The Wheaton Blog
Bright Lights, Big City: Finding Your Niche in a New Place
Moving to a big city is something countless people have experienced. Still, it’s easy to feel completely alone when you do it yourself. Amongst the droves of people and stacks of skyscrapers, how do you maintain your sense of self?
Even if it’s just a matter of suburban versus urban living, you’ll encounter plenty of changes. The best way to deal with change is keeping an open mind. To help you make a smooth transition, we also recommend these five basic ways to adjust.
1. Build on What You Have
A mistake people often make when they relocate to a new area is ceasing contact with anyone from the old one. It takes time to make friends, so you’ll be glad that you’ve kept in touch with family and friends back home. They can provide support and motivation during your transition to city life.
Maintain your roots, but don’t rely solely on them. Strike up a balance where you nurture old relationships while fostering new ones. Introduce yourself in new situations and reach out. Keeping in touch with people from the past will help you feel part of a group before you’re fully comfortable in a new one.
2. Stay Practical
Since many cities have a higher cost of living than less-populated areas, prepare your finances. Learn about basic costs from people around you, including groceries, parking, utilities and rent. Find a living space you can afford, even if you haven’t yet obtained new employment.
When it comes to applying for jobs, don’t get stuck in a rut looking for your dream job. Accept that you may have to start small before you make it big. There’s nothing wrong with building your way to the top and gaining experience. Remember, a job is better than draining your savings while waiting on a pipe dream.
3. Play Tourist and Explore
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed in a large city, particularly if it’s your first time encountering urban life. Take time to get out of your comfort zone by exploring your area. A great way to start this process is just by playing tourist; treat it as an adventure.
Look up local events that interest you or take a tour. Getting involved is one of the best ways to meet people and feel comfortable in your new surroundings. Relocations also provide the perfect time to reinvent yourself, so take a night class or try something new.
You’ll eventually need to locate the necessities, too. These include finding the nearest:
- Grocery store
- Post office
- Local hangouts
With knowledge of these locales under your belt, your confidence will increase.
4. Maintain Healthy Habits
With all the madness of moving, you may fall out of your regular routine. While fine for a while, don’t let your recent move throw off your groove. Especially when it comes to adjusting to a new place, it’s essential to restart a new version of your old routine.
Eat a healthy diet and take this as an opportunity to explore new eateries, supermarkets, and supply stores. For all you know, the big city may have grocery options you never dreamed of.
Keep a regular exercise routine. It might not seem feasible to go on a jog in the city, but you likely have a yoga studio or community center nearby. Of course, you can also take this as an opportunity to get away of the city and exercise outside the hustle and bustle.
5. Be Patient
Even if you follow these tips, adjusting takes real time. Be patient with yourself and your new environment. Don’t get frustrated if your new commute takes some getting used to; this is all normal. You can’t learn everything all at once, but using these steps will help you take that first step towards comfort in your new niche.