“Goodnight Roomies!” I yell as I walk my way up the stairs into my old bedroom for a night of rest and relaxation.
“Night roomie,” my dad says from his old dusty chair in the living room.
His 26-year-old youngest daughter, his pride and joy, star soccer player in college and law school graduate has finally passed the bar exam and…moved home. Moved home? Moved home. After twenty-six years of schooling, internships, and grades, I moved back into my old room and stored all of my belongings in the basement “until further notice.”
Graduating in this economy hasn’t been the easiest on anyone. Especially those who didn’t skip a beat: straight from high school to college and right into graduate, law or medical school. We started back in a time where the money was flowing, gas was cheap, and winters actually had snow. We ended up going back home, living with our parents, and seeing all of the kids in the “old neighborhood.” They are all grown up now – living at home just as us. And at night, when we roll up the stairs to our old bedroom that once hung N*Sync and Michael Jordan posters, we think to ourselves, “What happened?” We had such hope when we started on our academic journey. We had dreams of being someone – someone big. We thought we were going to have a house, a dog, and a nice BMW by now. Now we have dreams, or nightmares rather, of the day we truly move out and how we are going to make the rent payment.
Life isn’t all that bad – mum still cooks dinner just the same. Much better than the cheap Easy Mac or the Ramen with grilled cheese we called dinner in graduate school. And we think to ourselves that we shouldn’t complain too much, for we still have a roof over our heads and a warm blanket at night. We do smile at the thought of how we used to feel that our parents didn’t know anything – when they really knew everything. Advice isn’t taken with such a big grain of salt as it used to be, and when they ask, “Where are you going?” at 9:00 p.m., you aren’t as reluctant to tell them. Let’s face it, you are in your mid-twenties. You can go out to the bar every now and then.
So in sum, I guess it isn’t all that bad. No money, a great academic degree, an actual suffix to put after your name (i.e. PhD, M.D., Esq., etc.), and living at home with the old roomies. The ones who have supported you through thick and thin; the ones who will never let you truly fall on your face. We will get there – eventually. We must keep on the positive end of things – the jobs will come, the money will flow, and we will have a place of our own. Just a thought from a graduate’s perspective.