10 Tips For Starting Somewhere New
I think Taylor Swift said it best when she sang "we're happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time. It's miserable and magical." Granted, I'm not talking about turning 22, but more so how it feels to start over somewhere new. Whether you are getting ready to head off to college, got your first job in a new city, or just moving somewhere new, it's tough to start somewhere alone. I've started over a lot and as I gear up to move to Argentina by myself (4th move in 3 years) I've been reflecting on what's helped me best over these past few moves.
- Keep a list of simple joys. The first few weeks of moving somewhere new is SO exciting, but as that new shine begins to fade it can be hard to stay positive. During my moves I've kept a list of simple joys that I've experienced throughout my days. These little joys have ranged anywhere from no line at Chickfila to meeting someone new to sales at J. Crew to fresh sheets on my bed! Just anything that makes you smile - because sometimes it can be hard to remember how good you have it!
- Step out of your comfort zone. Moving somewhere new is already a big move out of your comfort zone, so why stop now? Try new things. Go to open dance nights. Sign up for classes. Say "hi" to strangers.
- Ask people on "friend dates." Speaking of saying hi to strangers, be intentional about meeting people and creating friendships. I had a sweet friend in Charleston introduce me to this concept of friend dates where he would ask people out for coffee or lunch so as to show how much he cared about creating a friendship. I thought this was awesome. So ask people on friend dates, or real dates!!! Whichever!!!
- Get involved in your new school, community, and/or church. This is overused and cliche, but for good reason - it is so important. Join a club sports team, go to meetings, volunteer in your community, go to bible study; this is where you will meet people who share your same interests in passions. And make friends!!
- Become a regular somewhere. This is my favorite. Moving somewhere new is hard because it's so easy to feel unknown, here's a simple fix. Find a cute coffee shop or small restaurant and become a regular. You don't have to go everyday, but at least once a week and get to know the people who work there! Not only will it feel so sweet on lonely days to walk in and have them know you and your order, but there are also a lot of perks to being a regular. Can anyone say free coffee?
- Delete your social media. I know this sounds sacrilegious coming from someone who does social media for a living, but trust me, it's needed. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE social media. I think it's a beautiful tool for sharing life with others, especially when they are far away! However, social media needs to be consumed with a grain of salt and a right state of mind, because it (for the most part) is a lie. These perfectly curated feeds will make your already home sick heart worse. It's our human nature to believe that everyone is having a great time while we are not, these lies will make you feel so much worse about your move. While social media can be a great avenue for sharing in joy and happiness it is largely a channel for comparison, and as they say, "comparison is the thief of joy." Protect your heart. Delete the apps off your phone and focus on yourself and your new life. Plus, this will help you be much more present and engaged with your new city and friends!!
- Call home. Your parents and friends love you, call them and tell them about your life. Tell them all of the ups and downs. They will be overjoyed to share in it all and they will be the ones who get you through those tough times.
- Routinely adventure. Get out there! See your new home! I always choose two days out of the week where I would force myself to go out and explore. That's where #AdventureThursday actually began! Pick a day, stick to it, and enjoy it!
- Take yourself out. Our culture gives a bad rep to doing things alone - don't believe it! Take yourself out to dinner, read a book, or just reflect on your day! No shame in it. You've got to love yourself before you can love anyone else.
- Know that you didn't make a mistake. You will think you made the biggest mistake of your life by moving - I promise. You will think about everyday 24/7 for a long long time. It's easier said than done, but know that this is a lie. You were made for this. You can do it. You've got this.