After both college and grad school, I decided on moving home for a while. The choice isn’t right for everyone, though, so you should know the pros and cons.
If you’re about to graduate from a degree, you may wonder where you should go next. Moving home may be for you, but it might not be. So consider both options to prepare for your future.
Pros of Moving Home
Moving home after you graduate comes with some obvious benefits. But it has some lesser-known advantages that may help you when you start your career.
If you’re looking to move back to your hometown, consider a few reasons why that can help you.
Assuming you’re moving back in with your parents, you can save a lot of money by moving home. A lot of parents won’t charge rent, which means you can put all of that money into savings.
I’ve been able to save thousands when I lived at home between college and grad school and in the 15 months after grad school. If you’re able to work full-time, you can significantly cut your expenses.
Even if you get your own place, you may still save money. This is particularly true if your college is in a bigger city with a higher cost of living.
Know Your Area
When moving home, you don’t have to worry about learning where things are. You’ll probably already know how to get to the grocery store, the gas station, and any other places you like to visit.
This means you can spend more time looking for work in the area. You won’t have to spend time getting directions to find a local music store, for example. So you might have an easier time searching for different gigs.
Plus, you’ll know what stores and places exist. If you want to perform, you’ll know some churches in your area that you can contact. For private teaching, you may know some music stores that need teachers.
Reconnect With Musicians
Another benefit of moving back home is that you can reconnect with musicians in the area. A great example of this would be your private lesson teacher from high school.
Maybe you know of other students in your hometown. Connecting with these people is a great way to network as you start your career. The people you know might be able to help you get students or a performing gig.
Even if they can’t help, they might know people who can. Slowly but surely, you may find plenty of work to sustain yourself. Then, you can pay it forward and help future grads next year.
Finding a new place to live is time-consuming. If you currently live in the dorms or don’t want to stay in your apartment, you’ll need to start researching new homes soon.
When you decide on moving home, you can save a lot of time. Sure, you and your parents should talk about boundaries. You’ll also need to figure out when and how you’ll move all of your stuff home.
However, you don’t have to tour a bunch of apartments. You don’t have to risk moving somewhere that you aren’t sure is a good fit for you. Finding apartments and applying to live there takes time, but moving home doesn’t.
Cons of Moving Home
Since I’ve done it twice, I can share some of the downsides of moving home after college or grad school. It’s not an easy decision, but it helps to know all sides.
Then, you can make the right choice for you right now.
Probably the most obvious con of moving home is that you give up a lot of independence. You’ll be back under your parents’ roof, so you have to follow their rules.
I’m lucky in that my bedroom is big enough to almost be its own studio apartment. The only things I don’t have in my room are a kitchen and bathroom. But I know plenty of people don’t have that luxury.
If you’re considering moving home, talk with your parents. Set some boundaries to help you maintain independence while also respecting their home.
No Location Choice
If you’re set on moving home, you don’t get to choose where that is. You may not want to live in the same place where you grew up. Perhaps there aren’t a ton of musical opportunities around.
Maybe you went to college nearby and want to explore a new area. You can’t do that if you commit to moving home for a while.
If you don’t like the cold winters, you might not want to move home if you’re from the Midwest. Consider if you know what type of city you want to live in to help find a good place for you.
Moving home may help save money, but you might sacrifice your career. This is especially true if you’re from a small town. You might need to drive a lot to get to a city with music schools or performance gigs.
Now, you can still be successful, especially if you build your career online. You can teach online lessons and stream concerts. I’ve been able to work online, and it works well for me.
But if you want to work in person, you should research the local music scene. Some people do much better when they get to go somewhere to work. Think about the type of gigs you want to help choose where to live.
Mental Health Struggles
I’m lucky in that I have a good relationship with my parents. However, I know a lot of people don’t have that. If that’s you, moving home might negatively affect your mental health.
You might constantly fight with your family. That could make your mental health even worse. And if that happens, building your career will be even more difficult.
As long as you can afford to live on your own, consider if that will help your mental state. Then, you can be happy and enjoy your life after college.
Is Moving Home Shameful?
In the United States, we seem to want to throw people out on their own at 18 and not look back. But in a lot of other countries, living at home as an adult is normal.
As long as you move home for the right reasons and don’t mooch off your parents, moving home is great. You can still start your career and save a bit of money before you decide where you want to live.
How Long Should You Live at Home?
There’s no one right answer for how long you should live at home. If you’re ready to move out after a few months, great. But if it takes you a while to land a job and find a place you can afford, that’s okay, too.
Try not to compare yourself regarding how long you live at home. Everyone is different, and you might need more time than someone else.
How Can You Make Living at Home Easier?
Try to contribute to the house by cooking, cleaning, or running errands. If your parents ask, pay some money to cover utilities. You can also treat the situation like any other roommate scenario.
Make sure everyone respects each other. That way, you and your parents can enjoy this time when you’re living at home.
Are You Moving Home After Music School?
Moving home after music school can help you in many ways. From saving money to reconnecting with musicians, you might want to move home.
But you should consider the downsides to verify the choice is right for you. It may be better to stay out on your own.
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