Commentary: Graduates, don’t go home

There are plenty of news stories about the poor job market for new college graduates (see this one as an example), and the job market is, in fact, the worst one for those newly-minted bachelor’s holders as there has been in a while.  But, I have a word of advice for those grads:  don’t move back in with mom and/or dad.

The temptation will be great to do so — it’s free, it’s convenient, it’s comfortable.  But, I would like to argue with you for a moment that being uncomfortable may be the best thing for you right now.

We read about “hellicopter parents” and “teacup kids” nearly as much as we read about the job market. Today  I’m recommending that you buck that stereotype.  There is great value in blazing your own trail and making your own way, even if it means just scraping by temporarily with a job that is less-than-ideal.

We know that students often have transformational experiences when they study abroad.  Study abroad can really test the mettle of the average college student, as that individual finds their path, navigates a new culture, a new language and generally operates on their own.   In 2009, not returning home after graduation is the new study abroad.  Only now that “new culture” is adult life, and that “new language” is one of independence.  While it may be the harder path and seem a bit scary to you, the new graduate, it’s a path that will be more rewarding for you in the long run.

Jobs are fleeting, healthy independent lives are not.

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