A few years ago, I found myself living in a new city all alone. After graduating college, I landed a full-time job in San Antonio. I was excited about the prospect of pursuing my big girl career, as this stage of life was everything I'd been waiting for. At the same time, I was nervous about facing a new city entirely on my own. I'd have to start from scratch when it came to making friends and building a new life for myself in general. This is how I found my place in a new town after college, so if you're in the same boat, you can draw some inspo.
We spend what feels like our entire youth preparing for life after college. We spend years studying to land that dream job and finally start to live that "adult life." Many of us will go on to work in new cities or even countries, where we must start over. It's an exciting time for self-discovery and exploration. It's a new chapter, which can be both fun and scary at the same time. The transition from college life to adult life isn't always easy. I've been there and done that when I moved to San Antonio after college graduation, so here are some tips that may help you feel at home in your new town.
1. Turn Online Connections Into Real-Life Friendships
We dream of meeting our best friends in yoga class or meeting our soulmates in the local coffee shop, but relationships don't always come together as easily as that. After attending several events in town, I decided to tap into my online social networks to build friendships.
I began attending events through a website called Meetup that shines a spotlight on cool meetups in your area. Some websites and apps are actually great resources to expand your social circle. It may seem a bit unusual to make plans with strangers from the internet at first, but I quickly discovered that there are so many of us out there searching for friendship.
2. Take Full Advantage Of All Work Opportunities
My company held a variety of employee events, so I was sure to take advantage of every opportunity to get involved at work. I attended speed networking events and signed up for volunteer opportunities. This helped me find my place in a new work environment and city. Before I knew it, these work friends turned into best friends that I could go to happy hour with and take weekend road trips with.
3. Become A Tourist In Your New City And Explore Everything
Moving to a new city will give you the perfect excuse to play tourist. I took full advantage of the opportunity to try new restaurants, bars, and city attractions. I committed myself to visiting a different restaurant every time I went out to eat. I spent weekends strolling around the San Antonio Pearl Brewery and checking out new stops at the San Antonio Riverwalk. I was able to discover new places while establishing local favorites. This process helped me become a regular at coffee shops and brunch spots, so San Antonio eventually began to feel like home. When you become a tourist in your new city, you give yourself something to look forward to and be excited about.
4. Say Yes To Invites And Really Live Your New Life
It's normal to feel isolated when you move to a new city alone, so it's important to take initiative if you want to break out of your shell. I began saying yes to every happy hour and gym invitation that came my way. I had to step outside of my comfort zone in order to make new friends and feel at home in a place that felt so foreign.
5. Patience Is Your Best Friend, Because All Good Things Take Time
It can easy to become discouraged when you've been in your new city for six months and you still feel out of place. I had to face the fact that establishing myself in a new city would take time. Instead of getting frustrated, I found different ways to fill gaps of time and practiced patience. I called up my friends back home for moral support and learned to spend the alone time that I had to reflect on and plan my new chapter. It's crucial to understand that change can be extraordinary, it just takes time to embrace.