Seniors, it’s okay to return home after graduation

A student urges seniors to know that it’s okay to move home after graduation, as it can professionally, personally and financially benefit them.


After four years at Temple, Brianna Taylor will walk across the stage on May 8 to accept her diploma and embark on a new journey. Part of Taylor’s post-graduate plans include moving back home with her family in New Jersey. 

“Being a fresh graduate with really nothing to my name yet, I’m trying to save money and also pay off loans that have accumulated going to school,” said Taylor, a senior finance and risk management and insurance major. “So staying home with family is convenient just so I can get myself settled for a few years.”

Nearly 45% of individuals ages 18-29 are living back at home with family, according to a September 2023 study by Bloomberg. Upperclassmen may feel mounting pressure to launch their careers immediately following graduation, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult for students to leave the nest due to a significant rise in the cost of living. 

Moving back home after graduating isn’t something to feel ashamed about. Senior year is an emotional time full of life-altering changes, so taking time post-grad to rest at home is a smart financial decision and an opportunity to refocus and work toward establishing a career and an independent life. 

The national median price of an apartment in March 2024 was nearly $2,000, according to data from That high cost is not consistently viable for graduates beginning their careers and paying off student loans, even when splitting the rent with roommates. 

The average federal student loan debt balance is $37,088, according to Education Data Initiative, an academic research organization. Moving home is a smart way to catch up on those payments without the added stress of paying rent, utilities and other costs of single living. 

Lereca Rodrigues is returning to her hometown after graduation and is looking forward to catching up on missed time with family and saving on rent. 

“I think it’s normal to go back home after college,” said Rodrigues, a senior psychology major. “People should save their money as much as they can, go spend time with their family and go build your own future after you stay home for a while.”

Individuals may feel uncertain about what career or passion they want to pursue, so being at home allows them to refocus their goals, gain perspective and consider their aspirations without the pressure of their peers or professors around. Graduates have their whole lives to establish themselves, so it’s okay to take it slow in the aftermath of graduation.

Despite the pressure seniors feel, they aren’t alone in navigating their career path post-graduation, said Robert McMahon, associate director of career development at Temple’s Career Center. 

“Students have worked hard to get here through some particularly challenging times in the past few years,” McMahon said. “I think it’s okay to take a breath and then it’s also important to stop comparing yourself because everybody’s path is different.”

There is an abundance of resources available to seniors as they navigate their career plans post-graduation, including the Career Center, which is available for alumni as well. 

“You might not know where to start,” McMahon said. “It could be just figuring out what your interests are and how that maps onto a career and we can do that. That could be polishing a resume, learning how to network, prepping for an interview. Everyone will have a different thing that they need, they’ll be at a different stage, but be aware you don’t have to go through it alone.”

Online resources, like career assessments, are available anytime to alumni, but the Career Center also offers year-round career coaching for up to five years after graduation. Access is unlimited for the first year post-graduation, and students are permitted two coaching sessions per year in the following one to five years.

Going back home is normal, and students should recognize it as a way to foster personal and professional growth rather than a negative. After four or more years of the rigors of college, seniors deserve to rest and refocus without feeling shame about doing that in the comfort of their hometown.

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