08/08/2014 12:23 EDT | Updated 10/08/2014 05:59 EDT

5 Ways to Survive Living With Your Parents as a 20-Something

I hate the way my parents make coffee. It's disgusting. When I moved back home, after university, I felt I should enlighten them about proper coffee making techniques. When I shared my opinion they were -- shockingly -- not appreciative.

"You're a guest in this house and I'll make my coffee, that I bought, the way I like it," Dad said.

Some people are just not receptive to constructive criticism.

I'm not a guest! A guest implies I want to be here, not that I have to be here.

In 2011, Statistics Canada found that 42.3 per cent of young people aged 20-29 lived with their parents. In the 20-24 demographic it was 59.3 per cent. That's a lot of conflicts brewing.

Despite what the Orlando Bloom poster on my bedroom wall might suggest, I am no longer a child and my relationship with my parents is different. When I moved back in, I needed to learn a few lessons about harmonious living. To avoid some fights, I recommend you learn from my mistakes.

1. You Eat It, You Buy It

In university I survived off instant oatmeal and toast. However, my parents like good food. Like they buy cherries... out of season. My nutrition starved stomach rejoiced! So I obviously downed those cherries like it was my day job (and for 4 months, as I searched for work, it was).

My father was unimpressed with my cherry-consuming talents. Even when I showed him how I could tie a knot with the stem using only my tongue in 3.5 seconds!

I had to replace the bag of cherries. Do you know how expensive cherries are?! More than what my knot-tying talents brought in, that's for sure.

Lesson learned: Tying a cherry stem in a knot with your tongue doesn't make money.

2. Being an Adult Sucks, We Don't Sympathize

As a teenager everyone talks about your hormones. Those mood swings were totally normal. I'd give my parents some of that oh-so-wonderful teenager sass and we'd all have long talk about "feelings" and "how to handle stress." All was forgiven.

Apparently my hormones have calmed down. That sass-mouth? Unacceptable.

Now the long-chats are much shorter. Basically: "being an adult sucks, deal." I had to find a different outlet to vent my stress. Which is how I became addicted to crossfit. So thanks for that, parents.

Lesson learned: Deal with your problems like an adult.

3. If You Use It, You Gas It

I live in the 'burbs so a car is necessary.

My mother, very kindly, gave me the use of her car. Except funny thing about cars is, they need gas. Constantly!

I once left a note on my mom's car saying: "I'm poor, you're not, sorry the tank is low."

Apparently that's not an excuse to leave her tank empty.

Lesson learned: Fill it up or take the bus.

4. They Know You're Dating

There are no secret dates no matter how hard you try. Turns out, my parents are kind of smart. I didn't want my dates to meet my parents because, well, I didn't want to have that awkward "let me introduce you to my mom" exchange. She asks everyone extremely personal questions.

So I lied about my dates. Luckily, or unfortunately, (depending on your perspective) I didn't have to lie a lot.

It's easier to have a mature conversation and tell them the truth. Sit them down, tell them you love them, and then explain that they are embarrassing and you don't want your potential partner to meet them. Until the pre-nup is signed.

Lesson learned: Be honest and tell your parents that they have the social skills of newts.

5. Chores, You Have to Do Them

My parents subscribe to the mantra "if you have time to lean, you have time to clean." So when they caught me binge watching Friday Night Lights, they made me build a shed. And rebuild it after it fell down. In my defense, no one thought the ice storm would be that bad.

Really, there is no way around this one. Chores need to be done and I've got a young healthy back, perfect for manual labour.

Lesson learned: Just consider household chores your rent and build the shed.

So, there you have it, my 5 life lessons to survive living at home.

TV lied. The life of 20 somethings isn't about travelling the world, throwing dolla dolla bills around and killing it at a high-powered job.

Being an adult sucks. End o'story.

My parents still make disgusting coffee, but I have learned to drink it with three tablespoons of sugar. I have also learned to live with sugar rush.

Just be grateful you've got a place to stay that's under $1,000/month.


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