Last summer, my daughter was thrilled to turn 18 and become an “adult.” Several months later she was off to her first year of college, living in the dorms with her seven roommates and enjoying college life. With COVID-19, staying on campus was no longer an option after the start of all on-campus classes were suspended and all instruction was moving online. Classes were originally planned to resume on Monday, April 6th. Now all classes are online at least through the summer.
Just months after moving into her own space, my daughter and other college students are now living back at home. In addition to college students, young adults have also moved back home for various reasons including lack of temporary housing options, financial reasons, a sense of safety and security, or to help combat loneliness. With colleges closed, many students are without housing options during the school year and have moved back home. Young adults sharing spaces with others on a month-to-month lease basis may suddenly find themselves without a roommate or struggling to pay rent due to rapidly changing situations that may impact financial stability. Being furloughed, having hours cut, or being laid off makes it difficult to maintain housing among other responsibilities during this time of uncertainty.
Safety and security is a major factor that has impacted young adults choice to move back home at the onset of COVID-19. For young adults who are immune-compromised, having access to a parent can be comforting although the decision may have not been easy due to concern of possible exposure to a parent during the transition home. Taking necessary precautions during “shelter in place” and having open conversations about things such as expectations have helped each feel more at ease in a shared space. As a parent, creating a space for privacy and allowing for autonomy while balancing responsibilities as an adult has helped our arrangement work quite well.
While moving back home after college is quite common, estimated at 50% [Source] a majority of parents welcome their children back home and many parents and young adults have found living together at this time to be mutually beneficial in many ways. I know that I have enjoyed my daughter back home and having the accountability as we do daily exercise. In turn, she has enjoyed having someone to talk to and home-cooked meals. Despite some of the jokes in social media about fighting and conflict during quarantine, spending time together during social distancing has brought quite a few families closer together as they re-connect and experience the parent-child relationship through a new lens.