Well, it's graduation season, and you know what that means. Unemployed kids moving back in with their parents! In this economy, tons of young people are graduating college and heading back home. Does that mean the child has failed to grow into an adult? Does it mean the parents have failed to prepare them for the real world? How long can a 22-year old continue to subsist on Ramen noodles and Beast Light? These are some of the questions that writer Stephanie Tames tackles in a story for Salon.com. Well, not that last one. But she tackles those other two questions.
It’s an unfortunate fact that life’s lessons often come after painful experience. This was mine – and I believe his. Having an adult child live at home made me realize I needed to back off and let my son be an individual, independent of his relationship to me. We needed another familial category in which to live, one not quite embracing the dynamic of parent/child yet closer than roommates. We like each but we have come to respect a healthy distance in our everyday lives.
I moved back home after college, but only because I had to get my ducks in a row. I was a duck hunter and my plastic decoy ducks were scattered throughout my parents' basement. Once I straightened those out, then I moved on to figuring out my life. I determined where I wanted to move, I secured an apartment and I found a low-paying job that would allow me to pay the bills. When that was done I got the F out of dodge as quickly as possible. That said, I don't know why people look at moving back home as a failure. It's one thing if you move back in with your parents at age 40, but to move back in after college is not only normal, it's smart. I know a bunch of people who lived with their parents for a year or two after college, and they all ended up saving a ton of money. A lot of them were able to purchase houses or condos before the age of 25 as a result. Meanwhile, it took me like seven years before I was able to ward off the stench of living paycheck-to-paycheck. In fairness to me, I didn't really have a choice in the matter. The town where I grew up doesn't have jobs. If you think things are rough here, try living in Upstate New York. Up there the economy is bad even when it's good. My point is, everyone's situation is different. Some people are cheaters who live rent-free while collecting a massive paycheck from a job their uncle hooked them up with. Others, like me, are hard-working and independent and totally not jealous at all.
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