To pursue my dream of living on the east coast, I recently moved away from my sunshine filled life in southern California to attend college in beautiful Garden state New Jersey. Here are a list of things/advice I have so far learned or been told by New Jersey natives.
1.You’re gonna need to learn how to use public transportation.
Coming from California, we west coasters don’t have a system of transportation as well planned out and as useful as the east coast. We rely mainly on our own cars to get us places. The train system and subway systems are something that can be quite daunting for a west coaster especially when they first arrive but once you figure them out, get lost a few times and or miss a train, you will soon realize they can be quite useful.
2. You’re going to get a little homesick, but that’s okay!
Inevitably, when you move such a far distance away from close family and friends, it can be a shock. Homesickness might come and go but after a week or two of settling in, you soon adjust to your surroundings and learn to enjoy this new experience. Making new friends and keeping yourself busy with new tasks also helps to feel more at home.
3. Winter is coming.
I have been told that east coast winters are real. Like super real. I am used to my California life where seasons aren’t really a thing because we have sun year-round. So if you’re new to east coast winters like me, get ready for cold and snow. Some advice given by natives is to get a big, warm jacket and some quality boots, layer up, and don’t ever forget gloves.
4. Don’t try to bring everything you own.
When moving across the country, it’s no secret that the amount of stuff you can bring is quite limited as traveling with several suitcases is not made cheap or easy with airlines. Try to travel smart and really assess how much you’re going to need, because you certainly won’t need everything. If worst comes to worst, you can always buy whatever you need at your new location and sometimes it can be easier too.
5. Facetime will become your new best friend.
Being so far from home, it’s the most useful piece of technology to connect you with everyone you miss and it makes you feel like you’re right there with them. While calling is still a good method to remind yourself of one’s voice, there’s nothing like facetiming your best friend to be comforted by their presence even if you’re 2,500 miles apart.
6. You might not get to return home as often as you’d like.
Because you live so far, it can become hard to fly home for every single holiday or break as its no surprise, flight tickets are quite expensive. This can also weigh on you when your friends are a mere 30 minute drive away from home while you are a 6 hour flight, but don’t fret! Spending a holiday away isn’t always bad. You can always explore new areas, visit a different state, go to a parade or celebration in the city, and sometimes if your local friends may even let you stay with them and their family.
7. You’re going to realize it’s the move you’ve always needed.
Although it may have started out rocky or terrifying, once you become accustomed to this new way of life, explore your new surroundings, and make lots of friends who help you along the way, you will realize that this was a move you’ve always wanted and needed. Don’t be afraid to pursue this dream. It can lead to so many opportunities and experiences and give you so much insight!