How Do I Adjust To A New City Far From Home?

lady libertyIf you’re a bit anxious about picking up shop and relocating to a completely different city or area of the country (or globe), don’t feel bad. You’re totally normal! While transition is never easy, attitude and perspective are the two things that will “make” your transition. View this new move as an adventure! How often do we get the opportunity to make a whole new life for ourselves? Relocating allows us to start fresh, create new networks, develop new hobbies and much more! Enter your new life with excitement and hope. The following five tips will help you have a positive attitude and perspective when acclimating to your new city!

1.  Be Where You Are

This may seem elementary but it’s a real challenge not to hold tightly to friends and family back home. You may want to fly/drive home every weekend or month because you’re homesick or simply because you miss those connections with loved ones. I’m not saying you need to totally ditch old family and friends but be intentional about making an effort to become involved in your new city.  There are good people everywhere!

2.  Get Out There

As you make an effort to be present in your new city, take the next step by putting yourself out there. Google fun things to do in your city, make a dessert for your neighbor (if your cooking won’t kill!), take a walk around your neighborhood, and check out the local markets. Visit a few different churches or sign up for a painting class. Bottom line – don’t become a hermit, connected only to Facebook or watching TV. Get out there and meet some new people! You won’t enjoy your new city if you’re hulled up in your apartment alone. You could be in the most boring, small-town in the country but if you had good friends with you, it would be the best place ever. Connect!

3.  Find A Local Outlet For Your Hobbies

One way to really connect with people who have similar interests is to make sure you’re partaking in your favorite hobby. Whatever it is that rejuvenates you, you don’t have to leave that behind just because you’re in a new place. Whether that’s painting, biking, joining a Bible study, volunteering, or playing league volleyball, find a way to make that happen in your new city. Finding those outlets will allow you to feel like yourself even in a new place.

4.  Be Confident & Comfortable In Your Skin!

By now, half of you are excited and the other half are thinking, “I am way too shy to do this!” All I have to say is that I’m sure you’re awesome! You won’t connect with everyone but there are definitely people who you’ll hit it off with. Be comfortable in your own skin. My mom always said, “there are good people everywhere.” I’ve discovered this to be true! Just be yourself and relax. Most people are always a bit nervous when meeting new people, so you’re in good company. And if you’re doing things you already love (hobbies), you’ll instantly have something in common.

5.  Give yourself time to build a name and connections…

Finally, give yourself a break!  It takes time to build new friendships and networks. Don’t stress if you don’t feel like you fit in right away or that your co-workers haven’t seen how lucky they are to have you! Anything worth much takes time.

Good luck with your new move and enjoy this new adventure! For those of you who have already gone through a major transition, please share your experiences and tips with those who are just making that move.

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About  the Author: Victoria is a grad student in Nebraska and is currently savoring the summer sunshine. This summer she is taking a break from classes by working with HireAHelper and loving it!

(Photo courtesy of Erick)

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