Debates and Discussions

Five big reasons why you need to move outta your parents' house

Millennials aren't getting the memo that living on their own is good for them -- and their put-upon parents. According to a Pew Research Center analysis, the number of adults aged 18 to 31 living at home rose to 36 percent last year -- the highest percentage in forty years, and up from 32 percent just five years ago. Of course, there are some valid and understandable reasons why living with the parentals is cool -- like divorce, losing a house, illness, still in college and all that -- but just being a directionless mooch "working on your music" means you need to get a clue...and an apartment.

Here's a list of five big reasons why you need to move outta your parents' house. Goodbye, free ride; hello, character-building utility bills.

See also: - Ten best divorce songs for Tiger Woods, or anyone else headed for Splitsville - Attachment parenting creates crybabies - Colorado College memes: Funnier than memes from CU, CSU and UNC?

5. Your parents did their jobs, now go do yours

After a certain point, living with your parents turns you into a perma-child who behaves more like a flighty, carefree high school student than an independent adult with plans and goals. Your parents cook your meals and do your laundry, while you spend your money on dining out, cars and endless spring breaks. While this may sound good, you need an exit strategy to relieve parents of the burden of caring and paying for adults who can and should move out -- and move on to become productive members of society instead of letting college degrees gather dust.

There could be future brain surgeons lazing on couches, playing Minecraft and eating Pringles right now.

4. Arrested development is the opposite of sexy

Living with your parents can be a major deterrent to dating, or at least dating people who have standards. Someone who has no good reason for residing in the parental home is a giant, screaming red flag, and scares off potential dates who favor partners who have their own shit together and something to offer a relationship other than mooching the parents' water bed and wet bar when the folks are out of town. This setup is awesome for high school, iffy for college, and pretty sad past that point.

It's sexy -- and responsible -- to have your own place.

3. Parents need freedom, too

Having grown children living at home can also be frustrating for parents who need and want their own spaces, and are eager to spend their time doing cool parent things like bridge club, gardening and holding freaky swinger's parties on the weekends. Parents are people, too -- something that's easy to forget when they are your unpaid servants -- and they are not 100 percent fulfilled making you meatloaf and reminding you every single day to keep the thermostat at 65 degrees.

Moving out of your parents' house means you never have to come home early on a weekend and find out your mommy and daddy may have other uses for the hot tub out back.

2. There are exceptions to the rule, but a lot of people aren't it

For every person still living at home without a good reason, there are just as many lousy excuses that are easily translated into real-real. "I'm taking care of my parents" usually means the exact opposite; "I'm getting back on my feet!" turns into "I'm a lazy, shiftless gooch!" after the first couple of years; "I'm working on myself right now" really means "I only wanna do things that are fun while others pick up the tab!" And the ever-popular "I live at home because my parents want me to!" actually means "My folks didn't give me everything I wanted growing up, so now they owe me big time."

It's time to stop wondering why nobody takes you or your life complaints seriously, and start browsing the "for rent" ads.

1. The longer you stay in the parental cave, the harder it will be when you finally do leave

Developmental psychologists say that our twenties are some of the most crucial and formative years, and many if not all adult habits and accomplishments developed during this time set the foundation for future success -- or not. Cocooning at home with parents means you aren't out doing things, making decisions and having independent life experiences. Living on your own is definitely a series of character-building achievements, negative and positive, that you won't get watching soaps with your mom or drinking all your dad's beer (or reverse that).

And nothing can beat the sheer joy of your first home-shopping trip to IKEA to buy crappy furniture for your very own place. Borrowing your parents' power tools to assemble your new end tables is fine -- after you move out.

Jenn Wohletz
Contact: Jenn Wohletz