View Full Version : moving to a new city alone

03-06-2002, 09:30 PM
So, I have the same story as everyone else, I guess. Recently graduated, looking for a job, etc...

I am trying to move to NYC and not having much luck as of late. I have an aquantance's NYC address on my resume and even a cell phone with a NYC phone number to hide the fact that I actually live a 3 hour flight away from NY. I know that if potential employers new that I didn't actually live in NY they would never even consider me.

Most of the time I feel really confident and gung-ho about his huge move, but I just found out that the only two people that I really know in the city are moving away at the end of the summer to go to grad school FAR AWAY.

Does anyone have experiences of moving to a big city(or any city even) on their own that they can share? I'm pretty sure that NYC is the place for me-I love it there, but I'm worried about what it will be like not knowing anyone there....

03-07-2002, 11:23 AM
I've done it twice. The first time I moved to a city two hours away from home and that wasn't too bad because I could drive in on the weekends when I felt homesick. Then I moved 16 hours away (by car). THAT was hard. My phone bill was $275 for my first month. Fortunately, I had good friends and they called me often and a bunch of them visited me right away. The hard part is during holidays and just other times that remind you of home. Sometimes there's just something that rubs me the wrong way and I miss my friends and the places I'd go. It gets easier though and eventually you start developing your own circle.

Join a group right off the bat. Some sort of club will help you have a scheduled time to get out of your house.

Be bold. Organize happy hours or if you're poor---movie night at your apartment. Just ask people to hang out with you. You won't make friends with all of them but it will help kill the boredom that can breed depression.

Don't be afraid to do things by yourself. I would just go driving around and sightseeing or hit the museums by myself.

Whatever you do--don't spend all your time in your apartment watching Lifetime movies. It will only depress you.

You'll learn a lot about yourself and become a much stronger and more mature person. Even though my experiences haven't been all good---I wouldn't trade this for anything.

05-06-2002, 02:10 AM
Bravo for being bold enough to take the plunge!

I've moved A LOT since I got out of school and I plan to move again once I've finished grad school.

I actually worked in New York for that first summer after gradation. It was fun, but there was no way I could live there full time.

After NYC I moved a four hour drive from my parents and then less than a year later, I moved even closer. Now I'm only 2 hours away from home.

I've been here for a little over 2 years now and I know some great people, but it's nothing like the clique I had in college.

The easiest people to make friends with are your coworkers, so extend yourself to them as much as you can. And if they turn out to be jerks...oh well. Join a gym, do volunteer work, anything to get you out of the house!

05-11-2002, 05:14 PM
I have taken a similar move in the past year. I graduated fom college one year ago almost to the day. I decided to forsake all the job offers I had and move across the country (quite literally) from RI to Los Angeles, CA.

I thought I would have an easy time, I had some internship experience, graduated magna cum laude, and had a double major. I worked my way through school so I even felt employers would appreciate I could handle multiple responsabilities. I tried finding jobs in California before I moved out, but no one wanted to talk to me since i was on the opposite coast. Regardless of no job, I flew to LA on September 10th, armed with confidence, 2 suitcases, a little money and lots of resumes.

The morning after I got there the unthinkable happened. America stood still as terrorism paralyzed a nation. My confidence faltered, and the job market plunged. For a month I was determined, but could not find anything. (This sounds somewhat petty, but Sept 11th hit me hard as well, be assured) Finally I found a car, then a week later, a job. The job wasn't what I wanted, but it paid the bills and no one else seemed to be hiring.

Here I am seven months later. I have grown a lot in the past year, been through a lot, slept in a few different places (and on the floor a lot) and managed to handle just about everything life has thrown my way in good graces. I even managed to have a good time now and then.

I have learned some very important things, I thought I could share with whoever is planning on moving alone to a new city.
1. Be positive, no matter what happens!
2. Things seldom turn out how you will plan, be flexible
3. Meeting people can be hard, you have to be bold, and take chances to do it, go places where there are other people with similar interests and never wait for someone to talk to you, take the initiative, not every time will work , but if it works 1 out of every 10 times, hey! It worked!
4. Shop at farmers markets (Self-explanatory)
5. Have a good time, cities have a lot to offer
6. Don't get depressed, get determined
7. Did I say be positive? If you think negatively, negative things will happen, trust me. If you think positively, opportunities will come will your way and you will be able to see them. And being positive also makes everyone else around you see more positive as well. This will help you make friends.
8. Always check the dryer when you do laundry for socks before you leave. Even if you do this you will lose socks, don't worry, its just a fact of life.

