The Recent Graduate Dilemma and the Rules of Couch Surfing

Yesterday, we concluded that in virtue of Recent Graduate Dilemma, statistical comparisons between cities using employment figures and apartment rents are only of secondary importance to recent graduates. By secondary importance we mean that this information is not at all instructive to a college or high school graduate who is trying to decide what to do with their lives and where to do it.

The only conceivable scenario where this information is helpful is if a soon to be graduate already has a job offer from a company with branches in different cities and is trying to decide where he or she would like to live. However, even in this circumstance (which in this job market is few and far between), that decision would rely on much different information. The only statistical information you would need to really have a good grasp on is that it is more expensive to live in New York than anywhere else (but they pay you more).

So the Recent Graduate Dilemma states that you need a job to afford an apartment and an apartment to find a job; so how does someone with neither get both? Each person we spoke with had a different way of approaching this dilemma, and in those stories are contained the wisdom that recent graduates seek.

So let’s get right into the meat and potatoes of this thing and examine the trickiest situation: moving to a city in which you do not have a job that is not near your home town nor your college.

(photo courtesy of A Natural Sound)

Solution number 1: Crash on friends couch, making sure that that friend knows that you will need at least one month but no more than two to be able to find a job that allows you to move into an apartment.

Caveats: Living on the couch etiquette can be rough.

1- You have to do all the cleaning in the house.

2- You must wake up first and turn what has become your bedroom back into the living room before anyone wakes up.

3- Even though you have to wake up first, you get to shower last and you may not do anything that makes too much noise while others are sleeping unless that includes making breakfast for everyone.

4- You are in charge of making all meals for everyone.

5- You are required to buy all communal cleaning and hygiene products.

6 – Upon moving in, you must devote a portion of everyday of your first week to tasks that have never been done since your friends moved in, including cleaning out the fridge, dusting, cleaning windows and windowsills and organizing the cupboards.

7- You cannot attend social functions because if you have enough money to go out, you’ve got enough money to move the hell out and get your own damn apartment.

8-During roommate movie hour, you get the worst seat in the house.

9- If during roommate movie hour, someone asks you to bring food or beverages in from the kitchen, you may only hesitate for less than 2 seconds before you go.

10-If, for any reason whatsoever, your presence is not expedient to the lives of any of the roommates, you must leave the apartment (though you cannot be asked to leave for more than 24 hours) and leave no trace of your existence within that apartment.

Solution number 2: Move back home and find a job until you can save enough money to get out on your own.

Caveats: You live with your parents.

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