The day finally came. Your first job secured, a new city to explore, an apartment to make your own, and no more worrying about college exams. The start of your next chapter called Independence has finally arrived.

I’ve always been an extrovert who loves surrounding myself with people, while also enjoying my fair share of independence. However, I never truly understood the level of interaction I needed until #quarantine19.

New Opportunities

When a one-bedroom apartment opened up just outside of the city, I couldn’t turn it down. Many of my friends live with roommates which sounded nice but I thought, when am I ever going to be able to live completely alone ever again? So why not take a leap of faith, find my true level of independence and resourcefulness, and live on my own now?

12 months or so later, I’ve never loved anything more. Living on my own gave me space and freedom to do whatever I wanted on my own schedule without interrupting anyone else’s time. And because I work at a company that allows us to occasionally work from home, the space was perfect to set up my own desk and monitor with no one around to distract me from my work.

Things Begin to Change

Everything was going great until the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 hit. Yeah, you know the one. Once bustling metropolitan cities are now shut down, businesses are frozen, and state governors issued stay-at-home orders for all non-essential workers. That means empty restaurants, dark movie theaters, and postponed summer concerts and events. And forget about traveling. Across the globe, flights and trains are limited, and simply driving across state borders can be enough for a police officer to pull you over.

Once Koi-Fly Creative gave the memo to work from home indefinitely, I made the conscious decision to leave my apartment in Delaware County, PA and move back in with my parents. It’s been strange, to say the least, moving back in with mom and dad right after getting a taste of adulthood freedom. From the nagging to ridiculous arguments, no wonder many dread moving back in with their parents. And parents, I’m sure you’re feeling about the same right about now.

This situation has been especially interesting since everyone in my family is working from home, at the same time, under the same roof. This (hopefully once in a lifetime) experience inspired me to focus on gratitude and jot down all the things I love about moving back in with my parents… and just a few things that make me want to pull my hair out.

I want to say first, though, I feel very lucky to even have the option to move back in with my parents because I’m aware may others do not have the opportunity to do the same.

Enjoy.

Pros

  1. Since I have to stay inside for the most part anyway, having more space than I had in a one-bedroom apartment really helps keep busy.
  2. I truly missed home-cooked dinners with the family. It’s been amazing sitting around the table with everyone again. 
  3. The game and movie nights have been a ton of fun.
  4. Since public gyms are closed, I’m grateful for the extra space to get active and exercise.
  5. Because my parents live in a less densely populated area, we’ve gone on lots of walks outside.

My favorite part about moving home is the rural area my parents live in — our neighbors are at least a half-mile away from each other. For me, working all day cooped up in the house can be very straining. I’m grateful for my spacious neighborhood because it allows my family and me to stretch our legs and enjoy a nice walk without worrying about social distancing. It’s very important to balance work-life at home especially during a pandemic. If you don’t, you’ll start to go insane and get overloaded. Fresh air is key.

Cons

  1. Multiple people working from home in one house can cause, well, a bit of chaos and territorial tendencies. 
  2. Ever hear the saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder?” I think the opposite is also true: 4 people piled on top of each other for weeks on end makes the heart annoyed. It’s safe to say we’ve had our fair share of arguments recently.
  3. Rainy days at home make it even harder to focus on work than when we were in the office. 
  4. Forget the highly curated, perfect daily routine you developed living by yourself because now you share a bathroom with 3 other people.

A major con I’ve found working from home with my family is how much my daily routine got flipped upside down. I’m not the only one using the kitchen or bathroom now. I found I’ve had to wake up an extra 15 minutes early to make breakfast and lunch before my parents even get up to keep the kitchen traffic to a minimum.

Another con is the fact that every family member is working for different companies. There’s a lot going on at once especially when we have Zoom meetings all at the same time. Now, I have to be extra considerate and try not to be too loud when my parents are in meetings with their co-workers. To help, each of us took over a different room in the house to be more spread out and eliminate distracting each other.

It’s All About Balance

Some young adults may disagree with the pros and cons list above, but I think we can all agree that moving out and then moving back in with your parents can be a struggle (for both the parents and the kid), especially during a national pandemic.

All the negatives, though, don’t overshadow the positives on this list. Before the shutdown, different schedules and locations made family time rare. Holidays and occasional weekends were all we got. This virus made us all stop, take a breather from our busy lifestyles, and spend time with the ones that matter most.

I’m realizing how precious time and good health is. Every outing, every workout class, every moment spent with friends was a privilege. But even now, every home-cooked meal, every movie marathon, every joke cracked at the dinner table all seem that much more special than ever before.

Adjusting to the Unexpected

How many of you thought post-grad life would turn out like this? 

It’s crazy what’s happening in the world, but we have to remember that this is all temporary. With the help of our frontline heroes risking their lives, brilliant scientists and doctors, and our community staying home, we can fight this together. 

 

Yes, at times I dwell on the cons from this list, but I feel grateful that I have an employer who puts the health and wellness of their staff first. If staying home is how I can best help my community, count me in.

Can you relate? Leave a comment below!

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