I hope this could be some help. If you are moving, remember, things will be tough, you will struggle, but you will grow, and really learn to know yourself in the process. Life is all about taking chances. Good luck!

07-17-2002, 04:38 PM
Ok, so I am sitting here in Warner Robins, GA...... Ever heard of it? Well, I hadn't either but, the guy offering me the job across the table, not even a month after I graduated, had and wanted to send me here. The major selling point was the fact that it was "only 10 minutes from Macon, GA". Well, it seemed new, exicting, an adventure, a way to prove myself. Seven months later, I'm ready to call it quits. Ready to go home. Home isn't that great either but, I wouldn't be lonely there. All of the positivity ran out a few months ago. I go to work, I'm lonely, and bored. I come home, and I'm even more lonely, and that 33,000 dollars a year that was offered to me and I gladly accepted doesn't go even a third as far as I thought I would, so i, due to a major lack of funds, sit home, mope. The people I have met so far are either, 20 years older or 5 years younger(I'm 24, 19 years olds don't have to be up at six). Girlfriend is back home. She is 20 and acts it. I am an alchoholic (recovering) so I can't do the bar thing. So what do I do? I'm writing and recording an album to describe the whole ordeal...........

07-18-2002, 11:01 AM
ibanezht, sounds like you are in a rut.
I was in the same rut, alone on the West Coast, no real friends, no real purpose, and I settled for a job for 32k when I had been offered 10k more on the East Coast. Life was pretty miserable for a while, but now things are are a lot better.

I don't have it all worked out, but persistence, and having faith in myself have guided me thus far.

My suggestion: sit down and ask yourself as many questions about what you WANT to be doing in 1, 3 and 5 years. Then ask yourself what you THINK you will be doing in 1, 3, and 5 years if nothing changes. If they are the same, good job, your on the right track. If the two things are different starting figuring out how to change what you are doing to make it happen.

The road to success and happiness in life has more to do with direction rather than speed.

07-19-2002, 02:39 PM
Since graduation four years ago I have moved almost every year, each time further and further. The first move was ten hours from home. The second was three thousand miles (Pennsylvania to LA). And the third was to Europe (London). I've been back in PA for three months now, planning a move to New Zealand for January! And mind you, I didn't know a soul in any of these places when I moved!

The biggest thing I can share is that you shouldn't be afraid to look like an idiot. When I moved to London I would literally talk to people I just met at a bookstore and ask them to be my friend. It sounds kind of sad, but it worked. By the end of my two years in London I had a wider circle of friends than I'd ever had. In the beginning I invited myself along to parties, went to any networking activity I could find, joined a gym, etc. Business organisations are great because they can help you network and find a job, while making friends.

All the suggestions other people mentioned sound great, and especially the one about being positive. It's not always easy at first, but I keep doing it because I want to have some fantastic stories to tell my grandchildren someday. Enjoy the adventure!


07-22-2002, 11:17 AM
How great that you moved all over. What a neat experience. When you moved, what did you take with you? And how did you go about finding housing and stuff? And a job, come to think of it.

PS...Whoa, hold the phone. Everyone needs to go check out Heather's website. Talk about empowering.

07-22-2002, 11:37 PM
this thread is great...i appreciate reading everyone's stories and tips!

i have lived in MA my whole life, but i am moving to CA (bay area) next month. i'm excited, but i'm also scared out of my mind! my best friend lives about 2 hours from the bay area, but besides that, i don't know anyone in the area.
i'll be working as a live-in nanny, so i won't have co-workers to hang out with...that will make meeting people a bit more challenging, but i'm going to try my best to find a supportive social circle to assuage the homesickness. i've been attending a unitarian universalist church since i was 6, and love it, so i plan on finding a UU church right away when i move!

