How To Survive Living With Your Parents: A Ten-Ste...

How To Survive Living With Your Parents: A Ten-Step Guide

Moving Back Home

In all likelihood, you do not want this. Something went wrong, or schedules didn’t line up. Maybe you dropped out. Maybe your employer just wasn’t having it. Regardless, it’s important to believe that this isn’t your fault — if possible, find someone or something to blame. A scapegoat makes all the difference. Recent users of this program have been quoted blaming the economy, and if that works for them, it can work for you.

The first step will be packing. Take your life and tape it inside cardboard boxes small enough to lose entirely. Anything that doesn’t fit isn’t worth keeping, and minimizing your material identity is vital to embracing your new, compartmentalized existence. Significant others also have to go, but it’s a known quantity that they are likely to vacate of their own volition. If you have any eggshells to walk on, be sure to bring those along for the ride.

When you arrive at your parents’ house, don’t say hello. Their knowledge of your constant failure will be sufficient greeting. Instead, avert your eyes and repeat the phrase “I am nothing, I am no one,” until they begin backing away slowly. This move is guaranteed to provide ample space and makes for a great opening to a deteriorating relationship. 

As you unpack your things, you may feel prying eyes at your back, but don’t worry. This is merely the sensation of having your every action and word weighted, judged, and formally evaluated for political and social consistency.

Navigating House Politics

The first indicator for measuring the acidity of the household is seeing what your old bedroom has become. If it’s untouched, congratulations! Your parents value your memory enough to forgo its physical destruction. If it’s become an office or rec room, you can take pride knowing your parents are attempting to better themselves through a complete removal of you from their life. And if it’s been repurposed as a kink dungeon, rest assured your parents are satiated with their marriage. If you don’t have some already, now is a good time to score a pair of noise-cancelling headphones. This guide recommends Bose.

Once you’ve established a resting space, whether it be a bed, couch, or floor, the next step should be readily apparent: sleep as long as you can. Laze like a sloth in its canopy. Make it your sanctuary, your altar, your place of communion. The theory behind this concept, which has been coined depression, is that more time spent asleep equates to less time spent facing the absurdity of existence.

Your parents will likely notice this behavior and attempt to rectify it. This can manifest in several ways: hidden alarms, door-slapping, air horns, angry yells, silent ultimatums, passive-aggression, etc. In the off-chance you are assigned a therapist or caseworker, there’s no reason to fear. These people are merely masks your parents wear to learn about your secret life. They mean no fatal harm.

Job Search

As a last resort, many parents will force financial responsibility on their brethren — the very beings who had no say in the matter of their creation —  and push them into a job. A job, while a fine substitute for a meaningful life, can often complicate living conditions and behavioral patterns. It also requires certain sacrifices, namely sweat and blood.

If you haven’t yet prepared a resume, you’re way behind and it’s too late. You’ll never make it.

A job, while a fine substitute for a meaningful life, can often complicate living conditions and behavioral patterns. It also requires certain sacrifices, namely sweat and blood.

For those who have, be sure to show it to every living person with more money than you in the hopes of somehow convincing someone — generally with a lie — that your skills are worthy of monetary compensation. Prepare to climb mountains of rejection. Thanks to our interconnected world, there are now more ways than ever to discover how useless you are.

The Void

After a number of weeks, a void will start growing in your solar plexus. This void, which is formed of a composite of regret, shame, and failure, will be invisible to everyone else. It will sap your energy. It will make food tasteless. When you close your eyes to sleep, it will be the only thing you feel and, as such, will consume you. Anticipate insomnia.

You can momentarily distract this void by submerging yourself in a number of vices. Currently, the most popular options include drugs, meaningless sex, and overeating, but don’t feel limited to doing what everyone else does. Be creative about how you combat your emptiness. Start a blog about cats, make a mixtape, or even write meta-narratives about your own life. The sky’s the limit! Because beyond that is the infinite cold expanse of space, and nothing can survive there.

It’s also important to note that every second spent avoiding the void makes it grow. And while you can shrink it by trying to be productive, it will never fully leave you. You’ll be living with the void for the rest of your life.

Resource Management

As your unemployment continues, you will notice your savings account dwindling. Given you no longer pay rent, this may come as a shock. Note, however, that nothing is free and boredom comes quickly. The easiest road to bankruptcy is a pair of unoccupied hands.

Inversely, the most abundant resource you will encounter is time. It will flow over you with enough force to drown you. An endless stream will pulse against your face and you will be unable to take a drink. The sheer amount will render any quantitative measurement — seconds, hours, days — irrelevant, useless, like a grain to a glutton.

And yet, it will be gold dust spilling between your fingers. Each sparkle will remind you of its value, of the incredible waste, but there is a simple solution. If you merely accept that time will pass regardless of action or inaction, you can mentally remove yourself from the equation. Aim for a zen state of detachment, and soon you will forget the concept of time entirely. If it helps, imagine yourself already dead.

