Jun 2014
Josie Bungert

Postgrad with my parents: “I’m the sister”

Since moving back in with my parents the day after graduation, I have discovered something: living at home postgrad is SO different than living here on breaks during college. Being back in my hometown as a recent college grad seems strange and unusual, and so many things about being back are impacted. Hence, a new series from me, “Postgrad with my parents.”

Segment one: “I’m the sister.”

It seems that I no longer know anyone that my younger brothers (19 and 17) know. Their friends come to visit, and I am simply introduced as “my sister,” most of the time without a name attached. When I was home on breaks I never thought anything of it, because there was always a slim to none chance that I wouldn’t see them again, or at least not anytime soon. Now that I’m home for good, though, I have seen a few more than once, whether at church or on our front door step. Some I have grown to recognize. But even in recognizing and even learning some names, I am still “the sister,” which is how I have come to introduce myself as well.

Additionally, I don’t seem to know any of the adults that my parents do. My mom works at the elementary school I went to, and my dad helps my younger brother with Boy Scouts. The families they know have younger kids. I used to know families because I may have known their older siblings, or I grew up with them in my neighborhood. But now I go to church and my parents say “hi” to all of these people I do not know. In this case, I am introduced with “this is my daughter,” sometimes with my name attached.

Most of the time, I stand there, surly like, and say a friendly “hey,” when this happens. At first, it felt weird. I think this is a postgrad phenomenon. Of course, I didn’t expect the world to stop spinning and my family’s life to remain the same when I went away to school, but trying to navigate dynamic is becoming a struggle.

Interestingly, though, I am actually comfortable with my titles and place in this new-ish hometown. It’s kind of nice being somewhat anonymous in a place I have come to known, instead of a person everyone knows everything about. It’s also nice to see change in a place that never seemed to have it, because it prepares me to be good with change, to be adaptable. The best part is definietly not really being obligated to have conversations with people about real things, because I don’t know them. Is it weird that I like being unknown? Probably.

I do know this: I have become really good at small talk.

Any postgrad with your parents stories? Tweet at me, @jlbungert