Why Leaving the Nest Is More durable the Second Time Round

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Brynna Bantley, 27, worked as a personal cook in San Diego but was forced to return to Atlanta in July after unable to find a consistent job due to pandemic shutdowns. Ms. Bantley said she postponed her eventual move out of the house, partly to save money but also because she was afraid of leaving. She worries about being able to earn a living without her parents’ help and finding a permanent job in the hotel industry. In college, she said, she felt she had “a purpose”. “If I move out now, I don’t know if I have that much instruction,” she said. “You don’t know exactly what you’re going to do. It’s a bit daunting. “

Erica Sandoval, a licensed clinical social worker and president of the New York chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, said young adults have always faced challenges leaving the home, but the pandemic has added an added element of uncertainty to their lives looking forward. “There are a lot of different emotions because you are not sure what it will be like,” said Ms. Sandoval. “The world is not the same.”

A plan can alleviate anxiety. She advises young adults to start with a financial plan that takes into account how much you’ve saved in the bank, how much money you’ll make after moving out, and what bills you’ll have to pay yourself. Set short term and long term career goals and have a plan B in case you need to adjust during uncertain times. Also make a health emergency plan. “Who is the person who should be called and how are you going to inquire about each other?” She said.

Young adults who are leaving their family support systems behind should proactively build a support team in their new city, especially if they are struggling with their mental health. The support team should include friends, family, and a local therapist. Having a pet can also be a great comfort, Ms. Sandoval said.

Seeking new relationships to add to the support roster, said Danielle Burks, a licensed clinical professional advisor specializing in adolescents and young adults based in Chicago. Ms. Burks suggests chatting with neighbors, looking for community events, and going to the local bookstore to meet new people. Apps like Bumble BFF and Meetup can help cultivate new relationships.

“Moving to a new place during this time can feel scary and lonely,” she said. “It is important to maintain current relationships and to rely on those relationships.”

Julie Lythcott-Haims, a former Dean of Studies at Stanford University and author of Your Turn: How to Be an Adult, said that thinking about three categories makes it easy for young adults to create a routine in their new home : Corpses, bills and belongings. Allow time in the morning for self-care activities such as exercise (body) and make room for housework (bills and belongings) in the evening. She also recommends the YouTube account “Dad, how does it work?” Here you will find videos with tips on how to meet many of these adult duties, from changing the toilet seat to mowing the lawn.

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