As some of you who have read in my previous posts know, I have moved a lot.
For the majority of my life I don’t think I even knew the difference between seasons of change and normal life, because change was the norm for me.
That being said, when I moved here, about a year and a half ago, that was my hardest move yet. It was my first move alone and my first move without a plan. So here are some things I wish I would have done to help ease the transition.
1. Take two weeks off.
Yes, I’m serious. Take two weeks off from life and truly settle into your new life. Get over the time change, learn what it looks like to live in the new place: where to buy groceries, how to use your new laundry set up, where streets/places are around town, etc.
This probably sounds like a basic step, but in the stress and uncertainty of my move, I didn’t fully unpack until literally 11 months after I arrived. So unpack all of those bags, toss what you aren’t going to ever look at again, hang up what you are going to wear, etc.
3. Set up places of rest.
Depending on your set up, you may just have a dorm room, an apartment, or a whole house. In my case I had a house and yet when I arrived, I only used my room, the bathroom, and the kitchen, as if using other rooms was encroaching on people’s space. If it’s your space, put up pictures, get out those throw pillows, maybe even paint some walls. Whatever it takes to create places that you can feel at home and at rest.
4. Set goals.
In your two weeks off, get a really cute calendar/planner and set goals for this move and the year ahead.
I just let my first year here happen and that was one of my biggest mistakes ever! I didn’t know what I needed to focus on, so I overcommitted and ended up taking 21 credit hours at school, working 42-47 hours a week at work, spending every weekend helping people, and I died inside!
So please, learn from my mistakes and set priorities. I did this at the beginning of this school year (trying to set more positive patterns) and it has been wonderful! *More on this in the next blog post!*
5. Be a tourist.
You are new, so act that way! Explore places, get to know where you live. Treat it like a new relationship. Find your favorite coffee shop, the best lake in town, a fun place to go on Friday nights (for me this is a pottery painting shop), fun places to go dancing (still working on this one) or whatever floats your boat. Either way, get to know your town and all it has to offer.
6. Love the life you live.
Finally, love the life you have in this new place. Yes, keep up with the friendships that matter that you left, but really love this new life. It’s a chance to start over, put positive patterns in place, learn more about yourself, and join/create new communities.
I hope you all have good transitions, that you can look back on and smile, and I hope these little tips help!