i'm definitely positive and upbeat about the move, but realistically, i know i'm going to be horribly homesick for a while...as i was when i moved to college, 3 hrs away from home! i spent plenty of nights crying during that time, but i have to keep reminding myself that i DID get over it. for several months, i seriously contemplated forgetting the whole college thing and moving home, but i decided to stick with it a little longer...and i ended up loving it so incredibly much. in fact, i think my senior year of college was my favorite year of my life so far!

so that's what i keep telling myself: everything new is difficult in the beginning, but it often turns out to be WONDERFUL in a way that you couldn't have predicted!

i'm also trying to devise a plan NOW to deal with the homesickness i'm sure i'll feel, because it's easier to come up with good ideas at a time when i'm feeling good and my head is clear. if i wait until i'm in the middle of a sob-fest to try and think of how to handle it, it's unlikely that i'll come up with any brilliant ideas, ya know??
SO, i plan on getting a good long distance calling plan so i can call home...i'm bringing lots of things that contain happy memories of my childhood/life here (little toys from when i was a kid, favorite books, photo albums, etc)...i'm in the process of taking LOTS and LOTS of pictures of my family/friends/surroundings/life here in MA, so i can bring all the rolls of film with me when i move, and develop a roll every time i get sad...

it might be hard for a while, but i have to constantly remind myself that i can handle it.

working as a nanny will help a lot, i believe, because when i'm taking care of kids, nearly ALL of my attention is focussed on the kids. my problems and emotional issues must take a back burner, by necessity, when i am in charge of a child's health and safety and well-being. i can't even count the number of times i've been driving to a babysitting job, in the middle of a bad mood, brooding over this problem or that... then literally the minute i walk in the door and a kid comes running and flings himself into my arms, all of my problems and anxiety fly directly out the window, for all of my attention is on the smiling child in my arms, happy to see me and eager to play.

alright, i'm starting to ramble, so i will stop. :)

07-23-2002, 11:58 AM
Thanks for your note CAT11, and the compliment on the website (which I've actually just started, but have loads of plans for! If you have ever travelled and wrote about it, send it to me and I'll post it up! I'm trying desperately to get content right now...)

Anyway, the move to Europe was the hardest because I couldn't load all my stuff in a U-Haul like when I moved to Tennessee and California. I started packing weeks in advance, spent a small fortune shipping stuff home, sold a lot (thank goodness for ebay - my books are now scattered all over the country!), and nearly every night I would repack my suitcases, getting more and more ruthless as the time to take off got nearer. It was hard, though. I couldn't take picture frames because they would have broken, and I'm very much of a knick-knacky kind of girl, and I had to get rid of that stuff. It was good, though, in that I inventoried everything I owned and numbered all the boxes of stuff I was sending home, so I knew exactly what I had and where it was.

Re job hunting...I was lucky when I was in LA that I worked for a company that also had offices in London. So I just transferred. And then I wound up meeting some contacts and getting another job through that. The other moves were harder. In LA I was temping for a while before I found something (and this was in 1999 when the economy was so great) and in Tennessee I temped, worked at the mall, and lived on rice for two months before I got a job.

Housing... in London I stayed in a hostel for a few weeks before finding a flat. In LA I stayed with friends for a few days, but had looked online and shortlisted a number of places that I was interested in before moving so I already had an idea, and with Tennessee I had gone down over spring break for interviews (which wound up being fruitless anyway) and found a great apartment that was available when I wanted to move...

It's that old saying, sometimes you have to leap and just trust that the net appears. And good luck with the move, Girrrl! It'll be fantastic!

Incidentally, I'm so glad to have found quarterlifecrisis - this is just such a great forum for meeting other people who are all going through the same stuff...I thought I was the only one!


08-02-2005, 04:44 AM
Hey everyone,

I am going to be graduating college this year, and my goal is to move away from home and try and experience new things. I lived in a somewhat small town in Hawaii my whole life. I moved to a different island to the city for college, and it was an okay transition because I had friends with me. However, I realize more and more that we Hawaii locals have such a closed view of the world because we are so separated from everyone else. Also, our culture is so different than that of the mainland U.S. We tend to be a more passive culture, and it affects our social skills with different people(not that we're stupid or incapable). I compare people who are from the mainland with the people I know lived here their whole lives and they are so different. They have so much more to talk about and share, and I admire that. I want to meet different people and experience different places. I am quite shy myself so I do worry about what will happen if I do move away, but I worry more about what will happen if I don't. I don't know much of anyone that lives in the mainland United States, so I know if I do move away I will be quite lonely at first. This page has been a great help as to how I could deal with problems of moving away alone. If anyone else has more tips, that would be great.

