Being 20 years old and living with your family is the hardest thing you’ll ever do. But proving that you’re ready to live independently isn’t easy, either. It’s even more challenging because everyone around you has their idea of what ‘being independent’ should look like.
But if all you want is to excel at schoolwork, find someone special, or eat a home-cooked meal — then read all about the best rules for 20-year-olds living at home. I found that it can help provide some adult guidance and tips for those struggling to break out of the nest.
Rules for 20-year-olds Living at Home
Being mature is a lot more than just being responsible. It’s about having the ability to make decisions, take responsibility for your actions and learn from mistakes. You’ll also need to be able to express yourself in a way that doesn’t get you into trouble or hurt other people’s feelings.
Mature adults know what they want and how they will get it, but they’re also willing to listen when someone else has something useful to say.
When you’re 20 years old, letting your emotions run wild is easy. You might not think about how your behaviour will affect others negatively or positively. However, everything is different from when you were a little kid, with even more responsibilities on your shoulders.
Ideally, if there are chores that need doing, do them. If a task needs to be done in the house, do it! If you have an opportunity to help out around the house, take advantage of it. Your parents may be unable to pay you much money for these kinds of chores, but they’ll appreciate the effort and time you’ve spent doing things around their home.
Dress Neatly and Appropriately
Don’t show up wearing baggy clothes, or even worse, sweatpants and a T-shirt. Dress in a way that makes you feel confident and ready to take on the world.
This is especially important when it comes to your appearance. It is never acceptable for a 20-year-old man to wear shorts or short sleeves and a tank top (unless it’s warm out). This is also true for women; no one wants to see your bra straps showing through your shirt.
If you’re invited somewhere, make sure that your outfit is appropriate for the event (if it’s formal, don’t wear jeans; if it’s casual, don’t show off too much cleavage).
Don’t talk back or disrespectfully
Don’t be a smart-ass. Don’t be rude or sarcastic if you disagree with your parents or other adults. You can have your own opinions and beliefs, but you mustn’t challenge their authority.
Don’t make too many demands on your parents
It’s understandable if you want more freedom and independence as an adult. Still, it’s important not to take advantage of your parents’ generosity by asking for more than they can afford. If they can’t afford it, they’ll tell you no, so don’t expect them to pay for anything if they can’t afford it.
Keep in mind that life is not all fun and games
Life is hard when you’re young and growing up, so don’t expect everything to be easy. There will be times when things will get difficult for both of you — like when one of you gets sick or injured — but remember that this is part of being an adult and a member of society.
Keep your room clean and organized
Your room is a reflection of you, so keep it neat! Make sure the furniture is arranged in a way that makes sense for your lifestyle, rather than just being thrown haphazardly around in no particular order.
You don’t want your room to look messy at all times; this could make other people think poorly of you!
Don’t do drugs or drink alcohol
This is a rule that applies to all 20-year-olds, but it’s especially important for those who are living at home. Living with your parents can be a great opportunity to learn how to live independently and make good choices.
But it’s also possible to end up drinking too much, doing drugs, getting into trouble, or even causing harm to yourself or someone else. If you’re living at home and struggling with alcohol or drug use, it’s important to talk with someone about what you can do to get help.
Don’t stay out all night
It’s fine to have sleepovers and go out after school sometimes, but if there’s no reason for it (i.e., your parents aren’t home), don’t stay out until late. This could lead to problems for you (i.e., getting suspended from school) or other people.
Also, if this rule seems unrealistic for you, think about whether you want to start breaking it down when you move out in six weeks!
Be kind to others
When you live at home with your parents, it is important to show them how much they mean to you by being kind and polite towards them all the time! Tell them when things need to be done around the house, and do not forget about them when they need help doing something for themselves.
Make sure you take care of yourself by eating healthy foods and getting enough sleep at night.
Be honest with your parents
If you’re making a mess of things, don’t try to cover up the mess by cleaning it up. Instead, tell them how you feel and how you’re trying to fix the problem. You’ll be surprised at how much they can help you if they know what’s going on.
Remember that you are an adult now, with adult-like responsibilities. That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun anymore, but it does mean that you need to act like an adult. And for some of you, this will be easy to do.
For others, it’s a much bigger adjustment than you expected. If you’re having trouble adjusting, I encourage you to try and clear your head and talk things out with whoever is in charge of your living situation (which may or may not be your parents). And take baby steps towards becoming the adult you want and deserve to be.