I’ve spent a fair bit of time recently meeting with recent and not so recent graduates at the start of their careers. One thing stood out with them for me; that they were living at home and happy with that decision.
There are a number of aspects to this:
- It’s the economy stupid! Time magazine points out that research shows 85 percent of recent US graduates were moving back in with their parents. Jobs are hard for them to come by and there is no sense moving out when we’re well on a way into a double-dip recession. Many of them have a certain sense of entitlement which means that they won’t take the slacker McJobs that generation-X took (and grumbled about) – so economically they need to make compromises in other ways. A number of them are doing internships to try and set themselves up for successful future careers. Economists estimate that UK homes could fall by at least 20 per cent in real terms over the next five years – so even if you have a job it makes sense to live at home if you can and save up for a deposit
- Their relationships are different. They grew up in less turbulent times than generation x and this has partly affected their relationships with their parents. They are more likely to live in harmony with their parents than comparable generations in the 1960s and 1970s. Social media also means that even if they do live away from their parents that distance doesn’t provide them with the same level of privacy in developing their own lives that previous generations had. Their parents have already seen their college drinking escapades and probably have a good idea what their new girlfriend or boyfriend is like
- Peer norms are different. Previously there was a stigma attached to living at home particularly for young men. They were seen as not being able to stand up for themselves in their own right. It was something to be ashamed of and would have a major impact on your ability to find a dating partner. This seems to have changed, living at home seems to be an acceptable lifestyle choice for young graduates at the moment
Survey: 85% of New College Grads Move Back in with Mom and Dad – Time