I have recently moved cities. This means more than packing up your possessions in to the back of the car and unpacking them in a new wardrobe. It means more than a change in postcode and a change in delivery address on your ASOS account. It means moving your whole life. Your job, your hobbies, gym, local pub..You move away from friends, family and familiarity.
For me, I am able to get back home within a couple of hours, so I haven’t moved to the other side of the world, far from it. However, it has been a hefty manoeuvre and has taken a lot of adjustment on my part. Having been here a few months now, I’ve been thinking about the challenges that we face as twenty somethings starting out in a new area. The same questions, concerns and thoughts apply if you’re moving two hours up the M1 or jetting off to sunnier climates.
Below are the things you don’t always consider before moving away.
Motivation for your move?
This is the most important pre-move question you can ask yourself, so do it justice. Seriously? Why are you going? What is your motivation for leaving everything you know and moving to a new place? Is this reason worth it? If the answer is ‘yes’ as it was for me, then you’re probably making the right decision. If you’re ambivalent, about the answer to that question or the answer is a firm no, go back to the drawing board. This is no small feat, moving your world from one place to another requires absolute certainty on your part. Be true to yourself and what you’re looking for, there is no rush despite the social pressures which are pushed on us from every angle. Live in your own time frame.
What am I going to do for work?
Now this is a tough one. Nobody really wants to work do they? I mean, I have met very few people who wake up on a Monday morning raring to go, or who show genuine love for the job they do. I am envious of people who do feel that way because it hasn’t happened for me just yet. So when moving do you base your decision on the work that is available for you in your new home? Is there work available for you to begin with? Is that the most important thing? Money sure does make the world go round, we need to work to live, this much is true. For me, work wasn’t really part of the move, I didn’t give much thought to the job I was going to do when I arrived, that wasn’t my reason to up sticks and swap cities. Having not particularly enjoyed my first few months at work in my new city, I would recommend sorting it before you make the move. It makes the transition much harder if you’re not particularly fond of Monday to Friday.
How to make friends?
This for me is the biggest issue and no doubt the hardest. Friends are synonymous to happiness so you must make sure you put some effort in to this tricky little problem. I have spoken to a lot of people in their twenties over the past few months and discovered I am not alone in this dilemma. HOW DO YOU MAKE FRIENDS?!
Have you ever seen Charlie and the chocolate factory? Veruca Salt turns to Violet and says ‘lets be friends’ Violets response? ‘Best friends’. And then they were. For the next 10 minutes anyway. Turns out it’s not that easy in real life, who’d have guessed? It seems to me that when you’ve left school, university and no longer know the bar staff in your local pub you’re stuck. I’ve travelled a lot in my life and haven’t really had too much trouble meeting new people and making friends so this isn’t really a question I gave much thought before I moved. I don’t want to scare you here but what is important to remember is that all the people in the city you’re moving to already live there, probably have done for years and they have their own friends and lives to live. You’re going to have to break in to that. What a predicament.
I would recommend
- Joining a gym. This is obviously good for an endless number of things but surprisingly good for making friends too. Join classes, do the same classes at the same time each week. You’ll then start to be a familiar face and meet people accordingly.
- Start evening classes or clubs? I have been to a few evening classes. The idea of them is daunting to say the least but you will meet many like minded people based in the local area, they can actually be quite fun and it gives you a bit of a routine.
- Work somewhere that you like your collegues and can see yourself spending time with them outside of the staffroom not to mention the fact work is much more enjoyable if you want to arrive there in the morning to see your pals.
- I am not normally an advocate for using apps to meet people but there are some good ones out there. One I’ve been using this year is ‘borrow my doggy’ I have told that many people about this now that they should really be paying me for advertising. This app is designed for dog lovers, if thats you then download the app immediately. Not only do you get to make new dog mates, their owners are alright too if its more the human variety of friend that you’re after.
- If you’re single, go on some dates, you have nothing to lose worse case scenario you don’t want to date them again but you might just have made a friend for life.
Location Location Location
Where are you going? Is the country nice? The city? The house? Do you know it well? What can you do near by? Is it safe? These are questions you need to know the answer to, if you can’t answer positively for the majority do the pros at least outweigh the cons? You’re not always going to love everything about a place, there will be aspects of it that you remain unsure of for years to come. Parts that make you compare it to home. Things that make you question if you’re in the right place. Thats ok. As long as you are happy, feel safe and have aspirations for a future there. You’re in the right place, wherever you might be in the world. Make sure you feel at home.
For me, I have moved cities and found home within another person. What ever you discover on your vast new adventure, wherever you are going, immerse yourself in it, find new things to love, new stories to tell.
Be brave, you got this.