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Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Life after University: Moving back home

Hello there you beautiful beings of the blog-o-sphere!

Today's post involves me talking about how I feel about life after university, specifically how I feel about moving back home with my parents (and this post is a long one, so I highly suggest grabbing a hot drink, taking a comfy seat and settling in for the next 5 minutes or so)

Now as some of you may know, I stayed on at UEA with my closest friends to do a postgraduate course in counselling, and therefore I avoided having to move back home for another year. But when the time did finally come, it was almost even harder to say goodbye than before, as the friendships that were good before had now solidified and I was really packing up and leaving a huge part of my early adult years behind. In all honesty, like most postgraduates, my moving back home did come to me as a slap in the face. The kind that leaves you a with an unpleasant stinging sensation, and a feeling of shame and confusion that lingers for hours after. Bit of a dramatic analogy? Perhaps you're right on this occasion. However, the thought of leaving all my friends behind, being unemployed and feeling like an only child, did leave me feeling rather bewildered, to put it mildly. My younger sister has just started her new student life at Edinburgh University and my older brother has just moved out to start his career as a lawyer and had relocated to his own flat nearer Central London. Now, unlike some of my friends who have had to move back to their homes in the middle of the wilderness (okay maybe a slight exaggeration there), I am fortunate to live near enough to Central London, so there is plenty around for me to explore. I am lucky in that sense, as I have a plethora of museums and galleries on my doorstep to save me from going completely insane. There's only so much job hunting one can do before they get cabin fever and loose their marbles. Of course I'm speaking on behalf of a friend's recent experience-*currently in denial about the fact this is my current situation*. Apologies, I was just clearing my throat, now where was I? Ah yes! Discussing the tragic life of an unemployed postgraduate...For those of you who are currently in my position, my deepest condolences are in order. 

 Before I go dwell any further on what you can expect from moving back home, I thought first I'd indulge myself with a bit of nostalgia and take one last trip down memory lane....

Image may contain: 9 people, people smiling, people sitting and indoor
Image may contain: 9 people, people smiling, people standing and outdoor

And yes you'd better believe I've plastered photos from my uni days all around my bedroom at my family home...gotta keep those memories of freedom and independence alive, am I right?!

For those of you who are still at is a little glimpse of what you can expect from moving back home:

One of the first things you have to accept when moving back home, is that you might be living at home for a while. With being unemployed, comes an obvious lack of money, and therefore living with your parents for a while until you can save up for your own place, may be your only option. So  please stop telling yourself it’s only temporary, face up to the facts and start unpacking all those boxes you’ve been avoiding! You might as well make your room look nice if you’re going to be in it for a while. 

The second thing is accepting the fact that whilst you may indeed have an astoundingly polished CV and a star dazzling university do several thousand other people. The sad reality is that these days, you can’t just walk into a room and leave with your dream job, especially if you're straight out of university. So prepare yourself for the long and painful weeks, perhaps even months, of job hunting and CV tailoring. If job hunting does become your full time job for a while, make sure you keep active (and sane), by joining a gym, going on a daily walk, or just venturing out into town and browsing the shops. Don’t let yourself go, completely. There’s still hope for us unemployed graduates yet…

Try not to get knocked down and loose faith if you have to work a part-time job in retail to begin with, everyone needs an income, and it’s also a good way to get out of the house and meet new people. 

It is also time to accept that whilst living with your parents isn’t ideal, it’s your reality for now and it means you need to step up your game and help out around the house. No one wants to do chores, but we're not fifteen anymore and we can't get away with laying around doing absolutely nothing. We need to start pulling our weight, and help out with the cooking, cleaning and laundry- shockingly, it doesn’t do itself! 

One living-at-home aspect to get used to, is that whilst you may have been doing your own thing as an independent free-flying-sass-queen for the past 3-4 years, as far as your parents are concerned, you are still a seven year old child who needs to inform them of your whereabouts every five minutes and to always be at home at a decent time. In addition to this, you will re-learn that it is absolutely not acceptable to eat a bowl of COCO pops for dinner, or leftover takeaway for breakfast- it’s the adult world now- we must learn to eat grown up things at adult approved times. 

Don’t be disheartened if your friends from uni start getting jobs left right and centre and you still don’t have one yet, your time will soon come and you will join them in the world of work. For now, just keep on going, work on your CV, get voluntary experience if you can, find and start a hobby, re-discover your home town and just appreciate this free time you have, because soon you’ll be stuck in an office behind a computer dreaming of a few hours of freedom. 

And remember it’s not all bad!! You get home cooked meals (from time to time), a nice house that isn’t full of mould and damp, free or discounted rent and bills, and a chance to re-connect with your parents (you can decide whether that’s a good or bad thing). 

 Good Luck & as always, thanks for reading!

Olivia Charlotte Alice

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