ONE MONTH ANNIVERSARY

30 Oct

Earlier this week my mom mentioned that I’ve been living back home for exactly one month now. Boy time has flown! But who’s counting? Then she asked, “how’s it going?” I actually get that question quite a bit from co-workers, friends, my boyfriend – as if they assume it wouldn’t be going well. I think most people just can’t imagine being under their parent’s microscope again. But much to everyone’s surprise I’m actually really enjoying living back home. And I don’t feel like I’m under a microscope at all – my parents treat me like an equal adult and allow me to live my own life. So today I’m here to set the record straight and share my thoughts about why my recent move back to the nest has been a positive one.

When I made the decision to move back home after my lease with two roommates in Greenlake was up, I wasn’t thrilled. I had been on my own and out of the house for most of college and for three years following, so never in a million years did I think this would be the path I’d take. But I knew it was the right choice (and even the responsible one) for me at the time. I can hear the critics saying “moving home isn’t responsible, you must not be budgeting well” or “your parents supported you your entire life, grow up and just live somewhere cheaper.” Well, there were many other factors that played into my decision besides just saving on rent.

Living with roommates is tough.

Especially roommates that are your good friends. (no offense to any of my old roomies that may be reading this – love you all – but we all know it wasn’t always easy as pie!) If conflicts arise, the overall friendship is strained. And it takes a while to rebuild what you had. I think almost everyone probably has a few good roommate stories to tell. To be able to afford to live somewhere I was comfortable (fairly clean and safe, nearby transit access for my commute, within 15 minutes or so to my gym and the grocery store, among other basic amenities – I’m not asking a whole lot here), the only choice I had was to live with roommates.

According to an article published last month on the Seattle PI’s Seattle Real Estate News blog, the average price of apartment housing in the greater Seattle-area has continued to rise (up 5% from this time last year) and now sits at $1,165 due to increased rental demand (more people are renting over buying these days). So like I said earlier, living with roommates has been the only option at my current salary. (Interesting side note – the Times published a story on Friday arguing that we 20-somethings are the answer to rebounding the housing market – I so wish I could buy!)

After experiencing about 10 moves since the age of 18 and nearly 15 different roommates, I found myself at a stage where living with others was no longer that appealing. Being in the latter part of my 20-something years I have also noticed that most of my friends are at varying life stages. Some are single, some are in serious relationships and some are married, while others work regular 8-5’s while others are bartenders or coffee baristas. To have a successful roommate experience I think it really comes down to matching up the right lifestyles, which can be challenging at this age. There are just so many factors that come into play – many that you don’t even realize until you’re already living with someone and have signed the lease papers.

Time is everything.

Having just begun graduate school while still working full-time, I’ve become overly aware about how I schedule my days in order to get the most out of them. When I had roommates we always lived in Seattle because the city is typically considered to have the most social outlets for 20-somethings, and most of my past roommates worked in Seattle. So I would commute to downtown Bellevue everyday either by bus or car which could sometimes take up to two-hours roundtrip. Three years of the back and forth across the bridge and I just couldn’t do it anymore. My time was getting increasingly more valuable as I tried to squeeze more things in my day, so that long commute just wasn’t in the cards anymore. Living back home on the Eastside has definitely helped add precious time back into my day that I can now use productively instead of sitting in traffic.

Appreciation of family.

You don’t realize how much your parents do for you until you’re out of the house. You also don’t realize how much you miss those simple daily interactions with family members until their gone. While living back home I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reconnecting with my brother over common interests like technology and working out, taking the dog on long walks around the neighborhood with mom and having lengthy conversations on life, and talking about my career and school with dad. Those interactions are more easily had when they’re face to face and I’ve grown a newfound appreciation for them.

Finally this past month I had a small health scare and was in and out of many doctors appointments. Since I was home, my mom and brother were able to lend their support and help me get through the first week of doctor visits (it was difficult for me to drive). I realized that if I hadn’t been living at home this time would have been much more difficult. And so I greatly appreciated them being there for me.

I wanted to end this post with a question for my readers: At what age should we experience living on own own?

SO WHAT’S A BOOMERANG ANYWAY?

25 Sep

They call us millennials, gen y’ers, boomerangers, kidults and twixters. Whatever the term, we are 20-somethings. Within the past decade this new life stage of emerging adulthood – a term coined by psychologist Jeffrey Jensen Arnett – has become acknowledged by academics and society, yet there is still a debate that persists.

There are those who believe that people in their 20s have a “failure to launch” syndrome, subconsciously prolonging their adolescence by reaping the benefits of decades of American prosperity provided by their boomer parents. And there are those who think this cultural shift is really something to take note of – and true support of this new life stage by society and our institutions may actually produce better, more productive citizens in the end. A “let them explore and experiment while they still can” kind of attitude.

To provide a bit more background on the 20-something situation, here are some striking facts that an article in the New York Times article presented last year:

  • 1/3 of people in their 20s move to a new residence every year.
  • 40% of people in their 20s move back home with their parents at least once.
  • People in their 20s go through an average of seven jobs.
  • 2/3 of people in their 20s spend at least some time living with a romantic partner without being married.
  • And marriage occurs later than ever. In 1970 the average age to marry was 21 for women and 23 for men; by 2009 it climbed to 26 and 28 respectively.

So why this blog?

As a 20-something who just began grad school, holds a full-time job in marketing/communications, and oh ya, also just moved back in with my parents, I am experiencing the emerging adulthood trend first hand.

Through personal accounts, listening to the perspectives of others and a bit or research –

I want to inspire others to share their 20-something stories.

Whether it be about moving home to save, landing that first desk job, or opinions on when the right time is to get married.

It’s clear this decade is a defining one, as we 20-somethings are laying the groundwork for what the rest of our lives will hold. So I hope this blog will bring the realities of today’s 20-something life to light and help overcome the stigmas associated with my age group.

Sources:

Henig, Robin Marantz. “What Is It About 20-Somethings?” The New York Times. 18 Aug. 2010. Web. 23 Oct. 2011.

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