Many Hungarian young adults live with their parents, here is why
According to szeretlekmagyarország.hu, statistics show that more young adults live in their parents’ home than ever. But why is the “Hotel Mum” so popular? University students were asked.
In 21 years the number of young adults (older than 20 years old) living with their parents increased to more than its double, as it turns out from a report. According to data of the Central Statistics Office, it is visible that in 1990 16% of 20-39 year-olds lived with their parents, in 2011 this percentage is 31.4, moreover, this proportion is growing, although in a slowing pace.
Therefore more and more young adults live with their parents and choose the easier, “served” way of life instead of being independent. According to experts, the delay of starting an independent life, getting a job, and having children can lead to dangerous economic and social problems.
This is the reason why older generations are mocking them with expressions like “Hotel Mum”, “Peter Pan syndrome”, “yo-yo generation”. But is it only the fault of these young adults? It is easy to exhort them to move out, but the truth may be more complex. We asked six university students living at “Hotel Mum”.
Levente, 23, BME Msc
Levi worked whenever he had the chance. But since he was admitted to the MA course in the engineering school, his parents do not expect him to work on the weekends or in a night shift besides going to school 5 days a week, which would be essential if he wanted to move out from the nest and move in with some friends given the high rent prices.
“If I had to work, it would probably have a negative impact on my school performance”
– said Levi, adding that the atmosphere at home does not give him a reason for moving either. Advantages of living at home include having company all the time, and he does not have to pay rent or for the utilities to his parents. “A disadvantage, at the same time, is not feeling independent enough, although I am 23 years old and I have a university degree. Plus, I have to conform to five other people.”
It might seem that Levi is comfortable at home, but in reality he feels like he is lagged behind and would like to start his own life soon. Not because of his friends, most of them also live with their parents, just because of himself. He would like to move in one or two years’ time, he will try to organize his weekly schedule so that he has time for work too.
Zsófi, 19, BGE
In the case of Zsófi, almost every circumstance is a reason for her to stay. She is a top athlete and all of her free time is absorbed in training. She only has time for work in the breaks. Moreover, the university is only a 10-minute car drive away from her home. Her mother is a house wife, for them it is the usual case that she prepares lunch or dinner for the family every day.
Naturally, there are disadvantages: after university parties Zsófi often spends hours on the night bus and none of her colleagues live near. But these are not reasons for someone to move.
“Most of my best friends live in the county, consequently they did not have another choice apart from moving to the capital. The rest of them still live in the family nest, many of them for financial reasons, but others, like me, simply enjoy their situation as it is,”
– says Zsófi, who is not planning on moving out in the foreseeable future. Her parents are youthful and she needs their financial support as long as she attends the university and does sports at the same time. After graduating she might consider moving out if she finds the suitable partner.
Réka and Kata, both 22, Semmelweis University
The case of Réka and Kata is special, since they are twins and are enrolled to the Faculty of Physiotherapy at Semmelweis University. Both have been living with their parents ever since. They were unable to work enough besides attending the university, so they couldn’t move out. Kata believes that it makes no sense to move out with their parents supporting them financially, because it does not make them independent. For her it is obvious that she could move together with her sister, so they do not need to look for a flatmate. They plan to move out in two years’ time, when they are 24 years old.
Szandi, 22 Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Faculty of Law
Szandi is now completing her third academic year, and she would go, but she does not have the money for this big step since she has to pay the university fees too. She makes about 320 euros a month via students’ jobs, which is quite a good wage, keeping the hourly wages in mind, this means she has to work a lot besides going to school. Still, she believes 380-420 euro monthly wage at least is needed for moving out.
December-January and May-June is the exam period, the season starts in April (Szandi works in catering), and the quantity of students’ jobs is fluctuating. She needs to undertake whatever job she can find and she cannot base a household on an unsteady income. Not to mention her course books, which cost over 250 euros this year all together, and Szandi has to pay for her phone bills, her monthly pass, and her compulsory savings, thus helping her parents.
One thing is special about Szandi: she was the most precise one regarding the future financial plans. “I will move out when I have a steady job, probably after finishing my studies. Instead of paying the expensive rent, I will open a savings account, making my life easier in the future” – said Szandi, who want to find a job in a solicitor’s office or at a company’s legal department.
Gergely, 21, Óbuda University
Gergely finds it illogical to spend 80% of our income on rent when he lives in the same city where he would move. He cannot make enough money to afford his own flat and spend on other things as well. This is why he does not move out, although he would like to.
The biggest advantage for him is that the food is for free, and he is near his parents so he can be there in case they need help. At the same time, he spends about 5 hours travelling a day because he lives far from the centre. Most of his friends, even those outside the capital, live with their families and commute to the university every day. He does not plan to move out until he has a special reason, such as a job which is far or a serious girlfriend.
Mónika, 21, Pázmány Péter Catholic University
Móni is only 21 years old, but she has been thinking about moving out for two years.
She wants to move in with her boyfriend, but she believes she would need a 480 euro income at least. She has been working during her university years, still she would not be able to afford a whole flat. She also mentioned the family bonds: she lives alone with her mother and does not want to leave her on her own.
At the same time, she consciously plans her independent life, which will began in two or three years, she hopes.
Considering the stories of inhabitants of “hotel mum”, we can go on with the “yo-yo generation” and “Peter Pan syndrome”, but the truth is far from young adults being lazy and comfortable at home. Most of them are willing to have an independent life, but financial problems bar them. Of course there are some of them who simply choose comfort over challenges. But you think the desire of independence is enough reason for moving out? As long as these students make this little money a month with this much effort, good luck persuading them.