By Hunter Shannon
Moving out of the parent’s place is one of those monumental, exciting and longest anticipated moments for any high school senior going off to college. However, moving back into your childhood bedroom when you are 24 after living on your own for six years is not an ideal situation. I had been living the blissful, narcissistic single life in Portland like a character from Lena Dunham’s Girls: barely surviving financially and spending rent money on bar tabs and farm-to-table restaurants. However, constantly aware of the looming, anxious voice in the back of my head, consistently asking, “What are you doing with your life?” That voice eventually guilt-tripped me into going back to school and becoming a real adult.
After coming to terms with my own internalized anxiety about my impending drastic lifestyle change, I presented to the world at large that I was ready and excited to move back to Eugene, reenroll at the University of Oregon and move back into the parent’s place − okay, the latter was falsely veiled excitement that covered complete reluctance. I mean, the idea of not being financially burdened with rent bills, food costs and the addition of an on-site washer and dryer were all incredibly thrilling prospects; the reality of being in my mid-20s while sharing the same roof as Mom and Dad did not wrap the “moving back to Eugene” prospect in a pretty pink bow. Although my parents and I had improved our relationship after those dreaded high school years, I also knew a large part of that improvement was due to our separate mailing addresses.
With all my bags packed, I made the two-hour monotonous drive down I-5 to Eugene and into my childhood driveway, childhood anxieties and childhood lifestyle with Mom and Dad. The first few months were a little trying, to say the least. Getting used to not living alone (after living in a studio for over two years) was hard enough, but being with the parents added an extra awkward learning curve that both of us found hard to understand. Living alone with my own level of cleanliness, knowing exactly where everything was, and coming and going as I pleased slowly morphed into a hybrid of my forgotten adolescence battling with my current newly found and quickly lost “adulthood.” My parents are great and all, but the high school pet peeves of being told what to do, how to do it and when to do it crept back into my everyday life in the forms of: what are these shoes doing here? Before I get back please (insert a variety of chores here) and what time did you get home last night? Never did I think I would be hearing those questions/”polite” demands after saying sayonara to them six years prior.
It has now been two years since I moved my life from Portland back to Eugene and I would be lying if I said that everything was perfect and I wanted to live with my parents forever; trust me, they would be saying the same thing about me as well. However, all in all (and Stockholm Syndrome aside), I have really appreciated the financial opportunity they have given me and the understanding that living with them while I go to school is the right decision. (It is the right decision, right?)