How to Transition to a New City After College


Photo credit: Jerry Downs, Creative Commons, Original Photo
Photo credit: Jerry Downs, Creative Commons, Original Photo

Life is made up of many different stages and I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels that the college stage has gone by extremely quickly. It doesn’t feel like too long ago that I was starting my first semester and now I’m frantically seeking advice on how to adjust to the upcoming post-graduation life.

One of the biggest changes that new graduates often have to face is moving to a completely new city. Many students already have some experience moving away from home after choosing which college to go to, but relocating after college can be very different. There may not be as many opportunities to meet people and the age range of everyone around you varies much more.

After graduation, some students plan on moving back home temporarily, some have made plans with friends to move to a new area and others are moving to a new city without knowing any friends or family nearby. Regardless of the situation, new graduates will generally move to a new area at some point, which can make an already tough transition from college to the workforce even more challenging. Here are five tips for making this adjustment a little smoother:

1. Do your research

Whether it’s a different city, state or country, you should start researching the general area before you graduate to find out as much as possible about potential jobs there. Although you may be interested in moving to a big city like San Francisco or Los Angeles, try to keep an open mind. There might be another city that could be a great starting point. Here is an article to get you started.

After finding a job in the area you’ve chosen, start researching neighborhoods to find a place to live that fits your budget and offers the best possible commute. Although we’ve all heard horror stories about bad roommate experiences, having roommates significantly lowers the cost of rent.

Many people would rather live with someone they know, but this is not always possible. It’s important to be careful if you move in with someone without knowing them beforehand, but it might be the best option to save some money in a new city.

2. Make your home more personal

Once you’ve found the right city and apartment or house, try to add some personal items and decorations as soon as possible. It may not seem very important to some, but adding personal items, whether they’re pictures or some souvenirs, to where you’re living can make a big difference when you are away from friends, family and your comfort zone.

3. Put yourself out there to meet new people

It can be tempting to just stick to an easy, comfortable routine when you’re in a completely new area, but doing this can make it harder to adjust. Putting yourself out there to meet new people through your job, internship, volunteering or some other way can help you build connections faster.

4. Stay in contact with friends and family but don’t hold onto the past

It’s helpful to have a support system whenever you’re making a big transition in your life, so remember to talk to and occasionally visit family members and close friends. Distance doesn’t necessarily determine whether you stay close with someone. However, you may want to create new connections and meet people in your new area, so try to avoid only talking to and spending time with old friends.

5. Stay positive

Some people are great at adapting to a new area but if you are having a difficult time adjusting at first, remember that this feeling is temporary. You will eventually adjust and build a life for yourself in your new home, it just takes time.

This is just a new stage in your life to enjoy!