How to Know You’re Ready to Leave Home After College

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As kids, many of us dream about our dream home and as we get older we start to have more and more independence. Now that you’ve finished studying you’re likely wondering “Is it time to leave the nest and move out on my own?” 

The answer to that question will depend on your current personal circumstances and feelings. Some people are ready to leave once they take off their cap and gown. For others, it may take years, and that’s not necessarily a negative thing! 

There are some things you’ll have to plan for and think about. You’ll have to consider if you need to save first, how you’ll find a place to live, and know what to include in an employment verification letter so that a landlord accepts your application. 

Keep reading this article to know exactly what to think about when deciding if it’s time to leave home or not. 

Consider if You’re Happy at Home

Before you make any major decisions, it’s important to evaluate your current situation. Are you happy living at home? You may love being home and seeing your parents daily. You may also want to be far away from them at least for a while. It’s also normal to just want your own space even if it will be tough to be away from home. 

Living at home provides a safety net which many of us find comforting, especially when life after college can feel overwhelming. However, if your home environment is stifling your growth or causing emotional distress, it might be time to consider moving out. Reflect on your current situation objectively, understanding that it’s perfectly okay to want your own space to develop and grow.

Think About Where You Want to Live

Your next step is determining where you want to live. Many recent graduates from rural or suburban areas dream of moving to huge cities like New York, San Francisco, or Chicago. While these locations can offer exciting opportunities, they also often come with higher living costs.

It also wouldn’t be a bad choice to stay somewhat close to home if you want to see your friends and family regularly. 

Think about how often you go out and your hobbies, the cost of living, job opportunities, and the proximity to your family and friends. All these choices have their pros and cons. Research each possibility, considering factors such as average rent, transportation costs, and even the local climate.

Begin Your Job Search

If you’re not yet employed, a job search will have a major impact on where you decide to go. Of course, if you don’t yet have a job lined up, you probably shouldn’t leave home so soon. 

Finding stable employment is a key factor when thinking about moving out. Start your job search early, and cast a wide net. You should also be open to entry-level positions, internships, or even freelance work to get your foot in the door. You may also need to be strict with your budget until you get your long-term job, especially if you decide to move out. 

Networking is crucial. Reach out to college alumni, attend career fairs, or join professional groups in your field. Not only can these connections help you find a job, but they can also provide valuable advice on navigating your new career.

Do You Already Have a Stable Job?

While it’s an exciting time, the transition period from college to full-time employment can be unstable. If you already have a job, evaluate its stability. With a long-term position set, you can worry much less about moving out. If the job is close to home you could also stay home and avoid paying rent and save as well. 

Pay Off Student Debt or Save? 

For many college graduates, student debt is a significant factor in their financial planning. Consider your debt repayment schedule and how it fits into your monthly budget. A financial advisor or debt counselor can provide valuable insight and help you build a realistic budget that factors in your student loan payments.

Remember, you don’t need to pay off all your student debt before moving out. However, having a clear understanding of your financial obligations is crucial when considering such a major step.


Leaving home is always a crucial moment in anyone’s life. Some people need to get it right the first time, especially those who plan on living far away from home. If you’re one of those people then you have to think about all the parts of your life mentioned in this article to determine if you’re ready to officially leave the nest or not. 

If you’re ready emotionally, and financially, and create a well-balanced budget, you’ll have much less trouble moving out. However, if you think staying home a few more years is right for you there’s also no shame in that either.