Whether you went to college in a different state or with your parents close by, the idea of moving back to your hometown or city post-graduation is sometimes frowned upon. After all, adulthood is the time to spread your wings and try new things, right? Not necessarily.
Beginning your first steps in the “real world” in a familiar setting can actually provide benefits for your career, social life and overall well being. Here are a few reasons why:
1. You’ll find it easier to save money and find a first apartment you truly like
If you choose to move back with your parents right away, that is a great opportunity to grow your savings and save up for a career location that you’re excited about.
If moving home isn’t the best option for you and you’d prefer an apartment, finding one in your area will be much more feasible than apartment hunting in an unfamiliar new city. You’ll already have a pretty good sense of which areas you gravitate towards and which you don’t.
Additionally, you’ll have an understanding of the housing market in your state to where you’ll know if you’re getting a good deal on rent in a building or being ripped off. Alaina Leary, a book publishing professional finishing her master’s at Emerson College, made the decision to stay put for a little while on her home turf in Boston before seeing out her dream of living in New York City. She says, “It's cheaper, and I know all the best areas and cities just outside Boston that are safe but still inexpensive enough not to need five roommates. I know nothing about NYC, and it would’ve been so much harder for me to start over there, fresh out of college, with only a small amount of savings in the bank.”
2. You have a built-in support system
Most likely, several of your high school colleagues will disperse to different cities throughout the country post-college. However, it is also likely that a handful of your friends will still be, at the very least, in the same state as you.
Don’t take these nearby friends for granted: they will provide a necessary support system as you navigate the early stages of your career. One of the most difficult aspects of starting fresh in a new city is the struggle to make friends, so by having people to meet up with on weekends, you’ll find your stress and anxiety about socializing slightly diminished and be able to put your focus on your job.
Obviously, having family close by can prove to be a benefit for your emotional well being too. Plus, it’s nice not to have to fork over money for flights home for the holidays!
Colie Lumbreras, a web content administrator from Chicago, knows the value of having family close by. “While sometimes I wish I had moved somewhere far away that is new and exciting, having family close by is everything for me.
"I do dinner on a weekly basis with my mom. I can visit my grandparents at any point. When I am in need of someone to let out and feed my dog last minute, or if I get locked out after my morning run, someone is always close by to help!”
3. Your career goals align with the job market in your city
If you happened to grow up in or around a major city, such as San Francisco, New York or Boston, it might be a strategic move to stay put at least for a little while.
Depending on your interests, you may find that your industry of choice has a strong presence in your city. You can take advantage of networking opportunities with people you know in your area in order to meet those that will help you excel in your career.
Sarah Enloe, a marketing professional, took advantage of the opportunities in her city by reconnecting with a former employer. She says, “I currently work as a marketing assistant at an assisted living. This is the same assisted living where I had my first job in high school as a dietary aide, and later on as a concierge. I left when I was about halfway through college and always missed it.”
She adds, “This was the first and only job I applied to after college and, had I not gone back home, I never would've been able to apply for this job.”
4. You know your way around, which will reduce stress
This is the most obvious, but probably most beneficial, reason to stay put after graduation. Having a comfort level with your surroundings immediately takes away some of the stress of starting adulthood and can help boost one’s confidence.
When you move to a different city, everything feels new, even foreign for a while, and the adjustment period can be as long as a year or two. Yet when you take that unfamiliarity out of the equation, the only major thing that will take adjusting is your job itself, which will increase your focus and take your mind off of the distractions all around you, because you’ve “been there, done that.”
Starting anew post-graduation is tough for anyone, regardless of where you choose to live. By making the choice to move back to your roots for a little while, you’re ultimately setting yourself up for future success, which is empowering.