BY BRITTANY ORIE
You just moved to a whole new town and you’re thinking, “Hmm, what’s next? How do I go about adjusting? How will I make friends?” Whether you’re relocating for a job, moving away for college, or just want a stimulating change in venue, settling in a new town or a new state can be a fear-inspiring challenge. Here are some suggestions that can make your transition a little smoother.
Make some time to explore. Make it your mission to familiarize yourself with your new environment. Take refreshing walks downtown and see any shops, restaurants, and clubs the town has to offer. You can do this once a day or one day every week until it feels like home (although you can still “explore” even after it feels like home!). This can be a wonderful opportunity to meet people! If possible, ask a family member or friend to join you on your adventure for moral support. Another way to explore is by picking up a local magazine that celebrates, shares, and informs you of the nature of the town, its people, places, and events.
Find a church home. Stay rooted in your faith by looking for a church that feeds your spiritual needs. Doing this will help you connect with spiritual sisters and brothers in Christ, keep you centered and humble, help you grow spiritually, as well as in general, and will likely help you feel more welcome in your new city. Remember, just because you left your former city behind, doesn’t mean you left God behind. He is with you everywhere you go!
Find a good local spot to hang out. Where was your favorite “go-to” spot in your old town? See if you can find something similar. See if there is anything you would enjoy such as cafes, bars, a park, a shopping center, or the library. If you’re feeling extra bold, try something new for you like going to a spoken word show, a karaoke club, or a comedy hut!
Indulge in your hobbies or talents. Whenever you’re uncomfortable in your new town, you might turn to your passions. This can make you feel at ease and help your mind focus. What are some ways you can marry your hobbies and talents with your new environment? You can take a class on something you’ve always wanted to learn. If you love to dance, look for a recreational dance studio. If you’re an art appreciator, visit the local art museum for any exhibits.
Attend local events that interest you. What’s going on in your new city? Festivals? Fashion shows? Concerts? Book signings? Volunteering? Check out your local calendar for events that will prompt you to embrace your new town.
Go shopping! If shopping is your way of relaxing and connecting to the town, go for it! Sometimes refreshing your wardrobe with desirable pieces can make you feel more confident, even in a new environment. But spend wisely!
Blog or journal about your experience. This is good for self-reflection and will likely inspire you to get more ideas of how to make your new town feel more like home. Journaling of any kind will help you learn more about yourself and public blogging will entertain, inform, and inspire your readers—especially if you have telling photos! There are various ways you can blog and journal: make a photo journal, by printing your photos and pasting them in a large journal or scrapbook; create a photo blog where you tell stories about your new place; or start a Vlog (or a video blog) if that’s more your style.
If you’re living alone, talk to family and friends often. It’s hard when you’ve uprooted and moved away from family. Talking with them often keeps that warm connection alive and makes you feel less alone. Try to talk to your family and friends more often than you say, “Gosh, I miss my people…” This will ease any feelings of isolation you may experience.
Moving away to a whole new place is intimidating but it can be even more exciting. Whatever your reason may be for uprooting, this is a time to explore new ground and yourself, make new connections with others, and move forward!