By Shannon Reardon
In 2016, the Pew Research Center found that 15 percent of Millennials aged 25 to 35 years old are still living with their parents.
I am one of these Millennials.
The second week of September of this year would have marked two years of living out of the house, but I had to make the hard choice of moving back home to save money for a new adventure.
I moved out of my parents’ house originally when I was 20 years old after the arguments about tattoos, piercings, and other lifestyle choices became too overwhelming.
I moved into an apartment with my best friend. With the exception of a few larger fights that we had, I loved it.
But in October of 2015, I became friends with some members of a band from Buffalo, New York, that I had been listening to since 2011.
Our friendships started on Facebook and Snapchat the first few months, in addition to supporting their shows whenever they would tour through the Philadelphia area.
In March, I was invited up to Buffalo to attend the baby shower for my best friend in the band.
The six-hour drive turned into an eight-hour drive, thanks to a blizzard I drove through that left the highways covered.
I couldn’t imagine how anyone could live driving through snow like that all the time.
But then I spent a weekend up there with my friends tasting amazing food, and experiencing the coldest temperatures ever.
It wasn’t until the afternoon I had to come back home that I realized my love for a city I had only just met, and I cried. I cried from the moment I woke up till I was about an hour away from Buffalo.
In June I went back again; my friends’ baby had been born and the temperatures weren’t in the low twenties.
I also had a tour at one of the local universities, Buffalo State.
Deciding that I was going to move was the easy part; telling my friends and family in the Philadelphia area was hard, and getting a plan together was even harder: it meant having to move back in with my parents to save money.
Since moving out of the house, the relationship I had with my parents had stabilized because they were no longer there for the day to day operations of my life.
That changed when I came home.
I was back in their home, and had to abide by their rules once again, including no additional tattoos and piercings.
It also meant that I’d have to tell them where I am every few hours so they don’t have to worry about me. If I go out with friends after work, they need to know which friends I’m with and what bar we have gone to.
When I moved back in I lost the ability to have a bad day.
When I come into the house I am expected to be in a personable mood and actively participate in family discussions.
If I try to remove myself for the night, they will follow me into my room and ask what’s wrong – no matter how frequently I assure them I do not want to talk about whatever the issue is.
In the two years I lived out of the house, I adopted two pets: a cat and a chinchilla.
My cat had to stay with my roommate temporarily due to my stepdad’s allergies, but chinchillas are hypoallergenic, so she came with me.
Bringing the chinchilla to my parents’ house meant I lost all privacy in my room, since they go in to see her twice a day.
But they are helping me save money by charging me about half of what my apartment’s rent was, as well as helping me look for a new car.
It’s been about three months since I moved back in with my parents, and it hasn’t been easy. I feel like I lost all freedom.
My mom is afraid to “upset” me because of my stress disorder when she talks to me, and my stepdad tells me he doesn’t see the financial benefit of moving to upstate New York.
“Soon you’ll be living in Buffalo,” is what all my friends tell me, and it’s the motto that is going to get me through the time before my move.
Soon I will have my freedom back. Soon I will not be part of the 15 percent.
Contact Shannon Reardon at firstname.lastname@example.org