Moving across the country can be one of the greatest and hardest things you’ll ever do. No matter what age you are, you’re going to have to get used to all the new aspects of a new city. As someone who recently moved from Idaho to Missouri entirely by myself, I totally know ALL the feels you get when you move somewhere new. Here are ten things to help you get accustomed to your new town.
1. Keep in contact with your people. This one is SUPER important. Just because you moved away does not mean you shouldn’t keep up with those who you left. Facetime/Skype/Google hangouts…social media and technology have made it so easy to keep in contact with your truest friends, no matter where you are.
2. Make friends with your coworkers. Okay, so this doesn’t mean you have to become BFFs with your office mate or hang out with your boss on the weekends, but it does mean you should get to know who you are working with on a personal level. Ask them how their weekend went, or bring in treats for the office and chat over some cookies. This will not only make coming into work more enjoyable, it will also open up your working relationship to be trusting, full of respect, and honestly just more valuable.
3. Explore your new city. This one might seem obvious, but so many people live places that they don’t even know that much about. When you move somewhere new, go on the internet (I know you spend 60% of your day online anyways) and look up the top ten things in your area to do or see. THEN GO DO/SEE THEM. This will make your experience so much better, give you something to talk about, and you might find something new you really like!
4. Really get to know the area. It is tough getting to know a new city. There are new street names, weird traffic patterns, new grocery stores. The first month of living in Missouri, every day after work I would run an errand and then try to find my way home without Google maps. This seriously helped me get to know the area so much more quickly, and I now know the fastest way to get to the nearest Target. #priorities
5. EAT ALL THE FOOD. What is your favorite food?? Mine is a tossup between pizza and fries, so I immediately asked everyone I met what their favorite pizza place was and where to get the best fries. I also made sure to ask what the city was known for. Missouri/Kansas is into BBQ, so I got A TON of BBQ recommendations. Food is important to me as someone who is more often than not hangry, so this was especially helpful. Not to mention I now know that the pizza place by my apartment is expensive, but if I drive ten minutes down the road, I can eat cheap pizza that is amazing.
6. Get a side hustle. This one isn’t going to work for everyone, but for me, working in my 8-4 office was not fulfilling my social needs. I ended up getting a part-time server job at a sports bar near my house. It gave me a bunch of new people to become friends with, half-off amazing food, and a bunch of extra spending money, making it much easier to treat myself. It doesn’t have to be food service job, either. I’ve babysat, house/pet sat, taught English/Spanish on the side, etc. Find something you love to do as your side hustle, make some extra cash, and meet new people.
7. Sign up for rewards programs, etc. As soon as I moved here, I signed up for basically everything I could. I got a library card, I signed up for the perks points at the new grocery stores I would be shopping at, and I started signing up for all those rewards cards at the restaurants I often frequent. This might not make your move that much better, but it will save you money and keep you connected — which is always a good thing.
8. Go out of your comfort zone. I know this is easier said than done, but seriously, try to do it. I know that I am very much a person who likes talking to friends about everything under the sun, but I am sometimes shy when it comes to strangers. So I’ve pushed myself to start conversations with anyone, whether that is the dude who always goes to the gym at the same time I do or the girl at the pool with her roommate. I haven’t made lasting friendships out of these encounters (yet), but I have always enjoyed the conversations. It’s a great way to start feeling more confident around your new city.
9. Do what makes you happy. I am someone who HAS to have their next trip planned. I am a hardcore commitment-phobe, and committing to moving to Missouri for three years really stole my soul. It has been an amazing experience so far, but I was not truly happy until I had my next trip planned and booked. This could be something entirely different for you, but if you did it where you used to live, you NEED to keep doing it in your new area.
10. Cry it out if you need it. Don’t be afraid to be sad/lonely/upset/frustrated. I know sometimes we feel like we need to be so strong and tough, but sometimes life sucks, and you just need to buy a pizza, some wine, and a pint of ice cream and cry it out while binge re-watching Grey’s Anatomy. Okay, maybe that last one is just me. But you get it. Let yourself be vulnerable, feel sorry for yourself, and talk it out with a friend — then get back at it tomorrow!
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