what it's like to live at home after graduating

After a quick Google search on the subject, I found, thanks to ABC News, The New York Times, and other reputable news sources, that there is no shame in moving back home after graduating. It's hard to find specific numbers, but in 2011 45% of recent college graduates were living at home. That sounds comforting from a statistical perspective, but statistics don't really matter to the individual, right? 

Very objectively, living at home is great, especially while having a part-time, or even full-time job. Saving is easy since things like rent, utilities, and groceries aren't taking up the vast majority of each paycheck. You don't worry about moving to a new city, navigating work life alone, or learning how to cook for one. You can travel and visit friends. When my car died and left me stranded in April, I had a miserable few weeks, but I was able to get a car that could drive me from point A to point B. I wasn't eating ramen for the whole month. In that sense, I'm really glad that I stayed at home.

But again, we're not looking at it completely objectively.

Day to day, there's little, tiny stressers. There's anxiety to move out and be the adult that your friends are (or seem, to be more realistic). You get used to people with sympathetic eyes saying "oh that's great, I wish I could live at home still" when you tell them your living situation. You understand that's really the only answer they can give.

There is the feeling of inequality - it's easy to still feel like you're in high school, because you're sleeping in the same room, eating the same food, living with the same roommates. When your dad is asleep, you still tiptoe past to get to the den. You still have chores, without the allowance. You have freedom, with thin strings still attached.

There is also guilt for feeling bad about it, because, completely realistically, it's not that big of a deal. Why should I feel so bad about living with my parents? They love me, I love them. I have a roof over my head and fewer responsibilities than my peers who are budgeting just to go out to lunch. I'm not ungrateful. In fact, I feel grateful every day. So why do I also feel like a failure?

I know that this feeling will pass. I know that eventually I will get an apartment, and I'll wish that I could buy the nice bread that I like instead of the store brand. I'll wish that I didn't have to pay the electricity bill, or that I could ask mom to throw my laundry in the dryer in the morning because I forgot to move them from the washer last night. I'll miss my dog and long afternoon walks with mom. There will be days, plenty of days, when I wish I had my own space, but for now I'll soak in the time with my parents before I move out and into the big bad world.

*note: not my house. My house is not that blue or charming