Making the decision to move from your hometown, the place you grew up, the place where everyone knows everything about you can be extremely difficult. But making that decision already proves so much about you. The final stages of that move are unbelievable — as if it is all in a story or movie. When it finally happens, you are overwhelmed with excitement. You want to know your new life, you want to meet your new friends, you want to get to know the new you. Nothing else matters; you will see your friends again soon and you will have your parents visit in no time. This is nothing and you got this. The thing is, it takes only a very short amount of time to realize many things.
1. Everything is different.
No surprise here. You are in a brand new city with people you don’t know at all. You aren’t recognized at any of the bars; the one-way streets are a surprise instead of normal; the life-style catches you completely off-guard. You knew this would happen, you knew you were moving to a new place, you knew you didn’t know anyone, you knew this was a new adventure, this is exactly what you wanted. A fresh start, something new, a different life.
2. Everything is the same.
You move with the idea that you’ll be a new person and start a new life. This is it you think; this is where I change everything about myself. This is why I moved. You dreamed of new you, you imagined a completely different life. You are starting from scratch, no one knows you, and you can be anyone you want to be. This is false. Yes you are in a completely new place, yes — and no one knows you — this is a fresh start. The problem is, you quickly learn your personality and lifestyle fall immediately into place. You are already the person you are meant to be and there’s no changing this fact. You will build the same relationships you loved to hate in this new home, you will draw in the same types of people, and you will have the same lifestyle you were complacent with. There’s no denying the fact that you will continue to be you. Yet the difference is how you make the most of your new home with your same self.
3. True friends are rare (at first).
You are used to being surrounded by people that love you and will do absolutely anything for you. This won’t be the case when you move, at least not for a while. You will try your hardest to make connections everywhere you go. You will put yourself out there, do every activity provided and network your ass off but nothing will help. You will arrive with the expectation that you’ll make the type of friends that you had from home. This is extremely unrealistic (yet, it will take you a few months to discover). The friendships from home were built over years and extreme experiences; the friends from college were created because you were all in the same situation. Here, this new home, you’re old. Friendships and cliques have already been developed. It is hard to adapt and get yourself included. There is hope though, as long as you realize this fact. You must realize true friends are hard to come by. You can meet a million people at a bar and become their “friends” via a few social activities and Facebook but developing a real friend takes effort and time. They won’t know you immediately, they won’t understand your quirks and weird habits off the bat, and they won’t be what you left behind. Don’t compare them but open up to them.
4. It’s not easy.
It is hard, there is no denying this fact. You make it past the first month in which you cried almost every day. You think this is it, I’m past being homesick, I’m past feeling sorry for myself, I’m having fun — I don’t need my friends and I can do this. The only problem is, this feeling NEVER disappears. You will feel happy and satisfied for only a few moments at a time. In between, you constantly second-guess yourself. But! That’s fine. You should second-guess yourself, you made a huge life decision and it’s not easy. At the same time, you made this decision for a reason. You wanted something new and you knew (even if you didn’t acknowledge it at first) that this would be the biggest and best decision of your life. Keep reminding yourself of this fact.
5. You won’t know what to do.
Your goal of creating a new life will get the best of you. You want something different; clearly that’s the theme. You don’t want the same life you lived before. But don’t try to be too different, don’t try to make your life the complete opposite of what it was before — you’ll drive yourself crazy. I went from a 9-5 to a start up company and a restaurant. I don’t know what day of the week it is, I can’t keep track of my schedule. I can’t ever get my thoughts in order. As much as I love not suffocating my creativity and becoming a robot in an office job, I miss the stability, I miss the known; I miss everything about having a real-life. Don’t settle. Keep your wants and needs but also do what’s right for you no matter your past opinions.
6. Everything happens for a reason.
It gets so hard and your brain gets extremely flustered. You miss the people from home you never thought you would think of every single minute of every day. Remember though, you made this decision. You are a free soul and your life is in your own hands. Cry it out, scream all you want, make dumb decisions while you’re there but never, ever forget your purpose in life. All of your friends are so proud of you and truthfully that can make it that much worse, but it means you have a support group. Things will work out and you have to constantly remind yourself of that. This can seem annoying and impossible. At the same time though, you know you are there to do great things and make memories that will last you a lifetime.
Don’t get me wrong — this is still an extremely hard process for me. I will randomly cry out of nowhere, I will shit on the friends I currently have (for no reason), I will have my mental breakdowns whenever I see my friends from home doing something fun. But the encouragement, support and understanding you receive from everyone you know bring a sense of reality. It can be hard at first — you feel an unbelievable amount of pressure but then it pushes you to a point of no return. You feel satisfaction in knowing you did it rather than pressure of having to do it.