The Hotel of Mum and Dad: The Reality of Living with Parents Post-University

By Issy Goode - 20:23

I have to say that the past six months have gone incredibly fast considering I don't feel like much has happened. Sure I've graduated, passed my driving test and successfully got my first job post-univertsity but other than that we've been living a quiet life in a relatively dull village in the sticks of Nottinghamshire.

As many of you know from my previous 'Hotel of Mum and Dad' posts I'm living in a house with five fully grown adults, compared to life at university where I lived with only students and the rest of society was okay with the fact that we weren't associated with the adult world.

However, when you move back in with either yours or someone else's parents, you're part of the adult world, but never quite considered an adult. Sure they'll expect you to act like one, but by no means does that suggest you'll always be treated like one.

So, what's it really like living with parents post-university?

They'll forget your age
Parents tend to treat their children like children no matter their age, but it's exacerbated when you actually live within their four walls. After family visits you can pretty much forget about parents telling you to 'be careful', 'stay safe' and all those other concerns that make you feel about five again. On the other hand, when you're living under their roof there's pretty much a constant concern for your wellbeing as if you're a teenager gallavanting around the place with the motto of YOLO.

They'll also forget your life experience
Cooked for yourself for three/four years? Doesn't matter. Lived on your own, paid bills, rent & had money in your account that you had responsibility for? Doesn't matter. Happily did your own washing without dying all your clothes? Doesn't matter. Got a degree? Doesn't matter.

All that matters to the parents is that you're under their roof and therefore, you're clearly in need of their guidance. You'll be told how to navigate a supermarket like you've never been in one before, how to cook pasta as though you didn't exist on it for the past three years of your life and how to separate your whites and darks as though your underwear was never supposed to be tinged pink (haven't they heard of colour catchers anyway?! - and we all make throwing our friends' bright red shorts in with our white underwear...obviously before I heard of colour catchers).

As I said, it doesn't matter. If they didn't teach you much life experience before university don't expect it now, and if they were happy doing things for you without hassling you to do it yourself, expect that to likely stay the same too.

They'll expect a few meals cooked for them
If it's not the parents making a joke about having a top notch meal served up by yours truly, it'll be another family member piping up about those culinary skills you must have gained whilst at university. They may not expect much from you, but I'm sure at least once they'll want some proof you didn't live on noodles and cheese least, to put your mother's worrying mind at rest.

They'll moan about you not doing anything, but won't let you do it anyway
Whilst they will berate your laziness they'll also take responsibility directly away from you. You may offer to do your own washing, but they'll still throw it in with everyone elses. You may offer to clean up after dinner but they'll insist it's fine, that they'll do it themselves.

But be careful my dear graduates, this is in part, a trap. They'll do these things for you, sure, but they'll also complain about how 'you never help out' and will never rememeber the million times that you offered.

They'll do a lot of things for you
I find this both a perk and and slightly frustrating, but perhaps I'm one of the few. Having dinner cooked for you every night sounds great, but I quite liked this part of university. I could have it whenever and could make whatever I wanted. When I fancy something in particular, I'm too late by the time I get home to request it or cook it for myself. It's helpful and means I have more time to relax in the evenings though, but it also adds to the feeling that you're still a child.

I won't complain about the fact all my washing is done for me because that was by far my least favourite chore.

You also don't appear to get harassed to hoover as often as you once did as a child. 

You'll appreciate it no matter how annoying you find all the things done for you, but realisitically, it can get a bit frustrating over time because you've lost all responsibility for the things that became a part of everyday life for you at university. 

They'll drop hints of you moving out
In my case, the openly want us to stay for as long as possible in order for us to save money but I think there's plenty of cases in which the family pose the question 'have you looked at any places yet?' as though you haven't got over £40,000 of debt, a half decent or less than decently paid job and also the rent you pay to them directly to can you afford to rent a place of your own?!

The fact is, in most cases, you want to move out much more than they want you to. You've lived with friends for the past few years of your life and now you're back with the 'rents, your uni friends are more than likely further away than you want them to be and most of your nights are spent in your room because it's a chilled out environment up there that demands nothing from, you also probably have work in the morning.

You'll have to tell them where you're going and when you'll be home
Remember this from when you were a teenager? It's happening all over again. You can't just stroll out the house, hop in your car and spend all day out and about without telling the parents where you're off to and whether you'll be back for dinner.

When you were at university you had no one berate your phone asking where you've got to when it's past dinner time, because well, you decided when your dinner time was.

Basically, if you still love living at home post graduation, good on you!

My advice is to stick it out as long as you can. I make it sound like it's all bad, but really, you get a lot done for you, you've got a roof over your head for what is likely to be a cheaper price than renting somewhere of your own and you've got family around you. Whilst in my case it's not my family, I appreciate the fact that we've got family close by that care for us. 

Of course, if you like your freedom I can guanrentee you won't be able to stick it out for long!

What do you like the most and least about living at home post-graduation? 

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