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For Young Adults: 4 Rules for Adults Living with Parents

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Growing up is hard, especially if you are facing challenges depression, anxiety, family conflict, or substance abuse. This can make it easy to get lost in the transition to adulthood. As a young adult, you have big life decisions to make. As such, the pressure may cause an increase in inner turmoil.

Young adults, just like you, who are facing tough emotional issues are finding themselves experiencing a “failure to launch.” Although “failure to launch” is not an actual clinical diagnostic category, the phenomenon of young adults living at home and getting lost in the transition to adulthood is not an uncommon one. If you need help finding your independence after experiencing a failure to launch, you are not alone. Here are four rules for adults living with parents.

1. Take Responsibility

The first step in achieving your independence and getting through a failure to launch is taking responsibility for yourself, your actions, and your future. Taking responsibility means leaving the excuses behind and taking life by the horns.

2. Make a Plan for Your Professional or Academic Career

The rules for adults living with parents states you must make a plan of action. This involves setting goals, a timeline, and necessary action items, or steps, to achieve these goals within your allotted timeline. Many young adults living at home struggle with taking next steps; by taking command, you are setting yourself up for success. .

Whether you are planning your next steps for your education or your career, having a plan of action will help ensure that you are successful in achieving your goals. Make hard deadlines such as “I am going to apply for three jobs by Friday” or “I am going to take the GRE on October 15th; I will research and apply to five schools by December 15th.” It is easy to put things off; why put off for tomorrow what you could accomplish today?

3. Work on Yourself

While taking responsibility for yourself and making a plan to succeed are vital steps to achieving independence, working on yourself is just as important. Developing a set routine that involves working on your physical health, social relationships, professional/academic career, and emotional well being are just as vital to becoming an independent, self sufficient young adult.

  • Physical Health: The first step to ensuring a healthy lifestyle is getting into a healthy sleeping routine. A good night’s rest is vital to your physical health, and is the foundation of a healthy lifestyle. Another aspect of establishing a healthy lifestyle is developing healthy diet and exercise habits. More and more, research shows that a healthy diet and exercise routine is vital, not only for physical health, but emotional well being.
  • Social Relationships: While it is easy to lose contact with friends after graduating high school or college, establishing healthy peer relationships is vital in becoming a healthy, independent, and well-balanced young adults. There are many ways to make new friends and form new relationships with others. Joining a softball, basketball, or ultimate frisbee league, volunteering, or joining a book club are all great ways to make new friends with similar interests.
  • Emotional Well Being: Really evaluate what is holding you back from achieving your independence; is your lack of motivation or progress due to substance abuse, anxiety, or depression? If you think there may be a mental health or emotional issue standing in the way of your progress to become a healthy, well balanced, independent young adult, ask for help.

4. Be Proactive

Do things, be proactive, explore. Attend jobs fairs, apply for internships, take risks! Trying is half of the battle; even if you fail, you have gained a valuable life experience. Remember, you don’t have to know it all just yet! Young adulthood is about exploring your passions and finding what you are good at and what excites you.


If you find yourself in a failure to launch and these rules for adults living with parents have spoken to you, remember: it’s okay to ask for help. Each young adult’s journey toward independence is different; while some young adults living at home will make the journey on their own, others may need a helping hand, some guidance, and even a gentle nudge.

To find out more about helping young adults living at home achieve their independence, download our free, twelve page white paper, The Road to Independence Can Be Rough: It’s Okay to Ask for Help

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