I have always been proud of my independence and ambition. I never thought for one minute that I’d ever consider moving home. Senior year of high school was the last time I lived with my parents for more than a few days at a time – recently, however, I’ve made a guest appearance.
There is a nasty stigma surrounding the notion of grown children living with parents, or at least there used to be. After college, it seemed most of my friends flew right back to that comfy, cheap nest when the job field didn’t extend an offer with the exact firm in the exact field with the exact salary that they wanted. I, on the other less frugal hand, took an internship that didn’t pay me nearly enough to afford my studio apartment in West Philadelphia (or life, in general). I was technically living under the poverty line, but I saw stars -both literally and figuratively- during my stint with the Philadelphia Eagles and the brand recognition was too impressive to pass up.
After the honeymoon phase wore off, I realized that student loans were steadily pouring in and I was making less than a cashier at Burger King. Something didn’t add up. I started the stressful and totally disheartening task of finding a new job. Finally, as if the stars had aligned perfectly, a contact I had met through Twitter had an opening with an agency – bada bing, bada boom – new job.
Unfortunately, after three unpaid internships throughout college and countless loans, the damage was done. Even with my new salary and benefits, there wasn’t a way for me to save and continue with my lifestyle, which was already less than extravagant. Calling my parents for help was the absolute last thing I wanted to do. As I said, my independence has long been what drove my ambition. Fortunately, they both recognized my struggle with poverty-ridden pride and offered for me to move home temporarily – I added “temporarily.”
I have given myself a hard deadline of June 1, 2012. I will have a little nest egg saved and I will be back on my own. Giving myself a timeline is the only way I can mentally prepare myself for my independence being taken from me. I wanted to do it all on my own, but as GenYers, we need to realize when a battle is lost. With the economy in distress, our debt, the country’s debt, our parents’ debt – all forces are pushing back on us.
My advice is not to become discouraged if you must move home for a few months. Of course, the hardest thing for me is taking my own advice.