It’s Saturday morning and I’m woken up by the sound of my alarm clock.
“Kierstin when are you getting up?”
I open my eyes, and adjust to the sight of my mom standing over my bed.
“Kierstin, I need you to unload the dishwasher and clean the bathroom. What time are you leaving? Are you going to the gym? There’s a guy coming to fix the oil burner and I need you to be home for him. Thanks!”
Um, what time is it? Groggy and barely awake, I think to myself,
I need to move out.
I grab my phone and check my bank account only to be reminded that moving out of my parents’ home is only in my dreams.
I graduated from the University of Maryland in May and moved back in with my parents shortly after. We’re all warned that going to college is a huge adjustment, but no one warns you of what it’s like moving back home after college. After all, living at home shouldn’t be too bad and it’s familiar territory anyway, right? You sleep in the same bedroom you grew up in and your roommates are the people who raised you. Sounds just like when you were in high school.
I don’t know what kind of a teenager you were…but for me, let’s just say I was a typical teenage girl who thought her parents were so “annoying” and I couldn’t wait to move out. Well, little did I know at 22 years old I’d be having the same thoughts. The constant asking of where I’m going, who I’m with, and when I’ll be home are endless – along with still sneaking in during the early hours of the morning with a BAC above the legal limit.
Don’t get me wrong, living at home isn’t all that bad either. I wake up to a beautiful view every morning of the Great South Bay where I live rent free, and my mom sometimes does my laundry. Plus, the fridge and wine cooler are always stocked.
I’m thankful for what I have, but that doesn’t mean I can’t miss what I had. I lived on my own for four years of college with some of my best friends. From living in my sorority house to studying abroad, I was never alone.
I think being alone has been the biggest adjustment of all since coming home. My best friends from school all live an hour to four hours away. Now with jobs and family obligations taking up our calendars, scheduling weekend trips to visit each other are far and few between.
At school, my friends and I did everything together. From sleeping, eating, drinking, and ‘frat’ernizing, there were few moments when we were apart. Now living at home, I wake up alone (with the exception of my parents), go to work alone, eat lunch alone, and sometimes don’t have anyone to grab a drink with on a Friday night. I went from having my best friends around me to being my own best friend. This isn’t a “poor me I have no life” blog post, but this is how my life has changed and I know it is the same for many recent graduates. It simply is what it is.
Being 22 has been the biggest year of change in my life. I went from sharing clothes with my friends to now raiding my mother’s closet. (My mother seriously has an awesome closet and it’s definitely a huge bonus to being home.) My friends and I went from grabbing a drink to scheduling weekly Facetiming sessions. But, the biggest change of all was being okay with being by myself. I had to let go of the security blanket of always having a friend to hold my hand, and know that I can do anything on my own. I know they’ll always be there for me, but I’m learning how to be there for myself.
Now to end this on a more positive note, I do love my parents and I probably will miss living at home. Instead of hanging out with my college friends on weekends, I now have become closer to my cousins and reconnected with friends from high school. Change is always scary in the beginning, but this adjustment in my life has really taught me to face my fears. Instead of looking at living at home in a negative light, I try to see it as just temporary situation that will only help me to grow into the person I’m meant to be. I’m a firm believer that in order for a happy life, you have to keep moving. So I come to the conclusion that even though it can be difficult, this change is ultimately good.