1. The people who want to live vicariously through you
These are the friends and family you’d meet up with any time you visited your new city. They remember what it was like to move there from wherever they grew up, and they couldn’t be happier you’re taking the plunge. These people welcome you into the club with open arms, offering everything from their couch to crash on, to their ex-boss’s contacts, to time out of their lives to help you search for an apartment. They’re all secretly pleased with themselves because they think they’re the ones who showed you the perfect combination of Cool Big City Things that convinced you to move there. These people suddenly love you more than they did before and make you realize how badly you want to get out of your hometown just to hang out with these awesomely supportive people. People love to share their adopted cities so these will be wonderful people to have in your life when you arrive.
2. The ones who keep reminding you how much they’ll miss you
This will be your mom. She’ll try to be a good parent and not hold you back from your dreams, but will find it hard not to focus on and complain about how much she’ll miss you halfway across the country. She’ll start wanting to take you out to dinner more and to go see more movies with you, and she’ll text you more often than she normally does. Every once in a while she’ll slip in a line like “you can’t get cheese curds like these once you move!” with a heartbreakingly sad smile, but other than that, she’ll keep her fears to herself. Embrace this phase while you can, because the “I’ll miss you,” will eventually turn into the “I told you you couldn’t afford it!”
3. The people who don’t understand why you don’t have the same roots they do
These are the people who say things like “Well, it’s fun to visit, but I’d never want to live there.” This will be your best friends from high school that you planned exciting futures with while you were drunk in other people’s basements. These people won’t understand why you’d ever want to leave your family and easy life to go live somewhere dirty and expensive that doesn’t root for the hometown team. They’re currently thinking about getting married and having kids and managing a Buckle store, and they don’t understand that moving is your version of getting married, and signing a $2,000/month lease is your version of having a kid. They will never visit and you’ll never talk to them again after you move, even though they’re the friends who’ve known you the longest.
4. The ultra-supportive best friend that secretly doubts you’re going to do it
These friends will act excited for you and say that it is just “so great for you” or that they can “so see you living there.” They’ll actively support you and make sure you’re doing okay with your job search, and it isn’t until they have to correct a slip from “IF you move to…” to “WHEN you move to…” with an overly encouraging smile, that you realize they think you might not actually make it out of WiscOhioWhatever. They’re your best friends now and you love each other dearly, and even they will visit you once a year, tops, they’re still the most supportive people you have right now. Call them when you’re doubting your decision and they’ll remind you why it’s the right one for you.
5. The possible recruits
The jealousy in these friends’ eyes and voices when you tell them your plan makes you remember how your cool aunt told you she was the first to move and ended up importing all her friends from other states. You start warming these friends up to the idea of living with you, maybe even taking the time to research some good graduate programs in their majors at a local school to slip into conversations with them. You were never very close with these people but are suddenly making sure to include them in your mass snapchats and ask them to go out to the bars with you every so often. One or two of these friends actually will end up moving with you, and will be your best and only friends who “get you” in your new city for awhile. They’ll also probably be your first roommates. Choose wisely, because you don’t want to have to end up exploring the city and living with people you don’t like.
6. The people who only acknowledge their feelings at the last minute
This will be your boss, your dad, and the guy you dated a year ago that’s slept with 20 girls since but you still have a crush on and would maybe delay your move if he asked you to. These people are deeply sad that you’re leaving, and your announcement probably spurred a whole I-thought-she’d-be-around-forever-and-I’m-just-realizing-how-much-I-need-her phase for them. They don’t know how to deal with their emotions so won’t say much, ask much, or really even acknowledge that you’re moving until two days before your flight when they beg you not to go. Give them lots of hugs and tell them that you love them but that you have to, and that you need to do this for you.