Tips For Moving To A New City: After graduating from college in Los Angeles, I moved overseas to attend grad school in Ireland. I had been looking forward to the move for over a year, and had started a countdown in the weeks leading up to my departure. After I arrived in my exciting new city, however, I experienced one emotion I wasn’t expecting: loneliness. I was 5,000 miles away from everyone I knew and loved. Although I was excited to be in a new place, I also felt lonely and overwhelmed in the midst of a city filled with strangers. The experienced helped me glean a few important tips for transitioning well after a move.
Get involved in the community
Take a pottery class at a local college. Get involved in a community tennis league. Start volunteering with a non-profit. Find ways to pursue your passions and interests in your community. Act in a local theater. This will not only help you feel more connected, but it will potentially lead to new friendships.
Explore on your own.
Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and tour your new city by yourself. Familiarize yourself with the tourist attractions and iconic parts of the city, as well as the hidden treasures and local favorite places. Find places of the city that you love—a coffee shop that you can go to regularly, a local music venue that you’ll frequent, or a park that you’ll jog in daily. Find places that make the new city seem like home. The world is full of beautiful places, so make it a priority to explore the beauty in your new location!
Be intentional about friendships.
Sometimes the hardest part of being in a new place is trying to develop a sense of community. Don’t be afraid to take the first steps in asking a new acquaintance out to coffee. Be willing to plan and schedule events so that new friends can partake in them. And don’t become disheartened if you’re not connecting as quickly with people as you think you should. You won’t become best friends with someone in a matter of hours. Continue investing in friendships, and have patience if you’re not as close to people in your new city as you think you should be. Friendships rarely happen overnight. They take work and effort. Be intentional about putting in the necessary effort so that you can reap the rewards of close friends in your new place. Adjusting to a new city can be hard, so be patient and remember that it will take time for this new place to feel like home.
Stay connected with those from home.
Being in a new city, country, or time zone can make it easy for friendships from back home to fall by the wayside. But be intentional about keeping in touch with people that are important to you. Schedule times during the week that you can talk with your friends and family from home. In the midst of an unfamiliar city, surrounded by people who don’t know you very well, staying in touch with loved ones from home can be one of the most important things you can do.
Kate McGillicuddy is a 20-something travel writer and English teacher. Hope you love reading “Tips For Moving To A New City”.