Today's post is another great guest post from another great person who is very near and dear to my heart - my best friend Sara! Sara and I met 2 years ago, shortly after she moved across the country from Boston to LA, and we instantly clicked. We ended up walking together at graduation, and we recently launched our own podcast, The Quarter Life Crisis Club. Sara is here today to share her tips on moving cross-country, some great things to keep in mind if you are planning a move soon. Enjoy!
Hi! I’m Sara, Dani’s friend and co-host of The Quarter Life Crisis Club.
I grew up in the suburbs of Boston, but moved to the Los Angeles area in 2016 to pursue a degree in marketing and to close the gap between myself and my long-distance boyfriend of 3 years (at the time, now 6.5 years :)).
Moving cross-country was a huge decision, but I’m so glad I did it, and I learned a few valuable things along the way.
So, without further ado, here are the 5 most important things I learned when I moved across the country.
Not everyone will “get it”, and that’s okay
People will have doubts, and they will likely be vocal about those doubts–that’s okay. It’s not their life, it’s yours.
This was something that was really important for me to realize before I actually made the move out West; the reality is, this is your decision and the only person it really impacts is you. So when talking to people who had doubts about my decision, I was very frank.
I said, “Look, if this all goes downhill and it ends up being the biggest mistake of my life, the only person I can point a finger at is myself. If I’m going to make a mistake I want it to be 100% my decision.” And that actually ended up getting a positive response, and people respected me for being so forward about it.
So be confident in your choices–this is your life, you’ve got the reins, and you should be proud of yourself for making such a big decision!
Making friends in a new place is hard
Starting over in a new place, with little or no existing friendships, is probably the hardest part about moving so far from home. It can feel lonely at times, and it definitely left me feeling a bit depressed at points.
I distinctly remember one night when my bf was visiting for the weekend and I was feeling particularly down about my friendship situation; he asked me what was wrong, and I broke down crying and all I could say was “I miss my friends”. I adored (and still adore) my friends from back home, and I was feeling really discouraged that I couldn’t find friends like the ones back in MA.
The reality is that those friendships took years to form, and I was trying to recreate that bond in a matter of weeks or months. I had to realize that it would take time, and get comfortable with that. And lo and behold, a few months later I met Dani, who is now my best friend here on the West Coast!
But, there’s an app for that!
I found the app Meetup, and it helped me to get out there and meet new people so much! Granted, I’m not currently in touch with anyone that I met on the app–however, I went to a number of happy hours and get-togethers, and it was really fun! I think if I had stuck with it longer I could have formed genuine friendships, but I got discouraged and kind of gave up (see above re: friendship frustration).
I would highly recommend downloading an app like Meetup and just going to the events; even if you don’t form lasting friendships from it, it’s nice to be in the company of others and meet new people.
Setting a routine is key
I realized after a month or two that it was absolutely essential for me to create a routine for myself and stick to it. When everything around you is brand new, having even a short routine at the beginning and end of every day helps ground you.
For me, that meant waking up and going to bed around the same time each day, sticking to a grooming routine every morning and night, and getting on a regular workout schedule. This not only helps your mind to take on all of the new things that come with moving to a new place, but it sets your body in a rhythm that allows you to continue to have energy and get good sleep on a regular basis.
Make plans with yourself
This sounds ridiculous but it works, I swear! Make. Plans. With. Yourself!
Go out on your own for a day on purpose and plan out the entire day, as if you were going with a group. When I first moved to LA I took myself to the Santa Monica Pier, Malibu, Venice, among other places. Take the opportunity to explore your new surroundings on your own, and get to know yourself and your home simultaneously.
Plus, if you have plans you feel busier than you might actually be–doing this helped me to feel less lonely and “friendless” because I was out and about doing fun things, even if I was on my own.
I hope these were helpful if you’re considering moving, have moved, or are about to move far away from home! If you want to know more about me, my moving experience, my LDR, or any of the other struggles that come with being a 20-something in today’s world, be sure to tune in to The Quarter Life Crisis Club Podcast! Dani and I break down all the struggles of millennial life, and we’d love to have you join us as we go through our quarter life crisis (and attempt to help you, too!).
About the Author
Sara is a 23 year-old marketing professional in the Los Angeles area. She is the co-host of The Quarter Life Crisis Club podcast and enjoys volleyball, dance, camping and a good glass of wine.