Stats say most grads move back home

By Michelle Gibbons

Although most recent graduates’ first choice might not be moving back in with their parents after college, recent statistics indicate an increase in this trend.

Sixty-five percent of all graduates move home after college and are not ready to make the first step because of financial obligations, said Maureen Boyle, marketing manager of, based in Chicago.

One solution may be to find a roommate post-commencement, said Allison Gore, a psychologist with the Counseling and Student Development Center.

With new living situations, new jobs, a new schedule and a different set of expectations, this can make students feel a great deal of stress, Gore said.

“Routine makes people feel more adjusted; they know more of what to expect,” Gore said. “Just like when students come to college – making the transition is difficult.”

This is one of the reasons why many students decide to live with a roommate or move back with parents after graduation, Gore said.

There are benefits to both living alone and living with a roommate.

Living alone may be beneficial because the owner would have their own property and time to themselves, Gore said. But, living with a roommate has financial benefits such as sharing the costs of rent and utilities, she said.

Natasha Williams, a December 2004 NIU graduate with a degree in psychology, is currently looking for a third, female roommate to share a three-bedroom apartment in DeKalb.

Williams, who placed an ad in the Northern Star, said she is looking for a roommate because their current roommate is moving out and they do not feel like moving into a two-bedroom apartment.

Though Williams said they have not made a decision as to who the new roommate will be, potential roommates are asked many questions before being chosen.

Such questions are related to why they are moving, if they are going to school and their age, Williams said.

Williams said some of the reasons she lived with a roommate after college were the financial aspects and that she was “comfortable where she’s at.”

“It doesn’t feel like you are out of college when you have a roommate,” Williams said.

Though Gore said living with a roommate after college may not be a bad idea, it may be a mistake to “rush into something with a friend or a boyfriend or girlfriend to ease their pocketbook.” She said this may cause inconveniences later.

Also adding to the problem is the transition from college life into the working world, Gore said.

Gore advised to talk to people who are going through the same transition and to keep in contact with friends from NIU. She also said to find something familiar and supportive to help the transition.

“If they understand that it is a transition and it is stressful, then it helps them to be easier on themselves,” Gore said.

Other advice is to understand transitions carry a lot of stress. Take care of [yourself] by relaxing, spending time with friends and exercising, Gore said. She said lowered expectations also can help one to feel less stressed out.