Home » Lifestyle » Graduate Survival; 5 Tips On Returning Home After Uni

You’re in for a struggle, but moving back home doesn’t have to be all bad.

Your boxes are packed, you’ve waved an emotional goodbye to your housemates and you’ve reluctantly boarded the train home. Eager to start life in the big wide world of work, there’s just one problem. How are you meant to live at home again? After 3 years of nights out, 4 am take aways and sleeping until midday at weekends, there’s definitely going to be a bit of a struggle. Just take a peek at our handy guide and you’re sure to breeze through (or at least refrain from arguing with your brother for a week).

Don’t turn back into a stroppy teen.

No sulking!

No sulking!

Starting off with the hardest one. It’s easy to revert to your sulky teenage self when you first move home, slamming doors and hiding in your room until the bats come out. But this is far from productive. All this does is tell your parents that all you learnt at uni was how to down four vodka Redbulls in 20 minutes and pull an all nighter, and you want to show them that you’ve at least matured a little while you’ve been away. Come downstairs for dinner, keep the angry music to a minimum, and try and spend at least one night a week having a decent conversation with your parents. You’ll definitely thank us when they go away for the weekend, and wonder if trusting you in the house alone is a good idea after all.

Clean up after yourself.

Keep it clean

Keep it clean

With the horror of your student kitchen far behind you, you’re sure to enjoy basking in the glory of an empty sink and a hoovered carpet, but don’t leave it all up to your parents. Whilst they’ll love having you home again, they’re probably not going to be so jazzed about having an extra set of plates in the sink or a few more mugs left on the floor. There’s no need to turn into Kim and Aggie and go all How Clean Is Your House, but running the hoover round and doing the washing up while your parents are at work is hardly going to kill you.

Reconnect with old friends.

Catch up.

Catch up.

Going from living with your BFF to being a two hour train journey away from them sucks. You’ve spent the best part of your degree glued to their side, and can barely handle making a cup of coffee without automatically filling a second cup for them in the process. There’s no doubt about it, graduate life can be lonely.

Instead of pining for your uni friends, spending 12 hours a day on the phone to them and barely leaving the house, try and meet up with people you knew before you left. Keeping in touch with uni people is a must, but not at the expense of only talking to your mum and the postman for 6 months. Give them a call, meet them for coffee, or at the very least go out and get drunk and reminisce about that time in sixth form when you threw up out of their mum’s car window on the way to a club.

Keep up the job hunt.

Keep looking!

Keep looking!

With your student loan a distant memory, funds become tight and you might find yourself begging your mum for a few extra fivers to go shopping on a Sunday morning. If you can help it, don’t. Sure, take help if it’s offered, but ending up in hundreds of pounds worth of debt to the bank of mum and dad isn’t going to do much for your self esteem. Hunt around for work, even if it has nothing to do with your long term goals, any money is good money when you’re broke. You’ll get to spend time out the house with new people, and be able to afford that round of Wetherspoons’ cocktails you’ve been promising your cousin for the past 2 and a half years.

Tone down your nights out.

Nothing wrong with a good night out.

Nothing wrong with a good night out.

No matter how much you try to cling to the memory, freshers week is not coming your way any time soon. Sure, you may be able to crash with your friend who stayed on to do a masters, but it’s just not going to feel the same as holding pre-drinks in your living room and then collapsing through your front door, kebab in hand, at 3am the next day. Undoubtedly, you’re parents aren’t going to be quite so thrilled about having to step over your gin soaked corpse on their way to grab they’re morning coffee. Parents can be understanding, but not many of them are that understanding.

That’s not to say that club nights and pre drinks need to be cancelled, just kept to a minimum. Instead of downing the vodka on your sofa three times a week, spread the joy amongst your friends houses or keep to your room instead. A fan of staying out to the wee hours? Do your liver a favour and end the night at 1am instead of 4:30. Have a tendency to bring home a one night stand or two? Unless you want some really, really, awkward conversations at breakfast the next morning, just don’t. No amount of sex, however good, is worth that embarrassment.


Moving home after 3 years of freedom is never going to be a picnic, and you’re going to want to hold on to your student ways for as long as possible. Sorry to say it, but some of them you’re just going to have to let go of. Take time to readjust to living with your little sister again, be nice to your dad, and remember why you spent so many weekends venturing back and fourth from halls throughout your degree, mum’s home cooking!

Featured image: David Wright

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23 year old art nerd, lover of bunnies, marmite and Bret Easton Ellis novels.
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