With the chasm between the last generation and the present one, it comes as no surprise living at home starts to become difficult once you become a teenager; much less moving back home after four years away at college. Values are different, everyday habits are changing and the fast-paced life younger people now lead often tends to clash with the ‘terms and conditions’ of living in our parents’ house. Of course there are always exceptions, but the general trend veers towards there being an abundance of people moving back in with their parents after graduating from university.

Some people come home after studying abroad, others come back after working in a different country, and some simply graduate while living at home until one day, they’re hit with the sudden realization that they yearn for more. In any case, the end effect is always the same; it’s not easy to adjust to a lifestyle that involves moving back in with your parents. The loss of privacy and independence can be as unsettling as a frying pan to the face. All of which, however, cannot be entirely attributed to moving back home alone. The country of Pakistan itself plays a huge role; while people moving back from abroad tend to get accustomed to everyday things like walking, cycling or taking public transport here, it is near impossible to do so.

As tempting as it is to throw a hissy-fit or stomp your feet when a parent demands to know where you’re going, when you’ll be back, how many people of the opposite gender will be there, and whether or not you’ll be changing into something more decent (because God forbid Pinky aunty or Dolly aunty see you like that), resist the urge to do so. Instead, acknowledge that their questions come from a place of concern instead of suspicion and nosiness and understandably so, considering how it is almost never entirely safe.

Accept the fact that they are giving you a free place to stay while you are doing whatever it is you are doing; be it figuring out your next move, job hunting or applying for further studies. It’ll be easier for you if you accept that they have certain rules and try to meet them in the middle by choosing to pick your battles.

Look at the bright side; after having no one to answer to in college, working and living with parents has more similarities than not. Stumbling in four hours after the time you were supposed to arrive is simply unacceptable. You need to clean up after yourself and try not to snap at your boss / parent no matter how badly you actually want to. If nothing else, think of it as practice for the future…

Of course, the fact that you can go and curl up next to Mommy after a totally sh*t day doesn’t hurt either!