After four (or more!) years of college, nothing says "freedom" like that newly minted college degree! However, if you struggle to find a job, or are uncertain about your post-college plans, you might find yourself seriously considering moving back home.
If you can't find a place to sublease for a couple of weeks or months until you know where your first job will be, then moving home might seem like the only reasonable option. Before you do that, think about all of your options. Can you rent a storage unit and move in with a friend or relative while you look for a job?
THINK ABOUT YOUR MOTIVATION
Consider why you need to move back home. Are you trying to save money for a down payment on a house? Are you staying there for a few weeks until
you get a final offer on a job? Waiting for graduate school to start?
Try to have a timeline. You and your parents will both appreciate knowing how
long the arrangement is to last. Plus, it will keep you motivated. It's easy to stagnate if your folks are footing the bills for the indefinite future.
Plus, the LONGER you are out of school and without a professional job, the harder it might be to land that important first job. For example, if you move back home with your folks and start working again at the job you had while in high school, it might be easy to slip back into your old patterns. Before you know it, six months could have passed by, and your degree isn't being utilized, and your repayment plan kicks in for your student loans. And to make it worse, a career-level employer might assume that you've been actively looking for a professional job this whole time, and so they could start to wonder "what's wrong with her???", when in reality, maybe you just weren't as motivated as you would have been if you were out on your own.
EXPECT TO LOSE SOME FREEDOM
Expect to lose some of your college freedoms. If you lived away from home for four years while at college, then it's likely that your folks will think
of you as the way you were when you last lived at home. And chances are, you've changed... a lot! Living in your childhood home again will be an adjustment for you and them. Try to be respectful of their house and their lifestyle. If they are getting up at 6am for work, they won't appreciate you having friends over until 2am.
If you have younger siblings still at home, be sure to have a discussion with your folks about their expectations for you to do babysitting duty, pick-ups, drop-offs, etc. A lot of potential conflicts can be avoided by simply discussing expectations in advance.
Basically, it's like any other roommate arrangement: compromise and communication are the best bets for making the arrangement work.
Readers: if you have any tips to share on this topic, please be sure to comment in our Post College Forum. Thanks!