I’ve been unsure on how to start this post for the longest time as I do not want it to come across the wrong way, jealous or ungrateful. I do however, think it important that a post like this is made, for my own peace of mind and anyone else out there who may have been left feeling the same way as me. As you know, I finished University just over a month ago and since then my life has changed quite a bit, I have gone from living independently for four years to moving back in with my parents and siblings.
As you can imagine, that is a little bit of a change and a change which I am (obviously) still adjusting too. Truth be told, I didn’t want to move home again. Not to be ungrateful or horrible to my family, as they have been nothing but supportive for so many years, but because of the drastic change which it meant for me personally. My parents completely understand how I’m feeling too so please don’t think that this will come as a surprise to them. Let me explain…
I don’t want to move home but why?
I first moved out in 2015, moving into student accommodation in Portsmouth to study my NCTJ Journalism Diploma. It wasn’t my own space entirely as I shared the floor with numerous other people but I did have my own room and bathroom – something I had never had before. I moved back home for a couple of months before moving out again to go to University in 2016, moving into a different student accommodation in London. Whilst I did go home again for the summer, by July 2017 I had already found a new place to live. Since then, I have been living in my own flat for the past two years and even though I shared it with my boyfriend, it was still my own space.
My lease is coming to an end though and the stark reality is that I can’t afford to stay living in London so I have to move home. Personally, I don’t want to have to keep relying on my parents for financial support either, I’ve finished University now, it’s time I got a job and supported myself – but that doesn’t mean living in London (I haven’t even got a job yet either).
The reason I am sharing my story now is because over the past few months when people have asked me what I’m going to do post-University and if I’m staying in London, the response I’ve received has not been very positive. I’m not shaming anyone, as obviously it is personal choice, but I have been made to feel like I am doing something wrong and that it is weird to go home again after living alone for so many years. I even got told that I was ‘abandoning’ my boyfriend, he’s 22, he’s okay living alone – even if he may miss my baking!
I thought it was the ‘done’ thing?
Before going to University I thought it was the ‘done’ thing to move out and then move home again after it finishes and yet I seem to be one of the few who is actually doing that. Friends have said ‘well, can’t you make it work so you can stay?’, and yes, perhaps I could but only with the help of my parents and at the moment I don’t have a job. What if I were to get a job outside of London? Why would I stay living there then?
It is not wrong to have to move home after University – everyone’s situation is different. Some people are fortunate enough to be able to stay wherever they are and not have to move home – believe me, if I could, I would and that is not me being ungrateful. I love my family but it is a big change moving back home when I’ve done pretty much everything on my own for so long, from something so trivial as washing my own clothes and making my own dinner. I’m moving back home but I’m also moving back into a shared bedroom with my sister, if I didn’t have to, do you think I would? The difference is that I do not want to make myself financially insecure by attempting to scrape by on my own when I could live home (still paying rent I may add) and save up for my own place in the future.
Since I first told people my plans almost a year ago, as it was always my intention to move home, I have not had a good response. Perhaps besides my friends who live at home and want me to come back to see them more! It would have been nicer if the response wasn’t so negative and I wasn’t judged for my choices, it would have been nice that people saw what I was doing and why for the right reasons and that more support was out there for people in my situation.
Everyone’s situation is different.
Personally I feel that I am moving home again at a weird age. I went to University a year later than my year group and a lot of the people around me are either still studying or didn’t go at all and now live very different lives. I’ve got friends who are engaged, have children, or both, as well as friends who are either in the process of buying their own property or already own a flat or house. Everyone’s situation is different and I do feel weird to be moving back in with my family when the people around me live so differently but then again I may well have been in some of their situations had I not decided three years ago to go to University. I have no idea because that’s not the life I chose, I’m not jealous of the lives they live as I am SO glad I went to University, it’s just different?
If you’re able to stay living on your own after University, then that’s great! If you’re moving back home to live with your family, that is also great! It’s personal choice and choices which believe me, are not taken lightly but sometimes it is the most suitable option. I’m not judging anyone and I’m not having a go at people who have given negative responses, all I’m asking is for there to be more support and more acknowledgement that actually an awful lot of people do move home after University (for however long) because they have to!
At the end of the day, everyone’s journey is different and everyone has a different story. Let’s be supportive of that, whatever your opinions may be! I hope this post has made sense and if you’re in the same situation as me then that’s okay, let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
You can read my other University related posts here.
Thanks for reading!