For a lot of twenty year-olds, moving out brings the promise of independence, freedom and the choice to watch reality television in your underwear when the urge strikes (every night). But before you ring the moving van (your mates with utes…), here are a few reasons to considering postponing your glorious exit from the nest.
1. Financial costs
Recent figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that the number of young adults (20-24) moving out has fallen significantly across Victoria and New South Wales in recent years. The research suggests young people are leaving home later, predominantly due to the rising costs of rent. Moving out means accepting sole responsibility for your share of rent, bills, groceries and all the other things required for survival (beer). If the decade-old phrase “boomerang children” is anything to go by, many young adults aren’t considering the significant financial impact of moving out. We suspect you wouldn’t want to be forced to come crawling back to your smug mother, right?
Unless you have the financial capacity to hire a personal maid, cook and doting assistant (if so congratulations why are you even here?), moving out for the first time is pretty much the easiest way to kill your social life. Of course, there are plenty of students who juggle part-time work with studying, socialising and being (generally) happy, but if you happen to already be struggling with time management you need to seriously consider if moving out is worth the fuss. Between laundry, cleaning and cooking (who knew risotto couldn’t just be left on its own), moving out means turning to life and handing her a lovely chunk of your spare time, every week, for the rest of your life.
Following on from reason #2, internships are a vital part of your higher education. Everyone applying for your dream job has a degree and possibly better grades than you, so if you want an edge when graduation comes around, having a few internships on your resume is priceless. Most companies run internships on a short, full-time basis. If you’re lucky, you might be able to negotiate an internship part-time but that still means dedicating a day or two to unpaid work that your bank account may or may not be able to afford. Channel your inner patience and think of the greater good next time your mum is nagging you instead.
Depending on your part-time job and your rental contract, making time (and money) for travel can be difficult if you live away from home. Your university years are one of the best times to explore different cultures, with long holidays, flexible study options and exchanges offered at most universities. But if you have to continue paying rent while overseas (assuming you can’t fill your room) and take time off work, you might hesitate to book your dream trip to Paris. Add to that the cost of savings, and you’ll see why travel plans often get bumped to the backburner.
Living out of home and your lack of time can have an impact on your health. Not to sound melodramatic, but it’s much easier living on an organic diet when you’re not the one footing the weekly grocery bill. Likewise, if it’s between your gym membership and eating for the week, we can guess which one is going to be first out the metaphorical window.
Moving out is a decision not to be taken lightly. You have to sacrifice a lot to have your own space and to do your washing at a time that suits you. If you aspire to travel unknown lands, do well at Uni and have a better chance at securing your dream job, maybe hold off on the whole move-out thing until you’re really ready.
Written by Ellen Seah