The Glorious Perks And Painful Downsides Of Living At Home As A 20-Something

By Alex Schnee
It just sort of happens one day and it's gone. You feel like you can never get it back. It's like you feel homesick for a place that doesn't even exist. Maybe it's like this rite of passage, you know. You won't ever have this feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself. – "Garden State"

Whether you have been away at college or you are coming home after traveling the world, there’s something to be said for enjoying the comforts of your own bed.

Christmas vacations and summers in your hometown can bring about a lot of emotions, whether you are happy to return or not. Living with your parents again, however, is a whole other story.

It can bring some of the best memories back, and can also remind you why you left home in the first place:

Your Family

When you come home after being away for a while, you often forget how cool your family actually is. You remember that your mom is amazingly altruistic and your brother gives the best hugs.

You’ve forgotten how your dad can make anyone smile and the perfect inside jokes you'll always have with your sister.

You also have forgotten that no one else can drive you up the wall quite like your family. They have seen the best and worst parts of you, and they are happy to remind you of them.

However, no one understands you more than the people who love you most in the world, and that tends to win over the fact that your little sister flushed your iPod down the toilet.

Your Friends

No matter how far you roam, you know that you will have that group of friends who are always waiting for your return.

They are the ones who have known you since middle school or earlier, who used to drag race with you on Main Street; the ones who snuck you your first cigarette and who have seen you change from the person you were to the one you are now.

They are your best friends, but there are also those you have grown apart from. You know a simple coffee date will do in order to catch up.

Nothing can be more fun than laughing about times passed, but those times are in the past. You’ve made new memories with new people, and sometimes relating to old friends can be hard if you haven’t been back in a while.


What is more comforting than sitting down for a meal that stirs up nostalgia? Whether you love your mother’s meatloaf recipe or your dad’s mashed potatoes (or both), one of the best parts of returning home is that you know you are going to devour some of your favorite comfort foods.

It’s funny, after living on your own, you might have started to develop special eating habits that you just can’t keep up when someone else is feeding you.

Whether you have taken up veganism, decided you are allergic to gluten or can’t seem to get past the cookie jar that has been on the counter since you were three, coming home means returning to some old eating habits you probably worked hard to get rid of in the first place.

Going Out

The good news is, when you don’t feel like a night down at the local bar with your old friends, you can blame it on your parents. The bad news is, when you want a night down at the local bar with your old friends, your parents don’t want you to go out.

Being an adult and living back at home for a while means that some of the same rules you had forgotten in high school are still there.

You may think you are free to make your own choices now that you are in your 20s, but living with family means you might also have a curfew again, you can’t have the occasional cigarette or you might have to stay behind and watch the dog when it’s puking.

Not Having to Pay for Anything

Knowing you are about to make a Target run with your mom and realizing that you don’t have to pay for shampoo can be a major plus to being home. That extra $40 a week you would spend on groceries while living on your own or at school is now in your pocket.

Don’t even get me started on when I "happen" to walk past the bookstore and have the fabulous pleasure of being treated to a brand new paperback.

Not having to pay for anything can be a great feeling when you feel like you have a hole in your wallet, but if you are continually treated to things, you may start to feel as though you aren’t doing such a great job of being an adult and taking care of yourself.

It feels good to earn money and know that you can handle living on your own.

Needless to say, there are perks and downsides to everything, but coming home can be one of the times you see these the most.

Growing up tends to cause growing pains, especially in our early 20s to early 30s, and returning back home can bring out the best and the worst in your family, friends and you as a person.

If there are no cookies in that cookie jar when I get home, everyone better watch out.