Monday, July 13, 2015

Life as a Boomerang Kid

When I graduated from Cornell in May 2012, I had to move back home. I was unemployed (and wouldn’t land my first full-time job until the following March), and I was (and still am) about 100k in debt. That’s 100k with 5 zeros.

Needless to say, there was no way that I could afford to rent a cardboard box, let alone an apartment in New York City. What I pay in student loans each month is around what most people pay in rent, and publishing pays next to nothing. Seriously, we don’t work in publishing for the money. Living with my parents when I’m in my mid-twenties certainly has its ups and downs, so I thought I’d start a blog series on living in my childhood home when I’m no longer a child. I think it’s something that other millennials can relate to, especially when recent statistics say that one in five people in their 20s and early 30s is currently living with his or her parents. 

Guess what they call us. The boomerang kids.

So here is the first installment of my survival guide.

Tip #1

Respect is the only way to survive, and it goes both ways.

The fact of the matter is that when you’re away at school you get very used to not having to answer to anyone. You come and go as you please, you stay out super late, and you invite strangers to stay the night (or they invite you). 

Moving back home is definitely an adjustment for everyone. My parents had to realize that I was an adult, so they couldn’t police my comings and goings or tell me how to lead my life. I had to realize that living at home was a privilege— not a guarantee—and that I still had to respect the fact that my parents were genuinely concerned about my well-being and didn’t stop being my parents because I had graduated from college.

That meant extending the courtesy of letting them know when I was leaving the house or if I’d be out super late (or not coming home at all). I still try to respect their household rules and try to contribute (even if that just means unloading the dishwasher from time to time). When I started showing them the respect that was due, they left me to my own devices. It’s made for a much more peaceful living environment.

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