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Finneran: Home is Where the Crowd Is

Friday, June 29, 2018


Wow! It’s like Fenway Park in here. Awfully crowded!

Hey Dad—can you push over? Hey Mom—where’s the remote? Hey Sis—can you grab me a brownie?

A recent Globe story tells the tale of millennials moving back from college and living at home.

It is not a mocking story. It does not poke fun at the young people who, having finished college and having begun their working careers, have decided that a few shared years back home with Mom and Dad makes perfect economic sense.

Having lived away at school, either in dorms or in off-campus housing, they probably became accustomed to “independent” living arrangements, arranged and paid for by their parents or through student loans for room and board.

Now, with their college degree in hand, they are truly on their own and they are scared stiff. Two grim facts have sobered them up---the cost of housing and the need to pay off those college loans.

Their increasingly preferred solution? Move back home with Mom and Dad!

Meals are on the house! Laundry too! What’s not to like about this arrangement? Mom never says no to any request and Dad really doesn’t mind that you’re walking around the house in your skivvies.

Sure, it might put a crimp in having your girlfriend stay over for the weekend or having your drinking buddies playing poker and singing college fight songs all night long, but what the heck, the price is right.

The arrangement might postpone certain freedoms, but truth be told, what parent is going to kick you out? They know what’s going on with rents and the cost of housing. They also know how much debt you took on to earn that degree. If they can help they will. And if that means turning Dad’s man-cave back into a bedroom they’ll do it.

A few tips for the millennials whose dreams of independence have crashed upon the modern rocks of astronomical rents and relentless monthly loan payments:

Make your bed.

Learn how to use the washer and dryer.

Fold your own laundry and put it away.

Do the dishes.

Mow the lawn.

Shovel the driveway after it snows.

Ask Mom and Dad if there is anything you can do to help....................

And, every once in a while, take your girlfriend away for a weekend. You two can make up for lost time. And your Dad will appreciate the chance to walk around the house in his skivvies without you rolling your eyes at the mere thought of Mom and Dad snuggling in bed.


Tom Finneran is the former Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, served as the head the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, and was a longstanding radio voice in Boston radio


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