In an era where independence is our goal and student loans are our demise, the delicate topic of moving home is typically one of shame or despair, however necessary it may be. Nowadays, it ain't easy to move out after college. If you did, good for you. If not, good for you, too.
Typically, moving back in with Mom and Dad is met with a cringing fear of “what am I doing with my life?” But it doesn't necessarily have to be that way. I'm calling this a period of transition, and instead of the feelings of failure and restlessness I expected, I actually feel pretty damn good.
Was it part of my plan? Not exactly. But, it's ended up being the best decision I've made.
Here are the four things that happened when I moved back home:
1. I've improved my health.
In a major way. Gone are the days of going to the bar every night. I'm a pretty social person, so usually I ended up at least grabbing a beer (or two) with a friend most week nights. Those beers, and slices of pizza to follow, add up quickly.
I still go out on the weekends, of course, but cutting back in this way has made a huge difference. I've been back for less than two months, and I've lost about 15 pounds without really putting in any work.
Not to mention my constant “rallying" (aka going to work on three hours of sleep) has changed. Believe it or not, I'm getting really used to doing what most people use the night hours for: sleeping.
And I mean actually sleeping, not passing out. My mornings are generally hangover-free. Do you guys know how much easier it is to get through the day and function when you're fully rested? It's something to try.
The better I feel, the more I want to feel that way. It's sparked a chain reaction of healthy choices and, in turn, has given me a much more positive outlook in general.
2. I've saved money.
Like, a lot of money. Not just because free rent is a hell of a lot cheaper than any rent, but because I'm not going out all the time and wasting money on stupid stuff.
I made this a priority, and evaluated where my cash flow was going. Eventually, I'm going to have to move out, and that's going to be expensive. So, to soften that blow, I'm doing my best to use this period as a cushion. I actually have a savings account again *gasp*.
3. I refocused.
Being at home, I'm not caught up in some of the things that can get to you when you're away at college. The pressures that come at you from every direction to make decisions subside, and there's time to figure out what you truly want.
I'm slapping myself for not doing this sooner, but I was clouded with things that were seemingly urgent. It took coming back to base to realize what I wanted to do with my life, and feel the support I needed to get there. And now I have the time and motivation to work my ass off towards those goals.
4. I remembered what's important.
This time last year, my biggest concern was which of the three bars in my college town I was going to that night, and who was going to be there. I wanted to make new friends and talk to potential baes.
Everyone was buzzing with their post-grad plans, and panicking about having time to study for finals before hitting the packie before 9 pm. How many members of the sports teams could you get into your snapchat story, and who was going to have the most likes on their Insta were genuine priorities for my social life. That is no longer the case.
OK, so maybe I was never THAT basic. But regardless, my perspective has done a complete 360. I still love to meet new people, and you bet I still force my awkward flirting on dudes when I go out, but spending time with my family and close friends is my top priority. And I couldn't care less about whether or not it ends up on social media. I spend the majority of my time with my mom, and she's honestly my best friend. It'll be a long time (if ever) before I find a roommate as cool as her.
Trust me, after living away from home for the past four years, I've grown to appreciate my independence and learned how to make it on my own. I proved to myself I could, and I relished in my ability to take care of myself. And someday soon, I'll do it again for the rest of my life.
But as for right now, I'm enjoying being exactly where I am.
This post was originally published on Crumbs On My Map.