Moving out of your parents’ house or college apartment and into the living quarters of a moderately successful, functioning adult is a reason to celebrate. The fact that you have landed a stable job and can afford an apartment or condo that you are not ashamed of is definitely an accomplishment for anyone under the age of 30. However, as I sit here in my childhood bedroom and pack up what few worldly possessions I have, there have been a few hard truths I’ve had to deal with.
You Have To Buy “Real” Furniture
You’re going to drop a considerably larger amount on your rent (or mortgage) payment than you did during college. This will seem like a huge waste if you insist on furnishing your new digs with the not-so-gently-used IKEA products that you kept in storage since moving back home. Odds are, at least 95 percent of the furniture and household items that you currently possess would look completely out of place in the apartment of a person with a full-time job. Suck it up and invest in some stuff that didn’t come from Sweden or a neighbor’s yard sale. Throwing out your trustworthy futon and replacing it with a brand new couch might be a tough pill to swallow, but it has to be done. Otherwise, you will pay top dollar for a place that still looks like a rundown dorm room.
You Have To Move All Of Your Shit Out Of Your Parents’ House
Not just some of your shit or most of your shit. All of it. While you were in college, your parents may have had a certain level of tolerance for storing some of your personal effects. This will no longer be the case. If your parents are anything like mine, they probably had ideas to turn your room into a home office, den, or gym since the first time they shipped you off to college. This dream is about to become a reality for Mom and Dad. The collection of nostalgic yet practically useless keepsakes that have collected dust since your high school graduation has to go. You will have to move every last yearbook, stuffed animal, photo album, and sports trophy out of your childhood bedroom. If you are moving into a relatively small apartment or condo, this means you’ll have to make some tough choices when it comes to keeping or disposing of some of your precious nostalgia.
You Have To Behave
You don’t necessarily have to be on your best behavior–I would never set the bar that high for myself or anyone else. However, it probably isn’t in your best interest to return home in a Rob Ford-level stupor. If you go on a drunken rampage throughout your building, it won’t be quickly forgotten. This isn’t a dorm or apartment where your rampage will be just one of many to occur on any given evening. This isn’t home where your family has become used to it and accepts you for who you are. You are surrounded by strangers who wake up early in the morning with the intention of being productive. If you happen to wake up your entire floor after a late Thursday night out, your neighbors will probably remember that shit and give you dirty looks for a while.
You Can’t Go Back Again
When you move into a nice place and have a real job, there is a corresponding assumption that you won’t go back to your cushy, paid for, former life. This definitely causes a little bit of stress and pressure. Nowadays, it’s almost expected that you will move back in with Mom and/or Dad for at least a little while after college. However, you know that if you return after taking a job in the city and moving downtown, you will feel like a failure. You can’t fuck up at work and you have to be at least somewhat responsible with your finances, because moving back in with your parents won’t be a palatable option.