M21 wanted a Gen Y perspective so we invited the “When Parents Text” authors to our undergraduate class for an interview. The following was written by a student journalist:
It was every college graduate’s nightmare: best friends Lauren Kaelin and Sophia Fraioli found themselves living at home with their parents after college, taking on odd jobs as an intern and nanny while figuring out their lives in their childhood bedrooms.
But their fate changed at the buzz of a text message from Ms. Kaelin’s mother. It was a series of funny and persistent texts about how many tacos to make for dinner that Ms. Kaelin shared with her friend. ‘When parents text, it’s hilarious,” said Ms. Fraioli, her offhand comment giving name to a new website, “When Parents Text.”
Within a year, the two twentysomethings started a business with a website featuring the comical texts that parents send. The site spurred a book deal and an ABC television contract, and the two moved out of their parents’ suburban homes into New York City.
They credit their parents for their success, noting that the website would have been impossible without their initial financial backing and support. And living at home also gave them the much-needed time to focus on their idea and put it into work. “People always have these good ideas,” Fraioli said. “But because of our unemployment, we actually had to the time to do it.”
For Generation Y, moving back in with parents isn’t the most appealing option, but can be made easier with the right mindset. “It’s a transitional period,” said Ms. Fraioli. “You have to renegotiate with your parents, and learn to live together as roommates in effect. It’s a part of life for right now.”
Their sitcom in development focuses on the post-graduate life of twenty-somethings who move back in with their parents and struggle to find a job in the ongoing recession. It’s not all that bad for the Gen Yers who find themselves in the same predicament. “Everyone who was home moved out within a year,” said Ms. Kaelin. “We all made do.”