When the Lights Are Out

There are few times when you can expose your demons. One of these lucky moments occurs when your parents tuck themselves into bed. An easy way to expedite this process is alcohol and television — load them up and let them go. Push and prod them into earlier and earlier bedtimes. “You’re still awake?” is a trending term, which barely edged out “Don’t you have that thing tomorrow?”

Once you find yourself away from those roaming sentries, feel free to embark on binges galore. If liquor’s your fancy, most parents stash their collection just out of sight — check a high cabinet and look behind the china. Pill bottles shouldn’t necessitate a hint, and if they do, think twice about who needs rehab. As for grass, your mileage may vary depending on region. This guide suggests an end to dogmatic hypocrisy and disguised slavery. But governments are big, bureaucracy is slow, and money is more important than human life.


As weeks turn to months, it will become evident that your friends are substantially more successful than you. Their wedding photos and promotion announcements will constantly alert you of their superior life, and unfortunately, no solution has been discovered as of yet. While its efficacy as a treatment is still debated, this guide recommends complete isolation. Find an abandoned building and hide there until everyone you know is dead. This is the only way to guarantee you never feel like a loser.

If you are invited to spend time with an old friend, create an excuse for why you are unable to attend. The excuse itself is irrelevant. Try to craft something so outrageous that to even begin unpacking and questioning it would give the most patient soul a headache. Maybe your brother’s girlfriend’s hamster had a miscarriage and they asked you to dispose of the fetus. The important thing is to keep your status as a continuing disaster a secret. Let no one know the depths of your horror. For added security, be sure to text a surplus of emojis.

The Problem With Knowledge

Studies have long demonstrated that exposure to learning environments has the tendency to impose negative effects on subjects. It seems as the veil of ignorance is lifted, the sheer weight of reality can crush curious minds. To know the struggles of the unfortunate is to comprehend the worthlessness of your own. The irony, of course, is that this merely adds to your list of woes.

Compounded on top is the effect knowledge has on viewing the ignorant. Those originally seen as intelligent or intellectual will now appear dull, uninformed, and prejudiced. The most obvious case study of this phenomenon is parents. You may find yourself engaged in endless philosophical debates with these people, the assumptions of which will be absurd and pointless. The childhood religion you’ve come to forget will again rear its head. You’ll soon understand the depths of their racism. Prepare to feel like an alien in your own home. But while the high-horse of knowledge will seem to be on your side, know this will not last. Truth changes daily. The future is hostile to belief. Your children and your children’s children will view your ideals with the same eyes you now view segregation and sacrifice.

Coming to Terms With Destiny

Generally, it takes a full year of failure to kill a dream. This is based on estimates with samples in the millions. You’d be surprised how many prayers go unanswered.

Whatever exciting career or lifestyle you once envisioned for yourself must be allowed to pass. You will never be famous. You will never overlook the New York City skyline. Nothing you ever do will meaning anything to anyone else. The best thing you can hope for is a long life followed by a quiet death.

With this new information in mind, however, it’s best not to resort to nihilism. Don’t treat your meaninglessness as an excuse to do wrong — or worse, to do nothing. Instead, fill your life with such time-wasting drivel that not a second is spent on reflection. Distract your monkey brain from its inexplicable sentience. Flip burger patties for seven dollars an hour. Deliver pizzas with your car. Forget happiness. Stay alive. Breathe.

Moving Out

If you successfully turn your mind off, eventually your pockets won’t be as empty as you are. Is the density of a wallet inversely proportional to the soul of the person who filled it? Science has yet to provide a response. What we do know is you can’t live at your parents’ house forever.

The good news is apartment shopping requires very little effort. Your primary aim is location. Decent access to your job is vital, as your life now belongs to your employer. Beyond that, it’s up to your own discretion. Ideally, your place should be spacious enough to fit your entire body and maybe some pillows.

On the day of the move, steel your nerves. Your mother will cry in front of you and lament the end of your childhood. She’ll recall memories of the day you were born and the hilarity of your upbringing. She’ll say something along the lines of “They grow up so fast!” This is a ruse. Your parents are masters of reverse psychology. Anything you say can and may be used against you. Also, as you pull from the driveway, try your best to abstain from looking back — the first official step of becoming a person is ignoring your parents.

If you’ve made it this far and are now approaching your brand-new apartment, breathe a sigh of relief. From here on out, you are your own person. Allow yourself a smile. Pat yourself on the back. You did it.

Now all that’s left is to discover the lonely, existential terrors of adulthood. Good luck figuring it out on your own!

And remember— if ever gets too hard, you can always move back in with your parents. Those goofballs can’t stop loving you.



About Mason Morgan

I'm a Texas A&M English graduate — where I worked as the student paper's opinion editor — with a penchant for the humorous and the horrific. My ideal story starts with laughs and ends with blood, somehow making a social comment along the way. When I'm not dreaming up nightmares, I spend time reading, drumming, and setting up lights for weddings.