So you're graduating from college in a few months and you're probably freaking the f*ck out.
The thought of not being able to get hammered on a Wednesday night, or actually having to wake up before the sun comes up, makes you feel physically nauseous... and that's totally understandable.
We aren't here to baby you, however. Welcome to the real world.
On the long list of things you need to accomplish by the time you graduate is finding a job, actually passing all of your classes in order to graduate, figuring out how the hell you are going to pack and move all of the sh*t you have accumulated in the last four years, and deciding where you are going to live.
Naturally, the last place you picture moving to after college is back home with your parents, but if you think you're the only one entertaining that idea, consider the fact that 21 million young adults lived with their parents after college in 2012.
Not to mention, I know more people who live with their parents than people who live on their own, and that isn't necessarily a bad thing. You have your entire life to worry about paying bills, so take advantage of it while you can.
Here are eight reasons to you should seriously consider living at home after college:
The biggest plus to living at home is being able to save money. I'm sure after all of the lectures you have received from mom and dad about how expensive school and your apartment is, you have some idea about how expensive the cost of living is.
The average salary for a college graduate is around $45,000, which sounds great, right? But when you factor in a year's worth of rent (the US average is $1,200/month), a third of your salary is gone. On rent alone, you'll be spending around $14,400... and that doesn't even include utilities, cable or Internet.
Learn how to budget
So you landed a job making more money than you've ever had in your entire life. Chances are, you are going to spend it on things you don't necessarily need just because you can.
Living at home will help you learn to manage and budget your money. If you want to get used to paying rent without actually paying rent, set up an automated transfer that will take out a set amount on the first of every month from your checking account into your savings account.
Then, have your bank hide the account, so you never see how much is accumulating. This way, when you really need the money, it's there waiting for you. The best financial advice I have ever received is, just because you have money, doesn't mean you should spend it. Well, at least most of the time.
Rarely waking up with strangers in your bed
You are at a bar, you have had three too many shots of Jose Cuervo, and every guy there looks like Ryan Gosling. Unless you are Eva Mendez, the chances of you waking up next to Gosling in the morning are slim to none, but your chances of waking up next to a guy with a chest-fro and a beer gut are like an EPT Pregnancy test: 99 percent accurate.
I know, we have all had those mornings where we wake up and think, "What the f*ck was I thinking last night?!" and yeah, sure everyone loves a good shack story, but only when the shacker isn't you.
Unless I was seriously dating a guy, I most likely wouldn't bring him home after the bar because that would make for an awkward morning walking past my mom eating breakfast at the kitchen table.
Remember those days in college when you were too hungover to get out of bed, or those few times you were legitimately sick and wished your mom was there to take care of you?
Well, not only will your mom most likely get you chicken noodle soup from Panera when you're feeling sick, but she will also bring you Advil and water when you're too hungover to even function.
You know what else moms like to do? They like to do your laundry and cook dinner. Bagel Bites for the fourth time in a row this week or homemade lasagna? Is that even a serious question?
Buying the stuff you'll eventually need over a period of time
Since I live at home, my parents have all of the stuff I need. I don't have to buy pots and pans, new dishes or a new shower curtain. But since I plan on moving out in the next couple of months, I am able to buy the stuff I'll need over a period of time instead of all at once.
Look at it this way: When you move into a new apartment, you pay your first and last month's rent up front. On top of that, you have to buy furniture, pots and pans, plates, decorations and the list goes on and on. Not to mention you just started working so you haven't received a paycheck and won't get one for another two weeks.
Being able to be frivolous
I can't tell you how many friends I have who can't buy anything extra because they have to worry about paying their bills, or friends who stress out about going out for drinks because they might not have enough money in their bank account.
The other day I saw a watch that I really liked, and while it wasn't a Rolex or a Breitling, it was still $500 and I didn't need a new watch. I thought to myself, "You know, I have worked hard these past couple of months and I think I deserve this."
So I bought it. If I were actually paying for rent and utilities, I highly doubt I would just be able to just impulsively drop a couple hundred dollars on anything... at least not without worrying if I would still have enough money to pay for all of my bills.
Paying off your debt
The average college student in the US graduates with almost $30,000 in student loans. That's almost a year's salary after taxes.
What sounds more appealing? Paying off your student loan in as little as 26 months (with your "rent money") or over the course of 100 months (8.3 f*cking years), making the minimum payments?
Clearly that should be a no-brainier. It's much easier to transition into the real world when you aren't being held back by college debt five years after graduating. Even if you don't pay the entire balance, every little bit counts.
Finding a good job
Maybe you graduated and you haven't had any luck finding a job. It's not the end of the world. If you live at home, you can take your time and find something you are really passionate about, rather than settling for a job you will hate.
I had a job lined up nine months before I even graduated from college and came to quickly realize that it was not what I wanted to be doing for the rest of my life.
Thankfully, I didn't need to worry about shelling out rent money, so I impulsively quit my job and am now looking for something I am passionate about and won't settle for anything less.
Photo via We Heart It