Last summer, I decided that it was time to pack up and move to a new city, a new state, and start my new life as a college grad. I moved to the tiny city of Providence, Rhode Island, known for its art scene and diverse culture, and home to some top schools such as Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). I was excited, if not starry-eyed when I was finally approved for my new apartment in this new, unfamiliar place. Here is why I think moving to a new city was one of the greatest choices I’ve made.
1. I started with a clean slate.
When you move to a new city in a new state (or maybe even the same state), it’s likely that you don’t know anyone and there are a lot of things that you haven’t yet seen. It’s the perfect opportunity to make new friends, start a new hobby, visit new places, etc. It’s like hitting a reset button on your life. You can literally reinvent yourself, because no one around you has any expectations of you; you are able to explore yourself in a way that you couldn’t before because nobody knows you. It’s an incredibly freeing experience.
2. I got to experience a new culture.
People say that a city is a city but I don’t think that is true in the slightest. Coming from Boston, Providence was definitely a change of scenery. Boston is very-sports oriented, with big businesses and higher end clientele overall (making the Boston experience a little pricey). Providence is a very art-centered city; it’s like Boston’s hipster little brother that dropped out of art school because the curriculum was too “mainstream.” Providence over all is cheaper to live, more artsy, and has a lot more of a startup/entrepreneurial spirit, whereas Boston has more established businesses. Also, there is almost no sports scene in Providence. Don’t get me wrong—everyone in the Northeast is a fanatic when it comes to the Red Sox or the Patriots, but I don’t feel the excitement here as much as I did in Boston (where an insult to the Red Sox is like an insult to your mother).
3. I was exposed to new opportunities.
Moving to a new city means you are opening yourself up to new opportunities. You might find different jobs are available, or that you might be able to explore a new hobby or attend a school that wasn’t on your radar before. It’s all about taking in what is around you. When you go to a new city, you have the chance to explore all-new terrain. You will find new restaurants, new shops, new events such as music festivals and cultural events that might be exclusive to your new city (e.g. Providence’s Water Fire event.) I was excited to be able to walk around the city and find out what’s around me.
4. I was able to get out of my comfort zone.
This was huge for me. As someone who identifies as an introvert, moving was a way to get me far out of my comfort zone. It meant I would have to make connections on my own, find new places on my own; everything was like an adventure. I’m still in the process of getting out of my comfort zone and am trying to push myself to get a gym membership as well as make a few friends outside of work, but I also know that that is all part of the process of adjusting. This made me realize though what I am truly capable of, which makes me proud that I am doing fairly well in a whole new place.
5. I grew as a person.
When you move anywhere, you are opening yourself up to something new. The more you are able to do this, the more you are able to learn about different places and different people. You pick up new hobbies, you learn new things, and you put yourself in a position where you are exposed to change. You learn to adapt, you learn what makes you most happy. Growth comes from experience, and moving to a new place is one of the greatest opportunities for new experience.