students entered college last fall thinking they were finally free from their families. Unfortunately, coronavirus gave them a rude awakening during spring semester when, instead of heading for a tropical spring break destination with their classmates, they had to pack up their stuff and move back home with their parents.
A whopping 78 percent of college students are shacking up again with the ‘rents and a
recent survey asked 1,203 of them how they felt about this unforeseen transition. Surprisingly, it’s not all bad. We’re unpacking the major findings from this survey to understand what happens when you end up back in your childhood bedroom just as you were trying to launch yourself into adulthood.
Cover Photo: HBO
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Moving Back Home Study
Leaving school was a major bummer.
Over half (54 percent) of students were forced to leave their possessions behind when campus closed. Almost as many (51 percent) left without being able to say goodbye to the people they cared about on campus. A sad 30 percent had to part with their romantic partner. While an interruption in education is expected in a situation like this, 78 percent also reported an interruption in their social lives and 37 percent had an interruption in their job situation.
Being home is a mixed bag emotionally.
While 84 percent of survey respondents said they’re enjoying their time back home, they also reported an increase in some unpleasant emotions. Half of students surveyed said they felt more stressed since moving back home, 47 percent said they felt more anxious, and 38 percent reported an increase in depression.
Moving back home means being sober and sexless.
Around two-thirds (67 percent) of students said moving home interfered with their drug or alcohol consumption (which might not be a bad thing if their use was problematic or addictive). Another buzzkill? Over a third (39 percent) of those surveyed said moving home impacted their sex life, too (and we're guessing not for the better).
Students are playing hide-and-seek.
Given the watchful eye of parents, it’s no surprise that almost half of students (47 percent) were hiding an item or a behavior from their family. We’re guessing there are a lot of bongs and vapes being stashed under beds. And don't even get us started on covert masturbation.
Tensions are high back home.
Nobody said that going home was going to be a walk in the park. Over half of students (55 percent) have experienced disagreements with their parents since moving back home and 31 percent have bickered with their siblings. Many students (47 percent) also found themselves confronted with parental expectations for behavior and 40 percent had rules imposed on them by the ‘rents.
It’s hard to focus at home.
There’s a reason most students live on campus. It’s near impossible to stay focused at home. Over half of students (55 percent) complained of being distracted by their parents and for 41 percent, it was their siblings that wouldn’t leave them alone. Workspace was another issue; many students reported theirs was uncomfortable (43 percent) or inadequate (37 percent). Students also reported that moving back home negatively impacted their productivity (51 percent), learning (45 percent), and focus (51 percent).
Students are pitching in at home.
Most students are helping out with the housework (whether they like it or not) while at home. Many clean up after themselves (70 percent), do their own laundry (50 percent), and cook for themselves (42 percent). Students were less likely to contribute financially, however; only 9 percent were helping out financially, with 57 percent costing their parents money.
Families are spending quality time together.
A majority (two out of three) students said moving back home brought them emotionally closer to their family. Some of the experiences they enjoyed with their brood included sharing dinners (84 percent), watching TV and movies (76 percent), playing board games or card games (36 percent), and playing video games (32 percent). The more activities students did with the fam, the closer they felt. Let the bonding begin!
Parents love having students back home.
These survey takers were smart enough to quiz 127 parents on their experiences, too! Four of five parents said that having their kids back under their roof was a positive experience. Forty-seven percent even said that having their children home had a positive effect on their romantic relationship. (TMI? We really don’t want to think about our parents in that way.) If they had their way, we bet they'd never want you to leave.