Written by Johnny Dixon, Employability Executive (Enterprise) at The Careers Service
After four years as a student in Scotland, I moved back in with my parents in Manchester. Originally, this felt like a step back and I was worried that I’d lose my independence. However, I wanted to let you know that this isn’t the case and to dispel the myths around moving home and let you know my top five things about moving home after graduation:
This is a huge benefit of moving home. Although you may have to contribute something towards rent and bills, it’s unlikely that you’ll be paying anywhere near as much as you would be to live in private accommodation. This means that you have a better chance of getting some money saved up when you’re working. I moved home and carried on working in my summer job in a bar, and without the worry of paying what I had to pay as a student for rent, I was able to start paying off that student overdraft!
Reconnect with friends
It’s easy to compare yourself to what others are doing when coming to the end of your university experience. When I was moving back into my mum’s box-room in Rochdale, I had friends travelling the world, starting jobs in London and LA and buying houses. This originally made me feel like I was a failure in comparison to my peers and I was embarrassed when they asked me what was next after graduation. However, I quickly realised that I wasn’t alone when I began to reconnect with school-friends who, for the last few years, I’d only seen for the odd Christmas night in the pub when I was back from Uni. It sounds clichéd but everyone has their own journey and when you stop comparing yourself to others you can really make the best of whatever situation you’re in. Moving home isn’t a failure, it can actually be a really sensible way to start figuring out what’s next.
Get to know your parents as adults and retain your independence
When I moved back in with my parents, I was worried that I’d lose my independence and be treated like a child again. This is obviously different for everyone, but I quickly learnt that my parents are… actual people! Even though my mum will always think of me as her baby, moving home helped me to realise that having a supportive family network is an amazing privilege and that as an adult, they allowed me to retain my independence whilst still supporting me in figuring out what I wanted to do.
Takes the pressure off your job-search (sort-of!)
By moving home, I could be a little bit more selective about what I wanted to do. Even though my mum still isn’t happy that I’m not a lawyer or a doctor, by moving home, I could really take some time to figure out what I wanted to do next. This isn’t to say that I wasn’t getting daily prods to sort my life out from my dad, but I wasn’t in as much of a rush to find a graduate job as I would have been if I’d chosen to stay at Uni and be tied to paying regular bills. Eventually, I realised that I wasn’t sure what to do next and enrolled onto a Masters course at my local university (The University of Manchester!) where I was able to develop my passion for working in Higher Education, which in turn inspired me to start working with the Careers Service!
Learn to appreciate what you have!
Not everyone is lucky enough to be able to move home to a comfortable, supportive environment. This means that if you do find yourself in a situation where you’re lucky enough to move back home, you shouldn’t see this as a negative step-backwards but rather as an opportunity that not everybody has. It’s really something you shouldn’t take for granted. I originally viewed moving back in with my parents as a failure, but now I realise that it was an opportunity that not everyone has and I’m grateful that I had a safe place to figure out what I was going to do next. Thanks Mum and Dad!