NYTimes: The Long-Term Cost When Graduates Move Back Home

In a discovery that should surprise exactly no one, graduates in need of financial help do a lot better if they get financial assistance from their parents than if they move back home.

Everybody in the article seems stunned by this but it’s obvious how this works. Moving back with the parents puts you in a role of a child. And a child isn’t supposed to be professionally successful. People live up to their roles. It takes a person of rare strength and courage to avoid living up to an assigned role. But that person won’t be moving in with parents to begin with.

Another reason is that a dynamic where parents aren’t offering financial help instead of moving back in and children aren’t asking for it is already one of controlling parents and a beaten down child whose initiative has been sapped out. Being professionally successful is unattainable to such a person.

A much more interesting question is where the drive, the hunger for more, the restlessness of mind come from. I have no idea but since they are not as crucial as the capacity to be an adult, it doesn’t matter. Everybody needs to eat but it doesn’t have to be caviar.


2 thoughts on “NYTimes: The Long-Term Cost When Graduates Move Back Home”

  1. Can something be done by people who do return or who never leave to combat any possible living up to a role of professional unsuccess?

    If it is as bad as you describe, the choice seems to be between professional success and not experiencing loneliness. I talk about people who are not in a relationship.

    I also know one 40+ female teacher who is very professionally successful despite living with her mother. And I doubt all failures result from living with parents.

    One compounding factor is the lack of mobility of people who tie themselves to the location of a family home. Those who move out are at the most fluid stage of their lives, usually without a spouse or children limiting their mobility.


    1. Learning to be alone and enjoying it is a necessary step to learning to be with somebody else. 🙂 One needs to learn who one is before inflicting oneself on somebody else.


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