Shacking up with my parents: Why I decided to move back home after college, and my advice for young adults considering the same

  • Darian Dozier is an osteopathic medical student who lives in Houston, Texas and runs the blog Melanated and Meducated, a medical school advice and wellness hub.
  • After graduating college in Oklahoma and unexpectedly losing her job, Dozier decided to move back in with her parents while she prepared for grad school.
  • Moving home came with growing pains, she says — from not being able to go out late with friends to having to keep her music down and gatherings to a minimum.
  • Still, moving back home was a great decision: It allowed her to save on rent and expenses and gave her a chance to spend more quality time with her family. 
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When I graduated college with a BS in psychology, I knew I wanted to go to medical school. I just had to take a couple of years off, work, and then go back to school. For the first year, I did exactly that, while living with a couple of other girls, and had a blast. But then in 2019, my job unexpectedly closed, and we were all laid off. I still had a year before grad school, and my lease was almost up. I talked with my mom about it, and moving back home made the most sense. 

If you have the option to move back home, it can be a wise choice

The thing about being in your early 20s, balancing a job search and trying to continue your education, is that your life is constant chaos. 

If you get a degree in the humanities, like I did, or you want a job where you can help people, then you may not have a plethora of $60,000 jobs lined up either. You're almost in a state of limbo, waiting for someone to send you that "You're accepted!" or "You're hired!" email. That was me, for a whole year. 

To prepare for my acceptance and transition into medical school, the best choice was for me at that time was to move back home. Moving home had plenty of pros: no rent, no lease, free food, constant family time, and in my case, my own "apartment," i.e. the basement.

Read more: 3 Great Recession grads who have earned 6 figures while working for Netflix and Bank of America share the steps they took to land a job during a downturn

I hadn't lived with my family for about five years, so moving back home came with some growing pains

Dozier and her mom in Las Vegas for family vacation in September 2019.Darian Dozier

As great of a tool as the Ring Video Doorbell may be for safety, it is the arch nemesis of young adults coming home from a night out partying. Considering I knew my life would change once I entered med school, I was trying to live my best life until then. That meant wineries with my girls by day, and hitting the bars of Westport in Kansas City by night. 

When I lived by myself, coming home whenever was just something I did. Normally my friends and I went to a bar or party, grabbed some food on the way home, and ate it in our beds until we fell asleep. 

When I moved in with my parents, I was still trying to live my same life, but my parents had different rules. They worried about me when I was out late, and I normally disturbed them if I came back in the early hours of the morning. It took a few conversations here and there for me to develop a new awareness of what time I should make it back home. 

Also, hosting the pregame for a night out was definitely out the window. When I had an apartment in college, it was the designated pre-outing venue to get ready, listen to loud music, and get warmed up for our festivities. Plus, I could wear whatever I wanted to on a night out, because I looked great and you don't keep a Bentley in the garage (if you catch my drift).  

The opposite couldn't be more true being an adult kid in my parent's basement. If my music got too loud, I would quickly get a text saying to turn it down. If my friends came over, they were on their best behavior. I also had to keep in mind "Can I walk out the house looking like this without raised eyebrows?" If the answer was anything other than yes or maybe, I was changing, regardless of how cute my outfit was.

Going from being a young adult with free reign, coming and going as I pleased, to being a "free" young adult having to abide by my parents' rules took some adjustment. There were some bumps in the road as my family and I got used to each other again. 

Despite the shaky transition, moving home was the best decision I could have made

I truly am blessed to have had the opportunity to move back home. Not everyone has that option, and if they do, they may not have had the luxuries I did. 

I may have complained about not being able to live life the way I was used to to, but my parents made things pretty comfortable for me. I didn't have to worry about anything, and they gave me a place to figure my life out without worrying about my next meal, or paying bills. 

Plus, nothing beats family time. Not only did I move back in with my family, but I got quarantined with them as well. Talk about too much togetherness. 

We found ways to mix up how we all hung out, from  the Jeopardy games we played, to shows we watched, video games we tried out, and food we enjoyed. We may butt heads because we share a lot of the same qualities, but for the most part, we love being around each other. Even when we're mad at one another, we still find ways to come back together and smooth things over.

Read more: How to decide if now's a good time to go to grad school — and the pros and cons of applying during the pandemic

Moving back home with your parents isn't easy and comes with its fair share of complications

Dozier poses with some of her family wearing matching pajamas on Christmas Eve in 2019.Darian Dozier

But for me, it wasn't bad at all. Did I have to make some major adjustments? Sure. But being in school now, and not having that same sense of togetherness, is actually something I miss. I'm very thankful to my mom and dad for their openness and generosity in letting me move back home during this time.

A good majority of my friends live with their parents, and we all have the same complaints. It can be weird and frustrating going from doing your own thing to having to abide by someone else's rules or ways. But we can all agree on one thing: The fullness from spending time with your loved ones is unmatched. Not only that, but being able to work and save money helps prepare you for when you're finally ready to move out.

Anything that helps you get a leg up in this expensive, scary adult world is worth it. 

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