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Thinking of Moving to a New City? Here’s My Experience.

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Texas chapter.

On my last day in San Francisco, I started the morning with my regular routine of breakfast downstairs in the hotel lobby, listening to a podcast while sipping orange juice and a watery black coffee. It had been both strange and fascinating to live in a hotel for three months, and to feel the lingering impermanence everyone carried with them.

Moving to the Bay Area for an internship also felt very impermanent, which was liberating in a lot of ways. It was a chance to explore a new city without any prior attachments, and the novelty of it made my summer exciting. But after having roamed through streets decked with colorful Victorian houses, charming local restaurants, and eclectic boutiques, I was finally heading back to Austin.

My last morning, I wandered around Haight Street, stopping by a bookstore and neighboring record store. I eventually ended up in an industrial-style coffee shop, made up of a hodgepodge of concrete floors, exposed brick, and reclaimed wood.

Most of the customers were students absorbed in their schoolwork, and although they were not much younger than me, the dichotomy between us felt pretty vast. It was something I noticed every summer—once you’re outside of the college bubble, it’s hard to conceptualize how deeply rooted in classes and grades your life used to be.

Iced coffee in hand, I ambled around Golden Gate Park. It was a sunny day, making for a lively atmosphere as people gathered on picnic blankets. I followed a dirt path up a hill and reached a sprawling view of the city, shrouded in a thin veil of fog. It had been a good morning to end on, offering me the quiet peace to really enjoy the city.

I met up with some friends and we stocked up on gas station snacks before driving down to the beach. The waves lapped half-heartedly at the shore and the sky had turned a misty, overcast grey. We walked along the beach until we reached a trodden-down path embedded into the cliffside.

The higher up we hiked, the more everything became obstructed by mist, until it was all reduced to blurry white outlines. I could barely make out the sandy shoreline far below us, and the wind howled so loudly that it drowned out our voices. It was so fun though, and we laughed at the intensity of it.

On the way back down, I stumbled across an old World War II bunker. We clambered onto its roof and sat facing the ocean, chatting about this summer and what we would remember from it. It was a nice full circle moment, offering closure before we parted ways.

After spending the evening at Pier 39, we said our goodbyes and I finished up the last of my packing back in my hotel room. It was bittersweet, but I felt very grateful for the experience and how I had grown from it.

I left not knowing if I’d live in the Bay Area again, but as it turns out I’m returning for a full-time job there once I graduate. So if you’re considering traveling or moving somewhere new, I say go for it—it’s a memorable experience and you never know what it could lead to.

Andrea is a student at the University of Texas at Austin majoring in computer science, with minors in sociology and French studies. Outside of Her Campus, she enjoys hiking, traveling, visiting coffee shops, and attending concerts. Last summer, she interned at a tech company in San Francisco, where she looks forward to returning full-time after she graduates.