09-25-2005, 06:56 PM
I have been adjusting to living in the cities in MN. Although I live with a friend from elementary school and have known her for 16 years and have friends in the area, it still hasn't been all that easy making this adjustment. Not only am I dealing with living in the "real world", but I am also going through some re-entry culture shock as I was in Taiwan last year.

My roommate is a friend of mine, but we do have quite different personalities and interests. She doesn't go to church so we are unable to do that together. I have also felt lately that it is hard for me to connect to some of the previous relationships that I had.

Because church is an important part of my life, I have been trying to find one that I could begin to call "home". This is a bit hard when you do not know anyone and no one really seems very welcoming to you in the church. I have went to two different ones the last two weekends. The one I went to today was better than the one I went to last weekend - just felt more comfortable and it was cool because the whole church was signing up for different groups to get involved with. I have realized that the only way I am going to get to know people in the church is to become involved with groups. It is very cool that there is a young adults group so I am hoping that is fruitful for me.

09-25-2005, 09:12 PM

You sound a lot like me a few months ago. I was miserable.
I took a job after graduating that was located far from home. I thought it would be an adventure and fun. I had no problems meeting people in college so I thought I would have no problems. It wasn't that easy. I don't do the bar thing and the people I meet and had a good time with did not live close. I was lonely. My boyfriend lived back home and we talked for hours every night. I hated the distance.
Work wasn't great either. For the most part, I had little to do and recieved little training. Spending eight hours a day doing practically nothing for several months was very depressing. The work that I did do was boring and too simple. My coworkers and I didn't have much in common. I was a 23 year-old women; they were 40-50 year-old married men.
The town I lived in was boring and very different from my hometown. Big hair and big t-shirt are not styling. I had to drive 30-40 minutes to get to the closest shopping that was not Wal-mart or Target (those stores were recently built too!). People my age did not live in my town so I drove to hang out with my friends.
After a year of being here and still being miserable, I started to look for a new job closer to home. That was difficult because I live out-of-state. After a few months of looking for a job, I talked to my boss about transferring. As a result, I am moving soon. I am so happy. I'll be closer to family, friends, and my boyfriend...and shopping!

09-25-2005, 09:16 PM
MollyMe - Here's hoping your move goes well. Different strokes for different folks, I guess. I actually like my home state, so I hope your new location is more to your liking...

09-25-2005, 09:21 PM
I moved to NYC basically because all of my friends were here back in 1999. Since then, they've basically all moved away. I have lots of acquaintances but it is still really hard not having those close friendships anymore. Thankfully my work keeps me pretty busy, and I have a dog who keeps me company so I don't have time to get down about it.

09-25-2005, 09:58 PM
I moved to a new town after I graduated. It's a small, rural community in central PA, about an hour and a half away from my parents, who live near Pittsburgh. I always considered myself a city girl and figured I'd hate it and want to leave after a year. Now, I love it here.

It can be scary moving somewhere where you don't know anyone, but I figured I already did that at 18 when I started college, so I could do it again. And I was right!

So, there's a success story for you. And this is NOT a hip place where lots of 20somethings are dying to live.

09-25-2005, 10:04 PM
Thanks. Don't take my dislike of the area personally. I know people who hate my hometown but I love it. It wasn't that bad of a state; though the town I lived in was 'different' (even natives agreed). There were nice areas of the city that I would have lived in if it wasn't a 45 minute commute to work.
The area was not home. I knew I would be moving with my job in a couple of years so it was hard to make it home. When my boyfriend and I got back together (we broke it off before I moved), it was just that much harder to make this area home.

09-25-2005, 10:07 PM
MollyMe - No, I wasn't offended. Although, if you lived where I think you lived, I'm surprised you saw big t-shirts AND big hair I mean, in a "big" city? Geez, I gave people more credit than that here :lol: Hey, this state is for some people, and not for others. Being away from your SO was difficult, I'm sure.