities will allow for a smoother transition. Living at home does not at all distract from your worth or your success. Some people will think that it does, ignore them. It may not be the “cool” thing to do, but I can assure you that you’ll never regret saving that money.

If you’ve just graduated or are heading into your senior year, here’s my advice: don’t rush. Take some time off after graduation – the corporate world will still be around when you get back. Move home; travel; take some time to be creative. You have just finished four years of studying — it’s well deserved.

Any other tips on how to stay sane while being a grown “adult” living in your childhood bedroom? Let us know in the comments below!