After 4 years of college, dorm life with roommates, and a parental free living arrangement, coming home is a bit of a rough road.
The goal was to never come home.
I wanted to go right to grad school where they supplied a stipend to live off of I got my degree. Then, I would come home and get an apartment in the city where I could work in the theatre community. Unfortunately, my plan was stopped when I didn't get into any of the programs I wanted.
After that, I wanted to find a well paying job so I could have an apartment in the suburbs and live on my own for the first time. Since I worked on campus, I had to quit after I graduated so I spent all summer job searching. And again, my plan didn't work like I planned. I couldn't find a well paying job before my lease ended. So I had no choice but to move back home with my mom.
Back in My Childhood Bedroom
Honestly, it was so hard to come back home to where I left my high school days. It was still decorated with high school graduation paraphernalia and childhood pictures. Coming back, it felt like I had gone nowhere. I was back home, jobless, and honestly, my ego was damaged. In school, I felt on top of the world; running to meetings, making executive decisions, coming and going as I pleased. Now, my loving, but nosey mother was back in all of my business. I felt just like a child and some part of me thought I was always going to be stuck in this childlike position.
However, I couldn't stay in that mentality. I first had to change what I see. I call my best friend over and we redecorated my room, cleaned out my closet, and watched Netflix shows like we used to when we lived together. I added motivation quotes and scriptures behind my door, someplace that I would only see when my door was closed.
Changing Your Mentality
I refused to believe that I was a failure or that I had lost. I kept applying for different jobs until someone told me about substitute teaching. It wasn't enough for me to leave my mom's house, but it was enough to pay my bills. At first, I hated it. I felt like a glorified babysitter, wandering from school to school with no friendly faces. I cried a lot. That was, until I subbed for my old middle school. Shockingly, I was on a team with my 6th-grade social studies. The other teachers on the team were so nice to me and the kids loved me too. Soon, I was on assignment there for three weeks. After that, I found other schools where I felt comfortable. Things started to change for the better.
I started doing more theatre, mostly writing but a few acting positions, directing, and producing. I applied for another grad program (I didn't get in) but I didn't let it stop me for as long as the last rejection did. I was blessed with theatre opportunities in my own city, all while living at home. Now, I'm planning on staying here for another year or two while I get a higher paying job and save money for my future. I plan to make the best of my current situation instead of rushing to leave. Besides, I can't complain about having my mom doing most of the cooking and cleaning, not to mention that she's teaching me a few things that I was too hardheaded in high school to accept. So, I don't see it was such a bad thing to stick around for a little longer. Who knows what can happen?
The Reality After College
To be able to move out, the ideal situation would be having a well-paying job that's three times the rent. Unfortunately, unemployment is an uncommon struggle, machines are taking over the job market, and student loan debt is no joke. Even with a college degree, you need years of experience that you don't have because you were working in a survival job outside of your field to pay for the degree and/or other bills. We have always been taught that graduating high school, going to college, and getting a job was the only way to a successful life. Now, we have to get a master's degree for a chance for that promised dream and still, it's not guaranteed. Is it our fault? No, but it's our reality. So until we get our footing, moving back home isn't the worst option. Who knows? We might make our own jobs while we're at the house with Mom and Dad.