I mentioned last week over on my instagram (@gs20s if you’re not already following me) that I was going to share my experience of moving to a brand new city after graduating from university.
I come from a small rural town and going to university in Birmingham opened my eyes to the excitement of living near a city. After graduating I moved to the Wirral, 15 minutes from Liverpool, 20 minutes from Chester, with lots of neighbouring countryside and also near the sea!
I have loved getting to explore two new cities and a new area of the country in the past 2 and a half years. But it’s not always been easy. Here are the 5 main things I’ve learned from moving to a new city after graduating;
1.It’s what you make of it
The experience that you have will effectively be a by-product of what you make of it. Don’t expect experiences to come to you, get out there and find them and make the best of it. You have to explore new places, find favourite spots and genuinely make it your own. Let’s face it, you didn’t move to a new city to sit inside the same 4 walls all day, spend time getting to know your new home town.
Often people move to a new city for a new job and this can be tough at first. In my first year of living in a new city I had a really demanding job which meant I had little free time to explore and make new friends. I made the best of it though, by becoming really good friends with the people I was working with as it was easier to fit around my hectic schedule and I already knew them well. Despite none of us working together anymore, we still remain close friends.
2.Put yourself out there
Now it’s seems straight forward making friends in a new work place as you’re practically forced to hang out together everyday at work. But what if you don’t make any friends in your new job?
An important way to meet new people is to try new things. However, I have particularly found it difficult to meet other people in their twenties. I have tried a few different ways to ‘put myself out there’. I enjoy singing so joined a pop choir but, without being disrespectful to the members of the group, I was the youngest by a number of years so no longer go. I joined Slimming World but also found that the people that went often were older or had children and we didn’t have much in common (except wanting to lose a few pounds). I have made a few friends from the gym, I go to a few classes and over the months have got to know a few people and find that this is a perfect place to meet likeminded peers and people of a similar age. My boyfriend and I also made an effort to get to know our neighbours (of a similar age) who lived in the flat next to us and that has resulted in a lovely friendship. But, honestly, I’d say the best way I have made friends is through my blog. Nothing like putting yourself out there!
3.You don’t have to miss out on what’s happening in your hometown
The biggest concern I had about moving away from my hometown was that I would miss out on too many things. I’m really family orientated and of course I miss them dearly but I actually feel like it’s somehow made the bond between me and my family stronger as we share special times together and less of the mundane day-to-day stuff.
I make it my priority to be home for all the important events like birthdays, events, Christmas, Easter, and holidays with my family. This can sometimes be really challenging. After a really long week at work, often the last thing I want to do is drive home for 3 hours. I sometimes think I have put a strain on myself for committing to this, and now it’s something my family expect of me, which means it’s difficult if I ever have to let them down. However 9 times out of 10 I’m home for key occasions so try to make it back at least one a month, if not more. As a result, I don’t feel like I miss out on much at all.
4.If you feel alone, tell someone
In my first year of living away in a new city I sometimes felt alone, and those times were difficult.
As quite an open person, I shared these feelings with my friends and family and they made a real effort to come and visit me and check in to make sure I was ok. It was a tough year for those supporting me as it was hard for them to not see me happy all the time.
Fast forward 2 years and it’s the opposite! It’s taken some time but I’ve gradually made lots of new friends and enjoy my weekly routine. Leading me on to the next thing I learned…
5.The more time you spend there, the better it gets!
After 2 and half years of living in a new city, I feel like I can now officially call it home. I enjoy the life that I have set up for myself that has come from a lot of trial and error and being open to new things.
For anyone moving to a new city for whatever reason give it time. I went through probably a year of hell (partly from my job) but since then things have turned around and I know I made the right decision to move here.
If you’d like to reach out to talk about anything I’ve discussed in this post you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org