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When is Too Old to Still Live at Home?
Children in their 20s and 30s.
How Old is Too Old to Live at Home?
Growing up, my brother and I were pretty close in age. He was a couple of years older than me, so he was always two grades ahead of me. When we were in high school, we moved into a huge house with lots of space. My dad has recently gotten remarried, so we had a lot of extra furniture; couches and the like. When my brother was a Senior in high school, my dad's new wife said that when he moved out, we could turn his room into a sort-of lounge, where my friends and I could hang out. How awesome would that be?
Well, when college time arrived, he never left. He decided to attend the local community college, and commute from home. Made sense (I actually ended up doing that for a year, too). The lounge thing never happened, but I was fine with that. I figured I'd have my own place soon enough, too.
When time came for me to attend college, I did what he did for about a year, and commuted to the local community college. I got fed up with it, and decided to transfer to a college up north after I got my Associate's degree. We both ended up getting our Associate's degree at about the same time, but he chose to transfer to a local school, and he remained living at home.
After I moved up to college and leased an apartment, I found out that my brother had become a member of a fraternity and he would be moving out as well. I thought, better late than never, right?
That year, I had come down to visit at one point, and found that his room was not only still set up, but he had been using it still. The bed was messy, clothing was on the floor, pee was in the toilet. Turns out he had been coming home every weekend, and also for every break, as the fraternities were closed over breaks. I started wondering what the point was of even living in a fraternity, if you still went home fairly often.
My brother is now twenty-four. I recently graduated with my bachelor's degree, and I have been down to stay the night a couple of times for job interviews in that area. He does still live, sleep and eat there. One time he even brought his girlfriend over to stay the night.
But my brother is far from unique.
Virtually all of my close friends from high school still live at home with their parents. Why is this?
1. It's probably cheaper. Many of these people, like my brother, don't have jobs. Or they have jobs, but only work a couple times a week. In the particular area where my brother lives, the cost of living is very high, and I could not imagine working less than 30 hours per week and being able to afford to live on your own, although roommates could be an option.
2. It's less stressful. People who live at home don't have to worry about paying bills, buying food or even buying toilet paper. Mom and dad will do that for you, and you can focus on your school work.
3. People aren't ready. More and more, children are being pampered to no end. You see it when the mother demands use of hand sanitizer after playing on the playground, and you see it when parents drive their children to play dates only a couple of blocks away. What happened to riding your bike? Independence is not instilled in children these days, and they are quite frankly too scared to move out at the age of 18.
I don't know anyone who has moved out at the age of 18. There are those who "move out" and go to college, but coming home on weekends and holidays, while their parents foot the bill of room and board really doesn't count. What happened to getting a job and leasing an apartment? What happened to learning to cook and take care of yourself on your own?
I don't think that exists any more. I know too many people who are in their twenties and still living with their parents. What happened to the negative stigma surrounding the 30-year-old living in mom's basement?
People aren't striving for more. Maybe there isn't any more. Some of my coworkers still live at home and have never gone to college. I have the same job as people in their twenties that still live at home... So maybe I'm just making my life more stressful?
Call me crazy, but I think by the time you are 21, unless you are mentally disabled, there is no excuse to still be living with your parents. 24? That is just too old. You could at least pay rent. People should not be spending a quarter-century as dependents to their parents. In developing countries, which have far less opportunities than we do, people are taking on adult responsibilities in their teens. In the United States, there is far too much opportunity for people to be wasting their lives like this.
How old is too old to live at home?