There’s a lot of shame that is associated with living with your parents in adulthood, especially after college. Millennials have been famously dubbed as super lazy and a big part of that label is because a higher percentage of young adults live with their parents than they did in previous generations. People think that young people are simply lazy and don’t work hard enough to afford their own housing, but it’s a lot more complicated than that.
One reason why a lot of young adults live with their parents these days is that college tuition is a lot higher than it used to be even when adjusting for inflation. So it’s often infeasible for people to pay off their debts while also paying rent. Housing prices are high and because of that many people can’t afford to move out especially since the median U.S. rent is $1,600. Because of this, many young people decide to just live at home until they can pay for a house later on.
It’s also important to note that the idea of moving out of your family’s home to live on your own is not normalized in every culture. Many adults in the Middle East live with their parents. Some cultures even encourage living with your parents. Many families in China have multi-generational homes as well with three generations under one roof. This also isn’t unheard of in America. Many families have their grandparents living with them as well as cousins and other extended family. America has a lot of different cultures, so it’s understandable that different people would view living with your parents as an adult differently.
Whatever the reason, if you’re an adult, especially a college graduate, who lives with your parents, you are often looked at as lazy. Our society bases our value on how much we can produce, so if you don’t look like you produce enough wealth to move out, you are deemed as lazy and bad. This is really why people are looked down on for not moving out. It’s horrible that this is our reality since people with low-paying jobs such as retail and foodservice often work long hours and deal with a lot of issues on the job. It takes a lot of strength to get through a day of a minimum wage job, yet you’re looked at as lazy for having one.
We shouldn’t base our value on how much we produce. Unfortunately, that’s the world we live in at the moment but that should change.
We need to end assumptions and stigmas about adults who live at home with their parents. Most of these people are trying to make smart financial decisions to prepare for the future. Even if they aren’t, why should we desire to oust people out of their childhood homes from their loving families? Many people may choose to live with their parents still and that’s fine. It should be normalized to live at home with your parents. There shouldn’t be a stigma.
If you’re an adult who lives with your parents, don’t let people make you feel bad about it. You’re where you need to be at the moment and you should only move out when you want to and when you can.
Graphic by Autumn Rendall