When I was in high school, I believed that my life after graduation would follow a simple trajectory: I’d immediately move to a big city and start pursuing the acting career I wanted. When my college years began to draw to a close, I realized that my expectations of life as a post-grad were extremely unrealistic. I calculated the money I’d need to make that big of a transition, discovered that there were other fields I wanted to explore in addition to acting, and realized the date for my student loan repayment was quickly approaching. After much contemplation, I realized that my best choice was to live at home for awhile to save money.
At first, I was discouraged by this turn of events. As much as I love spending time with my parents, I was disappointed in my inability to be independent right off the bat. While it’s easy to be dissatisfied with this in-between time of life, I’m starting to have a more positive outlook. Whatever your less-than-ideal post-grad situation may be, whether it’s living in your hometown or not finding that perfect job yet, there are some definite perks of not having life completely figured out.
YOU CAN SAVE MONEY
Saving money is a beautiful thing. Who doesn’t love the feeling of knowing there’s a little extra cash in your bank account at the end of each month? By living at home (or in a cheap apartment), you can hold on to some of that rent money and save for the future (or get a head start on paying off those student loans.)
YOU HAVE TIME TO LEARN NEW SKILLS
During college, there isn’t always a lot of time to learn important life skills, such as how to budget, cook, or check the windshield wiper fluid in your car. If you’re not trying to break into a time-consuming career, you probably have a chance to sit down and learn how to do some of the things you’ve been meaning to for years.
YOU’RE FREE TO EXPLORE MORE CAREER OPTIONS
Once the whirlwind of college subsides, you’ll have time to look into jobs that may even be outside your area of study. A great perk of not having a set career is that you can take part-time jobs or internships that will give you an idea of what to expect from a full-time position. If you decide you don’t like something as much as you originally thought, do something else!
YOU CAN FOCUS ON YOURSELF AND YOUR HEALTH
Chances are, you may not have taken care of your health as much as you should have in college (I know I didn’t), but now you finally have time to follow a healthy routine. Start exercising regularly, and come up with an eating plan that includes foods that are nourishing, easy to fix, and budget-friendly.
YOU CAN SPEND TIME WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY
Moving back home has allowed me to spend more time with my family, which has been wonderful. I got to have one more summer with my sister before she left for college, and now I’m getting to spend more time with my parents. I’ve also been able to catch up with friends who went to different schools. Even though living in your hometown may not be glamorous, use this time to reconnect with your family and friends; you’ll never regret spending time with the people you care about.
FREE TIME EXISTS AGAIN
Don’t get me wrong, I loved college. But with a busy schedule filled with classes, work, rehearsals, and hanging out with friends, I missed having time for myself. Because I don’t have a time-consuming career to focus on right now, I have the opportunity to do things I enjoy, like catch up on my never-ending reading list. I’m sure that my free time will be more limited once I start actively pursuing a career, but it’s been so refreshing to have a few hours in the day with nothing planned. Take advantage of this time and work on your creative projects, redecorate your room, or just catch up on Netflix.
Don’t stress out about finding the perfect career or moving out immediately after graduation. If you end up with your dream job right out of college and can comfortably live on your own, that’s great! If you’re not in that position, it isn’t the end of the world. There really are definite perks of living at home or working at a job you know you won’t have next year. Take life one step at a time, work hard, and enjoy the process.
Featured Image via Jocelyn Hsu