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Moving to a new city is almost always difficult. It’s easy to find yourself feeling out of place and homesick in the beginning of this new journey. After moving across the country, I discovered a few tips that help make this transition as smooth as possible.

1. Become familiar with the area

In the first few days of the big move, it’s a good idea to spend time looking around the map. The biggest difference between a new city and your old home is that you know all of the towns, restaurants, stores, and airports nearby. Being able to recognize some areas and streets around your new home will help make you feel more comfortable in your new environment. Think about the essential places you visit in your life, search for new replacements, and look up their locations to be prepared. Once you feel confident doing this online, take a walk or drive around the neighborhood to get a true feel of the area.

2. try a new spot everyday

Whether it’s a coffee shop, restaurant, or nail salon, pick a new place to check out each day and keep track of your experience. Doing this will keep you from being bored and force you to venture out into the city and explore what it has to offer. It won’t be long before you find your favorite spots that make you excited about the move. I remember thinking, “this isn’t so bad” after going back to my favorite sushi restaurant for the fifth time. The places you love definitely make you want to return for more. Soon, you won’t be able to imagine your life without them. 

3. Create a Routine

Another aspect that differentiates living in a new city and living at home is the fact that most people have a routine they know and love at home. Exploring new places, people, and experiences is great, however, doing this for weeks made me feel like I was on a vacation that lasted forever. While I had a blast, this prevented me from truly feeling settled in the long run because it didn’t feel like it was my “real life.” It’s important to take the time to turn those favorite spots you found into a part of your routine and fall into a balanced groove. For me, this meant visiting a cafe I loved twice a week to finish work. There, I would also solidify the days that I would commit to staying in or going out. This helped me get rid of the feeling of living in a “simulation” of my life without losing any amount of fun or spontaneity; I knew that I always had my routine to rely on when needed.

4. Avoid going home in the beginning

As much as I think about escaping and going back, I know it’ll stop me from pushing myself to adapt to new environments. Visiting home early on could mean missing out on opportunities to make connections and it might even make you reluctant to return. Especially in the beginning while working hard to fall in love with a new city, there’s a possibility that it may set back the progress made. Instead, keep yourself busy and focus on immersing yourself into your new life. Personally, I was super close to booking a flight home on many occasions, but I tried my best to postpone a trip back by filling up my calendar. Now, I have so much to look forward to in my new home, and you will too!

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Saavani Vaidya

Illinois '25

Sushi lover, fashion enthusiast, and avid traveler from California.
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