Boomerang Students

It shouldn’t surprise you to hear that recent grads are still flocking home to live. In fact did an article on this phenomenon stating that “among 2009 U.S. college graduates, 80 percent moved back home with their parents after graduation.” The article continues to note that many college students have very close ties to family and will even turn down job offers and hope to receive a better one later. This doesn’t mean that they’ve interviewed with other companies and are just waiting on offers but believe that they deserve more, and in this economy if you want a job that’s a costly choice to make.

Graduation Approaches

As graduation approaches I’ve seen a number of seniors come to our office seeking assistance with job searching. They’re always surprised, and sometimes I can even see sadness in their eyes, when I say that job searching for a professional job can take up to 6 months or more in this economy. Then I ask them about where they’re looking for jobs and the majority of students want to stay in the area with not much interest in even moving 1-2 hours away to help increase the chances of hire. Even when I suggest considering a job in a less desirable city and while there continue to apply for jobs in the city(s) they want I hear, “no I don’t want to move away from my family.”

Trends on a Pendulum

As a Generation X-er I always have to keep my personal values at bay whenever I hear a student tell me they would rather stay at home, jobless, than move 2 hours away for a good job. I was discussing this topic with one of our graduate interns and she was even more amazed at how the negative stigma has been removed from children choosing to live at home after college graduation. Now at the risk of sounding old and a cliché, “when I graduated college I would get sick to my stomach thinking about having to move home with mom & dad.” I’m not exaggerating to prove a point, the only times I ever moved home was because I had to and couldn’t support myself otherwise. I love my parents and we’re very close but they’re not the people I want to spend the rest of my life with, either.

Isn’t it interesting that just within 10 years the pendulum has swung from don’t want to live with parents to don’t want to leave parents? I’m not saying every graduate is now living in their parents’ basements but the amount of those who choose to return home out of desire versus need has increased. In fact, one student overheard my conversation with the grad intern and commented saying that she and her husband now live with her grandparents and it’s saved them a lot of money and prevented her grandparents from having to move into a retirement home.

How About You?

Maybe I just live in a tight-knit community and this is more a trend here than in larger cities. I would love to hear from you… Are you planning to move back/stay at home after graduation? How long do you plan to stay? What are some of the reasons for your choice?

Karen is a Career Counselor and Internship Coordinator at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW). At IPFW she assists students in finding internships, coordinates and assists with campus-wide events, teaches a Career Planning course, and meets with students to assist them with all aspects of career development. Connect with Karen via LinkedIn or Twitter.

Related posts:

  1. DIVERSITY CAREER RESOURCES: International Students
  2. Why College Students Should Start Their Own Businesses
  3. How Grad Students Should Approach the Job Search

One Response to “Boomerang Students”

  1. avatar Adam Ladolce says:

    Great article, I also think that this is because of the tougher economy, a rougher job market for entry level positions, and higher cost for college that students can’t afford to live on their own after college.

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