How to Decide Where to Live After Graduation

posted on April 18, 2017 | by Chelsea Becker

How to Decide Where to Live After Graduation

girl on porch

Ending college is a weird time, it’s just a fact. You’re finally done with two decades of school, are expected to get a “real” job, and usually need to find somewhere to live and start your adult life. Do you go home to your parents? A completely new city? There are a lot of questions surrounding location, and the right choice really depends on your circumstances. But the fun part is, it’s a perfect time to experiment with location. Plus, nothing is permanent! Here are a few options for where to live after graduation:

With your parents

Though it’s not the most appealing choice on the list, it can be smart. If your parents are nice enough to let you crash, it’s a good opportunity for a final safety net. Especially as you start applying for jobs and don’t have to worry about rent just yet. Just know that the adjustment to non-independence again might be tricky. I lived with parents for 6 months after school, then realized I needed to get my act together because I was going crazy.

Good option if: You don’t have a job, aren’t sure where you want to settle, or have any sort of debt.

To a new city

If you went to college in a different area than your hometown, moving again probably isn’t as scary. If you have friends from college gravitating towards one place, this can be so exciting—but also expensive! It also might come up if you get a job offer in a new city. My advice? Take it! You can always move back.

Good option if: The job market there is thriving and relevant to your interests, you like the vibe/weather, you’re ready to take a chance, your parents are still helping, have some sort of buffer in terms of savings.

Stay in your college town

Depending where you went to school, staying put in that town/city may totally make sense. Maybe you fell in love with the area or aren’t done experiencing what it has to offer. You won’t be alone! I know a lot of friends that are still settled in the city we went to college in. I’d just make sure you truly love it and aren’t settling because it’s easy.

Good option if: You have a job that you like, enjoy the community and feel happy there, aren’t sure where to go next, still see opportunity there.


If you studied abroad in college and are craving more, or are feeling sheltered and want to get out, this may be for you. Post-college is a good time to travel in general and actually living in a foreign country is more feasible because you can work. Find a job that relates to what you eventually want to do, or if you aren’t sure what that is, find odd jobs and save up to travel more. And if you do have debt from school, use some of that money to pay it off each month.

Good option if: You’re unsure of the job you want, you have travel funds, you’ve traveled abroad before and love it.

While it seems like a lot to decide, and it is, remember that what works for a friend might not be the best choice for you. Weigh where you are post-graduation and do what feels right, then adjust if it turns out to be a mess. You got this!

Where are you thinking about moving after college?
If you already graduated, what advice do you have for post-college location?

Written by contributor Chelsea Becker.