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How To Live With Your Parents After College

Because you just might be here awhile.

Photo: Karan Kapoor/Getty Images | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2013

 

Congratulations, graduate! You’ve got no job, a few hundred thousand dollars in debt, and now, after four years of living the unsupervised good life with your buddies at school, you’re about to move back into the house you grew up in, under the auspices of the wolves that raised you. (And they do not approve of that shirt, that girl, or the fact that you majored in botany - for starters.) Below, four tips to help ensure that your post-collegiate living situation is as successful as any inherent sign of failure can be.

 

Get a lock on your bedroom door.

Better yet, get multiple locks. When you are a grown man who lives at home, you can never have too many mechanisms to prevent the entry of your mom into your room. Unless she’s got cookies and milk, in which case, all bets are off. But generally speaking, you’re going to want something involving a steel bar, at least two keys, and ideally, a computerized keypad and tripwire alarm. If your 'rents really have no boundaries, opt for something with a fingerprint scanner.

 

Set clear expectations.

Yes, you are living under their roof. But that argument only goes so far, especially if you have offered to contribute money toward rent, food, or other living expenses. What’s that? You have no money? Oh, well, in that case, try to be as respectful as possible while explaining that though you may be a freeloader, you are an adult freeloader, and you can’t be expected to call your mommy and daddy every hour to check in. That being said, you are still expected to be a decent human being, which means you shouldn’t make people who love you worry in excess. Stay out all night if you want to, but if you know there’s a point at which they’ll be frantically dialing local hospitals, schedule an automatic text to preemptively let them know that you're not lying dead in a gutter somewhere...you're just passed out in one.

 

Clean up after yourself.

If and when you have your own apartment, you can wallow in your own filth ‘til kingdom come, if you so please. But for now, small gestures such as making the bed or taking out the garbage will go a long way toward making this arrangement tolerable for both parties. (Plus, according to this totally reputable website no one has ever heard of, it’s totally fine to just stash your shit under the rug, so there's no excuse for a mess.) As you ought to have figured out by now, your parents are much more reasonable when your actions reflect well on them as the people who raised you. If you insist on being a lazy piece of shit who does nothing to contribute and expects everyone to just accept that weird smell coming from the attic, this going to be a rough 10 years few months.


Keep your bad habits confined to your own space.

Like jerking off? Terrific! Still smoking cigarettes? Stupendous. Suffering from a crippling alcohol problem? Join the club. But you would do very well to avoid having any of these behaviors interfere with your parents’ ability to live their lives in peace. You’ve already dashed their hopes of using the extra bedroom as a study; you owe it to them not to parade your debaucherous tendencies all over the house. The good news is that next time you tell a girl you met at the bar that she can’t spend the night, you’ll actually be telling the truth for once. The other good news is that this website exists.

 

 

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