Four years of little sleep, slaving over studying and barfing up essays, all amounting to a $36,000 piece of paper, also known as a bachelor’s diploma.
This expensive piece of paper holds the promise of a decent future. A future including financial independence and a substantial career. A future that doesn’t include living with parents. Only losers move in with their parents after graduating college–I’m one of those losers.
After graduating, I quit my part-time desk job and headed from Milledgeville, Georgia to Columbia to move back in with my parents. Transitioning from living independently for over four years to moving in with the folks is quite the humbling experience. Not being able to strut around the house naked, stumble in around 2 a.m. and invite random strangers over can be a damper at times–not that I would ever live this lifestyle, but knowing that I no longer can slightly saddens me.
The 2014 U.S. Census Bureau study, “Young Adults: Then and Now,” tracked the young adult population from the 1980, 1990 and 2000 censuses and the 2009-2013 American Community Survey.The study recorded data regarding salary, education level, transportation habitat and around 40 other topics. The report found that millennials are more likely to live at home than any previous generation of adults. The study also concluded that millennials have lower employment rates than their predecessors.
I’ve only been living with my parents for a little under a week so far and I’m already experiencing the stressfulness of job-hunting. I figured that working with a newspaper, interning in Hong Kong and possessing a magical diploma in mass communication would open up a world of job opportunities. Unfortunately most communication related jobs require years of experience in the field. My two years of scattered publications doesn’t quite meet the mark. Thus, I’m living at my parents’ place, applying for jobs and hoping to nab a paid internship.
Living with the folks isn’t such a bad gig. They provide free food, rent and I get to hang out with my cat. The city also has it perks; there’s always at least one event happening everyday in Columbia. I’ve already practiced what I’m going to sing at Art Bar’s next karaoke night. I’m also making a list of all the local restaurants I can’t wait to try, like Kraken, Inakaya Watanabe and Solstice Kitchen. I can also indulge my unhealthy Jimmy Johns obsession. The closest Jimmy Johns to Milledgeville is one hour away, now I have the choice of three different places, all within 10 miles.
Columbia’s lively culture definitely lessens the blow of losing some independence after moving back in with my parents. However, if I still find myself living with my parents after a half a year, I’ll gladly take on three low-paying jobs to move out. I don’t want to be a loser forever.