Moving to a new city by yourself can be daunting. When you move to a new city the challenge becomes making that city feel like home. This task is very overwhelming, especially after graduation or the culmination of a major life event. Going from a tight-knit community to living in a new city where you don’t know anyone is a drastic change. At first, it can seem lonely and intimidating.
The most important thing to remember about the move is that this is actually the perfect opportunity to make a fresh start. You are giving yourself the special opportunity to build a life that makes you happy.
This is an exciting time. It is a tremendous chance for growth and progress. You are not starting from scratch. You will be expanding your social circle and also your knowledge of the world. The friends and family you left behind are still there for you. They are not gone. Now is the time to focus on stepping away from the familiar and making even more friends, connections, and positive experiences.
There are several steps you can take to help the process along:
1. Get to know your neighborhood. Make yourself feel at home by familiarizing yourself with your surroundings. Start with simple things like finding places to get everyday things done. Find your local coffee shop, sub joint, dry cleaner, barber shop, etc. You may meet new people on your way as you explore. Be friendly and outgoing. Talk to them. See if you can get any tips from them about the area. Some of them might become your loyal friends.
2. Build a community. Attend community events that may be of interest to you. Whether it’s an adult class, street fair, or a concert, this is a great way to meet people who share similar interests. You can spend time doing something you like while giving yourself the chance to meet great new people.
3. Branch out. Try to live in a different neighborhood than the one you work in. This will give you the incentive to get to know new areas. You will circulate around the area where you work for lunch, meetings and happy hours. During nights and weekends, you will circulate around the area you live. It will also give you a feeling like you’re off the clock and you can relax.
4. Be adventurous. This is a good time to step outside your comfort zone. It may be helpful to try online dating. It is a convenient way to meet new people. As long as you stay safe, there is not much to lose. If it does not work out you’ll have a good story, and if it does you might end up with a new romance. Online dating is very common today and it works out more often than you would think!
5. Be patient. It can take a while before you feel completely at home. Eventually, you will make great friends and always have a plethora of people to hang out with. Take the time to build trust and relationships with new people slowly. Believe it or not, there will come a time when you have so many people to see it will be hard to find the time for all of them! You may even have to remind yourself not to forget to call home!
Ralitza Treneva is a recent DePaul graduate living in Chicago. She is trained in plant-based nutrition and has worked as a nutritional consultant. She is from Bulgaria.
Follow Ralitza on Twitter: @ralitzapizza