A lot of students are about to walk away from campus – diplomas in hand – and straight back home. May is boomerang month for many families. And the return to the nest is hardly surprising, as 70% of graduates with a bachelor’s degree carry at least $35,000 in debt. According to the Pew Research Center as many as 1 in 3 Millennials are not living independently.
Less than 5% of parents think their 2016 graduates will have a full-time job after college. And over 35% say they expect to support their children for more than two years, and that’s 17% higher than last year.
Even if you’re experiencing a huge financial impact, saying no to your boomerang kids isn’t easy when you share a living space and witness their struggles firsthand. But here are some practical insights to impart as you help them grow into greater independence:
Keep a positive attitude. You may feel frustrated that you don’t have a job or stressed about the future, both common and normal reactions. Try to control how you handle your emotions as you face uncertainty. Although there may be stumbling blocks along the way, never give up.
Take control of the circumstances. You’ll gain focus and perspective when you spend time identifying your inner strengths and external resources. If what you want is within reach, go after it no matter how hard it gets. And recognize the difference between what you can manage and what you can’t.
Turn to those who support you. Family and friends care about you, so count on them to cheer you on. As you explore options that may work for you, they’ll be there because they love you and want you to succeed. As you move forward, ask for help whenever you need it – you don’t have to do it alone.
Rely on instincts. Listen to the advice of those you trust. But look inside for answers as you find your own voice. Don’t jump at what others think – define success on your own terms. If you feel like you’re moving in the right direction, believe in what you’re doing. Emotional discomfort can be an opportunity for growth.
Discover your passion. With the economy and job market still in flux, you may have to reorder your priorities for now. Keep busy and contribute as a volunteer or mentor, where you can use you talents and energy to be of service to others. Tap into your compassion and courage to find a greater purpose.
Build resiliency. At times it may be difficult to maintain composure under trying circumstances. Take one day at a time and call on your faith or spirituality. Develop strategies to manage stress as you build confidence. Step by step, you’ll turn hopes and dreams into reality.
Your emerging adults are living with an unprecedented amount of uncertainty. Let them know that the 20s are still the defining decade of adult life, and that you have their back. Encourage them to reach deep for the resolve to face their situation squarely – in time, they’ll meet the challenges and move on.
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