This post is a bit of a personal one, and will be part of a new series, where I give out advice or tips based on student life and post-grad life. Hopefully it goes down well!
To begin with, I’m technically homeless. I currently live with the Boyfriend-Wonder at his parent’s house, and have been staying here since the end of May. I get my post directed to my Dad’s address, and am currently living away from my beloved city, going back only for things like job interviews.
I’ve only been back for about 2 weeks, but there’s a lot of things that have had to change in my life and how I act in general. Moving back home hasn’t been easy- after university, I assumed I’d get a cushy job and live in a nice apartment in town. Clearly, that hasn’t happened! Not everything goes according to plan, and sometimes, you have to learn this the hard way before you appreciate it.
I know of quite a few people who have gone to uni, graduated and then come back home. After 3 years living an independent life, it can be quite jarring to return to a lifestyle where things are done on a whim! During this two weeks (and likely more) that I’ll be living under someone else’s roof, I’ve come up with some helpful tips to make life easier for both you and your family/friends/whoever you’re moving back in with!
1) Tidy up after yourself
It sounds obvious, but when you live alone or with friends, you get into bad habits. The pots go days without being washed. Clothing amasses in piles around your bedroom. You think that mug under the table in is growing a new species. Unless you now live with people of a similar mindset, chances are your parents/family/whoever won’t stand for it, and for good reason! While you’ve been away, they’ve got used to living a certain way, and now you’re back, you’ll have to change for it too. So simply put- wash pots after you’ve used them, if you make a mess clean it up, offer to help with chores, and don’t grow foreign bodies in their crockery.
2.) If they set rules, follow them
Back in my student digs, I’d stay up until silly AM marathoning shows and getting lost on the internet and wouldn’t rise until the late afternoon. It was a fun time, but I can’t really do that now! My boyfriend’s family have a strict 9.30 rule, where everyone has to at least be awake by 9.30. It’s done wonders for my sleeping pattern, and helps keep things calm, so I’ve gone on with it. It makes for an easier life, and that’s all you really want when you’re home for an undisclosed period of time- you don’t want family yelling at you for missing an important parcel or someone at the door because you were asleep.
3.) Got beef? Bury it
It can be very, very easy to get into horrendous fights with your family before you leave and let them stew once you’re gone. After all, you won’t be there to put up with your sister’s awful taste in friends or your brother’s terrible music any more. You can yell, bicker and swear as much as you want, but if and when you come back, it’s gonna be there to greet like you like a secret boss in a video game. That’s why it’s so important to get over whatever the problem is. If you sit down and talk it out or offer to make a compromise, you’ll find life that little bit easier. Also, who knows- you might end up finding out you have something in common.
4.) Make the most of being back
This is a much more fun tip! It’s pretty broad as well- life with your family and in your hometown is a lot different than in your university city, and sometimes that’s a good thing. For instance, as a student, when was the last time you had salad? In your kebab or burger doesn’t count! It’s always been a common thing with family to serve plenty of veg and have fruit on hand so you should definitely enjoy it. Fruit and veg are super good for you, and much better than whatever food it is you were living off at uni. Not just this, but you can take time to visit hometown friends and family members. Not everyone chooses to go to uni, and it’s great to reconnect with old friends.
5.) Don’t get complacent, but don’t overdo yourself either
I’ve been in my hometown for two weeks, but it feels like a lifetime. In that time, I have spent day after day after day looking through job adverts and houses on Rightmove and Zoopla, and I gotta say- it’s really depressing seeing the same stuff over and over again. I’m in a unique situation, and not everywhere is willing to accept or work around it. Don’t overdo yourself and get worked up over this- sometimes, it’s just the way it works. You might not find your ideal place straight away, but it’ll jump out sooner or later. By the same merit, don’t get so disheartened that you don’t bother; it’s not the end of the world, and there will be a way out. Keep at it!
My next post will be next Monday, and will be about the things I wish I’d known as a student. Stay tuned!
Do you like my new feature? What advice would you offer for someone coming back home?