Full Nest Syndrome: Keeping Your Sanity While Living with Mom and Dad

Aah! It’s finally done. You’ve graduated from college. Your exams are done, your bags are packed, and your job is waiting for you. You’re off to make a new life for yourself but there’s one problem: You can’t afford to live on your own, so you move in with mom and dad. Well, you’re not alone. According to a poll conducted by MonsterTRAK, a job Web site, more than 50 percent of college graduates reported they will live with their parents for at least one year after earning their degrees.

The full nest syndrome has become a trend with today’s struggling economy, job market and increasing student loans. According to a recent study by the National Center for Educational Statistics, 50 percent of new college graduates have student loan debts averaging $10,000. But moving back in after four or more years of living on your own can be difficult. Here are 10 ways to survive a full house while maintaining your sanity.

1) Stay focused
This is very important. Remember you are not going to be living with your parents forever, so set a goal to look through the Classifieds weekly for home and apartment listings or that higher paying job. If necessary, set a long-term goal of moving out within a year.

2) Respect your parents’ rules
So you’re not a child anymore, but you are still living at home. Just because you don’t have a bedtime, doesn’t mean you can act anyway you want. Talk to your parents about your new living arrangement and make sure that you follow their rules whether it’s cleaning up after yourself or limiting late-night visits.

3) Establish boundaries
Sometimes it’s hard making the transition back into family life, especially when your parents still see you as their child, however, it’s important to assert your independence. Suggest that they knock on your door before entering and don’t feel the necessity to tell everything you plan to do that day. Make sure that they understand that you do have a life outside of home.

4) Communicate
This is perhaps the most important tip to remember. If you don’t talk with your parents, how will they know what bothers you? Keep the lines of communication open and share any concerns you may have. This will make living at home a lot easier to handle.

5) Get a cell phone/private line
No one wants his or her parents answering the phone saying you can’t come to the phone right now. You don’t want friends calling the house late at night and your parents listening in on your conversations either. Make sure your friends have your private number to reach you at any time.

6) Make time for yourself
Make sure that you have time each day to reflect, relax, think and be on your own. Family living can be demanding for anyone and being at home can be stressful especially after working all day. Watch television, light candles and plan your next day.

7) Respect your siblings
You’re back home now and sharing the house with your younger brothers or sisters. Don’t dismiss them; include them in your life by spending time with them. They look to you as a role model for who they want to be like when they grow up.

8) Stay away on the weekends
Friends are so important to your sanity. Take advantage of free time with your friends away from home. This will give both you and your parents a break and help to put you in a relaxing mood.

9) Be an adult
Take responsibility for your actions. Pay your own bills. Be mature about your parents’ rules and demands and listen to each other. Remember if you act like a child you will be treated as such.

10) Stay positive
It is so easy to get down on yourself after graduating from school and not being able to be fully independent. Always think ahead to the future and plan each day. Think of your time at home as a learning experience in finding yourself and your career. This is a time to assert your independence while saving some money at the same time.

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