Tips for Moving to a New City

Photo from loisevans.org

Photo from loisevans.org

Throughout the course of my life, I have often times walked into circumstances knowing hardly anyone at all. I entered middle school without a friend, transferred to a new college in a different city,moved to Los Angeles alone and spent my adolescence auditioning for plays and starting at new dance studios without the support of a buddy.

I look back fondly at each one of those moments in my life. Though they were scary, I also found them exciting and can say it is one of the things I am most proud of. There is a distinct comfort in the familiar and it takes a while for the new to evolve into it.

I am a huge advocate for pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and out of your bubble. I think you learn a lot about yourself during these times and you expand your world, understanding people different than you. This is what makes moving to a new city such a fantastic experience for someone in their twenties. After having lived in two cities for school (and taking a handful of wonderful friends from both places) and venturing into one of the most intimidating, loud, largest cities in the world, I have a bit of advice for these adjustments that may help any homesickness subside sooner and keep you on your journey, whether temporary or permanent, to happily exploring life in a new place.

  • Smile

Boy a smile can go a long way! It starts so many friendships and not only that, it gives off a generally positive vibe. I’ve heard so many times that you should smile when you meditate and I think the same advice should be taken in life. It starts you out on the right foot and gives you a happy aura. This way, you attract good things and it’s easier to stay positive. Sounds hokey? Oh well, I stand by it!

  • Get involved in your community

Go to yoga, do a trivia night, go on some dates, volunteer! Look into the events your community offers and make an effort to be a part of it. You will never find an niche by sitting at home by yourself!

  • Use your resources

If you are moving for a new job, make friends at your company. If you have a friend who knows a group of people in your new city, reach out. Really, don’t be shy! I can’t tell you how many friendships have come to be from this. The key is getting over whatever initial doubts or embarrassment you feel. There’s nothing wrong in making an effort to make new friends.

  • Schedule visits if possible

When I lived in LA, I was a long road trip and short plane ride away from my family. A lot was going on too while I was there. My sister got married, had my nephew a year later and both my grandparents passed while I was a So Cal resident, so it definitely felt hard to be away from everyone during those times. However, I regularly scheduled visits so I could be there for the important events. They also came down to see me as well. These trips gave me something to look forward to and didn’t make my distance seem as overwhelming.

  • Most importantly, be patient

I can say this with certainty as it evolved this way from each one of my experiences. It takes a solid year to really acclimate to a new place, find a niche and feel at home. It doesn’t happen over night. Be patient. Don’t divulge too much into your expectations and take it slowly. It is not common to move to a place and instantaneously feel like you know it well and have a group of true friends that you relate to. Everything worth having is usually worth waiting for so give it time to transpire.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: JENNA WHITECAR

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I work in marketing for a technology company in San Francisco. I earned my degree in Broadcast Journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University where I graduated in three years with honors. With a passion for art, travel, food, fitness, fashion, and of course, writing, I started my lifestyle blog, Jenna Rose Colored Glasses, where I aim to create a creative, fun, relatable space for women to get inspired and share ideas. I am also a freelance content writer for various businesses and am working on a novel.

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