College Seniors Week 3: Where Do You Live?

21 Apr

Raysha Duncan Purdue University Student and Peer Counselor

Photo from:

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All you have to do is Google the phrase “housing after college” to instantly become terrified of where you’ll be living after college. According to this article by Jordan Weissman, the percentage of college students who were living with family after college in 2011 was 45%. As if you weren’t worried enough about what’s to come after college, now you have to think about moving back in (or in my case continue to live with…) mom and dad?! Calm down… You may be part of the 55% that doesn’t have to! But either way, here are some things to consider:

…what about your college apartment?

If you’re already locked into a lease until the start of the next school year, then you may be able to stay where you are. You won’t have financial aid to help pay your bills, but you could pick up a part-time position around campus for the summer to make ends meet. If you’re not able to stick around for the summer (you’ve got a job or mom really wants you to come home), then you might want to start looking into a subletter. Lots of freshmen who lived in the dorms take summer classes and they’ll be looking for a place to live especially if your university doesn’t offer dorm housing for the summer. Make sure to check with any roommates first to see if they’re okay with someone else living in your room for three months. And if they’re iffy on it, remind them that Jess from New Girl was a stranger before she moved into her apartment and now they’re all best friends. Advertise in your local newspaper, your campus newspaper, Craigslist, and any community Facebook pages to find a subletter.

…would living with mom & dad be that bad?

returning home

This is really a personal decision that you have to face on your own. But, it’s something you should think about because it could save you a lot of money, especially if you’re looking for a job. Weigh the pros and cons and decide if saving money now could benefit you in the long run. If you’re working an interim job right now, moving back home may be a good option if you’re not sure where you’re going to end up living. And, may be you can create a better relationship with your parents before you move out for good.

…where are you planning to move to? Can you afford it now?

If you have the means to move to your dream location right now, then by all means go for it! Not everybody has the ability to pack up and chase their dreams, but if you are then get out there and get yourself established so you can start living your dreams. Scout out some companies you’re interested in and figure out what you’re going to do until you can find that dream job. If you can’t afford moving at the moment, but it’s your dream to live somewhere big like New York City or Los Angeles, maybe move back in with mom and dad or get additional roommates to save some dough until you can be on your own. No shame in saving for your dream.

The most important thing to remember is to be realistic. You can’t run off and live in a penthouse in New York City Gossip Girl-style. But, you maybe able to move to Jersey and ride the train into your first job in the city until you move your way up the ladder or land a better gig. And if you end up at home for awhile… So what? So do 45% of college grads.

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