Grappling With Moving Away

Author: August Clarke

Moving from your current place of residence to a new one can be a tough experience, especially if you are not only moving houses but cities as well. Adapting to an unfamiliar environment with entirely new social groups, schools, and communities is scary for a lot of people, and it can be hard to adapt initially. Especially if you are missing friends back home. I recently found myself in a similar situation to this when I moved to an out-of-province university at the start of September. Most of the people reading this probably aren’t in the exact same situation as me, but moving away from home can be difficult for anyone, regardless of the reason.

If you are struggling with a tough move, the following tips might help you feel a little more comfortable in your new home.

#1. Get involved

No matter where you are, there are always ways to get involved outside the house and the classroom. Depending on what community you are living in, there are often neighborhood events from time to time that you can participate in. Even if there isn’t, you can always get involved in a business or center somewhere in your city. Applying for a job, joining a sports team, or participating in a school club are all great ways to meet people who have similar interests as you.

Not to mention, when you are participating in activities that you enjoy, it can help you feel more at home in an unfamiliar place. Remember, a busy mind is a happy mind and it’s likely that you will make friends more quickly the more you get out of the house and participate in social activities.

#2. Technology is your friend – use it!

We’re lucky because we live in a day and age where keeping in touch is easy to do. Just because you aren’t living in the same place as your friends anymore, it doesn’t mean that you can’t still maintain meaningful relationships with them. Personally, I find Facetime to be an awesome way to stay in contact with all my friends back home who I had to leave behind this fall. They even have a group call feature so you can talk to multiple people at once! It’s really easy to have a natural conversation with someone when you can physically see their face on your screen rather than just listening to their voice.

Don’t forget that if a relationship is important to you, then that person probably also values your role in their life as well, and will be more than willing to make time to sit down and talk to you every once in a while. Don’t be afraid to drop a line from time to time to check in with all the people “back home” and see what’s new with them. It can help with the loneliness that inevitably comes from moving away.

#3. Keep an open mind and you’ll be rewarded

Right before I went away to university, a family friend gave me a piece of advice that I’ve tried to keep in mind ever since. He told me that in the first few weeks of classes, to “never turn down an offer.” What he meant by that was that if someone asks you to join them somewhere, always accept even if it’s not an activity that you particularly enjoy. For example, I’m not a big football fan, but at the school, I’m attending, the football team is a BIG deal, and attending a game is a really great opportunity to meet a lot of people.

Obviously, if someone wants you to do something you’re really not comfortable with, then by no means should you feel pressured to accept. That said, it is a good idea to at least consider all of the offers and invitations that you get when you are adjusting to a new social environment, because expressing interest in hanging out with someone new not only allows you the opportunity to get to know them better, but also makes it more likely you will be invited out again.

When you are entering a new place with a bunch of strangers, it’s important to be careful about how quick to judge you are.”

As people, we are often quick to make judgments about other people and their character before we’ve really even gotten to know them. When you are entering a new place with a bunch of strangers, it’s important to be careful about how quick to judge you are. Try to keep an open mind towards everyone you meet and – odds are – people will appreciate your good nature and you will likely make friends faster that way.

 

These are just a few basic tips for making friends in a new environment and dealing with loneliness after moving to a new city. I hope they are helpful to you!