For young alumni living with their
parents, the difference between a
boost and a bust lies in setting
rules, goals and a deadline.
No Place Like Home
Samuel Hayes '06 needed a place to stay until medical school started and his new condo was ready. Christo-
pher Walker '06 decided to help out in his
father's video production company, save
himself a little rent money and have some
long-postponed minor surgery. It's a safe bet
that, for various reasons, roughly half the
class of2006 packed up their pale blue
gowns and mortar boards after Com-
mencement in May and moved back home.
That's the national trend: According to a
Monster Trak survey, 48 percent of the
country's spring graduates planned on
going home to live for a while. That's
down from 2002, when 63 percent moved
back in with parents, but it's enough to
indicate that the boomerang phenomenon
continues. For a significant number of
alumni, the first years out include at least a
few months under the parental roof.
T heir experiences vary: Walker, who
planned to move out of his parents' Wash-
ington, N . C, home by Labor Day, was
enjoying spending time with family mem-
bers he rarely saw during his undergradu-
ate years. "My parents are great," he said.
"They're a lot offun to be around."
Young alumni often find reasons to move back home, such as saving money for graduate school or
holding out for that dream Job. It can work well, so long as they find a reason to move back out again.
Marla Kasper '04, on the other hand,
found that living at home made her feel
socially isolated and depressed. Her parents
expected her to behave as she did before
leaving for college, she said. "We got into
many frustrating arguments. Especially
since I am the youngest of three children,
letting go 'of their 'baby' proved to be near
impossible for my parents." She lived at
home for 10 months before moving into
her own place.
Some stresses and strains
come with the territory
when an adult child moves
home. "The more adults liv-
ing in a household, the more complicated
the relationships among them," said Ronald
R . Rindfuss, Robert Paul Ziff Distin-
guished Professor of sociology at UNC
"When kids come back, especially if they
have been in college for four years, the par-
ents have probably gotten used to a simpler
household. And parents are going to be
parents - when the child is not living in
the house, the parents are probably worry-
ing a lot less. But if the child's in the house,
going out on a Friday night, maybe com-
ing home late, they're going to worry."
Although his parents were a constant source of angst for George
Costanza of Se'nfe'd, perfods of unemployment forced him home.
Famous Boomerangs, Real and Imagined
Failure to Launch
Benjamin Braddock (Dustin
Hoffman), The Graduate
George Costanza (Jason
Ignatius J. Reilly,
AConfederacy of Dunces
Andrea Sachs, Jane Austen
Sydney Hansen (Melina
The Devil Wears Prada
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