It may still be a little taboo, but living with your parent/s in your 20s is the new norm. According to Loughborough Uni ‘63% of [unmarried] adults between the ages of 20 and 29 live with their parents.’
I became part of this statistic when I trudged back home after graduation, following 4 years of independence. My parents were pretty strict growing up, but I had lived a whole grown life so I thought things might be different when I came back. Wrong! I was hit with reality when I realised I was the kid again. The side eye when I came home past 11pm and sermons about what I’m doing with my life were all on the menu.
Now that I’m living at home, personal space is a thing of the past. My room seems to be the hangout place for everyone, even when I’m trying to avoid human interaction. Being in an adult relationship and living at home is also tricky to navigate. When my boyfriend and I are chilling at mine, we never really have any time to ourselves. At uni, friends would usually pre-drink at mine, but now I’m drinking alone on the 7.24 train to Paddington.
Before I go off on a negative tangent, let me mention the positives of living with my family. First of all, I’m saving so much money — my goal of owning my own home is slowly becoming a reality. I also don’t have the responsibility of running an entire household, so my life is relatively chilled. I also know I won’t be living with my parents forever so I’m trying to spend quality time with them and enjoy their company — the banter at the dinner table is even levelling up. I’ve had to realise that I’m not living alone anymore and I try to be considerate. My parents are also becoming more chilled and are accepting the fact that I’m my own person. This took time and lots of difficult and awkward conversations.
Living with other people, family or not, takes compromise. Bare in mind that the people you live with are going through their own struggles and the stresses of life. Be a little more understanding, patient and definitely think before you speak. It’s also important to play your role within the household and contribute to the day-to-day maintenance of your home — cooking, washing-up or doing the shopping for example. Don’t forget to also make space and take time for yourself. So many studies have shown the importance of a rejuvenating personal space and its impact on our wellbeing.
No-one talks about how to co-exist as an adult with your family. It’s a strange period of adjustment for us and our parents, and compromise and empathy are all necessary. Whatever your reason for still living at home is, make the most of it. Like all seasons in life, it won’t last forever.