According to a recent study, more 18–34-year-olds are living at home now than during the peak of the recession. As the nation continues to recover and unemployment rates drop, we interviewed several millennials to find out what exactly is keeping them under their parents’ loving, warm, free roof.
“After I graduated college last spring, I decided to live with my single mom to keep her company and help out around the house,” says Mindy, a 22-year-old graphic designer in Columbus. “She appreciates the companionship, and I appreciate that she has nice toilet paper and reliable hot water, which is a cool perk of living at home.”
“It’s not so bad,” says David, a 28-year-old musician who lives with his parents in Manhattan. “My parents are just happy I have a job. And I’m just happy they have a clothes dryer that doesn’t set my second-hand flannels on fire. That happened once.”
When asked how he manages to live with the humiliation of failing to hit traditional milestones of adulthood, David says, “Why would you say that to me? Jesus.”
The millennials we interviewed agreed that dating can be tricky while living at home, but not nearly as tricky as living in a shithole with nothing but a twin mattress on the floor. “I feel weird about having my boyfriend sleep over in my childhood bedroom, so I usually go to his place,” says Mindy. “For now, I know that it’s best to save up for my dream wedding and use my mom’s HBO and Showtime subscriptions for hours on end.”
Kristina, a 30-year-old partial owner of a body jewelry kiosk at a mall in Detroit, deeply identifies with the generation’s values and experiences. “It feels great to be a female entrepreneur, and immediately hand over to the government for my student loans,” she says. “Any apartment I could afford while in this much debt from business school sure as hell wouldn’t be up to sanitary code. Trust me, I’ve looked into it.”
While it’s hard to imagine why so many young people would sacrifice independence for the care and nurturing of their parent’s stable home, we can only assume that it’s another one of life’s great mysteries. Wow!