Just Moved? Here’s How To Call Your New City Home, In No Time
So. You’ve just moved. You’re sitting in your empty and echoey apartment, surrounded by boxes and Chinese takeout, battling conflicting desires to start unpacking at 9:00 at night, or call it quits for the night and collapse onto your naked mattress. Maybe you’re head is spinning, either from sadness of leaving your last chapter behind, or excitement to start a new one…or both. Relocating to and from anywhere involves a heck of a lot of change, and it can be overwhelming to start over. (Not to mention it’s frustrating AF not knowing where your favorite jeans are, and whether they’ll ever reappear alive from the swampland of boxes that is your new humble abode. We feel for you.)
And then finding a new social circle, on top of everything else? Can someone say shtreshfulll? I’ve certainly been super ready to move, excited for what awaited me around the corner. But I also know how it feels to hesitate leaving behind a great life. Whether you’ve graduated, or you’re changing jobs and it’s time to follow where the opportunity is, life changes and starting over are hella hard. Last summer I moved from a medium-sized city to a smaller one, and I could have let that smaller city = fewer opportunities mindset hold me back. But I did the exact opposite: I set out to meet as many new people as I could, and made a fantastic group of friends as a result. I’ll share my own experiences throughout this article, because if they worked for an awkward chick who practices funny accents with herself in the bathroom mirror, they can work for you.
As always, sweet readers, we’re here to help our sisters out. Wherever your new address is, there are always ways for you to make your new life great, and hey, why stop there? Let’s talk about making it the best one ever. From the general to the practical, let’s walk through a few tips to getting you settled and thriving after your move.
Get out of your head.
That’s right, I said it, Susan. There’s only one person responsible for turning your life into an awesome one, and it ain’t Ryan Gosling (sigh). It’s YOU. So drop the Nervous Nancy bullcrap that’s stopping you from taking risks and putting yourself out there. If you truly believe in your heart of hearts that you aren’t cut out for this, you can’t make new friends because you’re too shy, you’re not good at dating so you won’t even try, or you’ll never find a guy for you in a place like this, guess what homegirl? You won’t! Whatever you think about, you bring about, so if you change your thoughts to more positive ones (“I’m going to crush this,” “I love being here and I’m going to live like it!” “I’m about to make so many new friends I won’t even have time for all of them”), see what happens, I dare you to try… ;)
Adopt this as your new mantra: you can always leave
Pretty simple, amirite? Despite your apprehensions, you may have decided to show up at that alumni function or coworkers’ happy hour and decide, for whatever reason, that it’s not for you. But had you gone straight home to stuff your face with those chocolate-covered pretzels from Trader Joe’s and rewatch Stranger Things (because who wouldn’t choose a sugar-fueled round of nightmares over a real-life nightmare of awk sauce socializing?), you’d never have known for sure. Everyone talks about going hard or going home…but I say why not go hard and go home? Push through your fears, show up, chat with a few people, and you might surprise yourself. (That’s going hard enough for me.) And then feel free to go home, and consider those chocolate-covered pretzels well earned.
One time in college, after passing the same group of people playing cornhole in the quad near my dorm so many times, I allowed myself a bold move and left a note taped inside their door saying, “Would love to play next time! Here’s my number xoxo.” I had nothing to lose and only new friends to gain. And guess what? They ended up calling me to invite me to join them, and that’s how I made my first friend group at school. Had I ever done that before? Hell no! But as a college freshman I was feeling determined to open up a more adventurous side of myself, and just because it happened to be a new way to do it, didn’t stop me. And whenever I acted on that decision, I always attracted people who wanted to do the same. This determination and creative thinking made my first year at college one of the best.
Editor’s tip: Don’t be afraid to ask new friends to set you up with mutual friends. Though this may be less creative an idea, but it worked for me. After I first moved to a new city, I happened to meet more guys first than girls, so I started asking my lovely male friends to put me in touch with the girls they knew. And many friend dates over coffee or drinks came out of these simple requests.
Don’t let your nerves get the best of you
Obvi easier said than done, ‘mkay? But hear me, when you build up the pressure of setting yourself up well in each new social opportunity, you can literally think your way into getting more nervous than you ever needed to be. If you walk in acting natural, comfortable, and confident in yourself, those are the best vibes to give in any setting, be it familiar or new. You have to be honest with yourself and acknowledge that not every outing is going to be a home run – but for a cheesy sports reference, you miss every swing you don’t take. Meanwhile the more swings you make, the more you hit! Kapeish?
Learn how to show up by yourself
I used to hate doing this more than anything, but it ended up becoming the biggest payoff when I learned to keep doing it. We all love a solid wing man, and may even settle for an acquaintance or even our dog if it means having someone to show up somewhere new with. But the ability to head over solo says one thing if nothing else: confidence. Confidence draws other confident people to you, and it’s attractive to guys (the good kind, that are drawn to confident women!) It can be difficult to make the first move and approach new people just to say hi, but once you’re over the hump, one conversation can have endless opportunities. You simply will not know until you go for it. (Also no one wins by waiting around for other people to wingwoman with ya. So there’s that.)
Go on more dates
Ayyyy don’t have to tell me twice ;) Generally speaking, I’m a believer in this for two reasons: it’s another vehicle for meeting new people, and it takes off the pressure of first dates. It shows you that not getting a call back isn’t a big deal because guess what? You’re a high-value woman that’s already grabbing drinks with someone else tomorrow night. It’s also humbling, because it reminds us that not everyone is for us, and we’re not everyone else’s cup of tea, either. Don’t go overboard with it, but allowing ourselves to learn how to date well helps us improve our communication, gain some emotional intelligence, help us determine what we like and what we’re attracted to, and practice handling rejection graciously.
Editor’s tip: Did you know you could use Bumble for more than finding a date? Check out Bumble for Friends or Networking. Young people tend to have at least one thing in common, and that’s the tendency to want to meeting other new people. Im more ways than just one, this app helps you find those out there who match your motives.
Finally, I leave you with a little homework assignment: watch How to be Single. It’s a golden rom-com depiction of starting life in a new city. Not only is it hilarious (hello, Fat Amy), but it has plenty to say on self-reflection and finding yourself as a young woman. In the end, the world is your oyster, beautiful babes. Go forth and crush it.
Cover via Pinterest