How to survive in a new city 

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Moving to a new city can be exciting and life-changing, but it’s also unsettling. The sense of dislocation can last for months, including loneliness, unfulfilled expectations about the move, uncertainty about staying or going back to your old city (or country), and frustration over not finding a job or getting used to the work culture.

Most people’s first reactions to dislocation are adverse. All of a sudden, you don’t know what to do with yourself. You feel unproductive and bored. Your self-esteem takes a dive. You feel isolated and lonely. The goal is to break the cycle of dislocation and loneliness, and below are a few ideas on how.

Relocating to a new city

Moving home is one of life’s most stressful events. Hiring a man with a van to get your items moved will save you from a lot of the associated stress of moving. Before getting into the practical tips, remember to be kind to yourself. 

1) The first month is the hardest

This is a time when people feel a desperate need to go back home. Reality sinks in: you have left your comfort zone and it is no longer familiar. You have been uprooted and there is no going back. As difficult as it might seem: do not return to your old home! By the end of the first month, you will start to feel more settled and at ease in your new city and you will start to make friends.

2) Make new friends (asap)

When moving to a new city, it’s hard to know exactly where to look for friends. While it is true that most friends will come with the new job in hand, you can also try:

  • Volunteering: Try to get involved with a local charity, community or youth project. Volunteerism is a huge part of city life. It has many benefits: it brings you out of your shell, develops your social skills, and helps you meet people and begin new friendships.
  • Joining a sports team or club: You can join a club of your choice – from basketball to chess. Many cities offer free internet access and computers. It might be worth joining one of the major teams to meet new people, especially if you have shared interests.
  • Foreign language course: If you want to speak French, Spanish or German, it is advisable to enrol on a course in your chosen language. A course will expose you to the local language and culture.
  • Learn a new skill: If you have ever been passionate about a hobby, the moving city will be the perfect place to make new friends and pursue that interest.

3) Adapt to local culture fast

The quicker you adapt to the local culture and make new friends, the quicker you will feel comfortable in your new setting. New friends can help you get used to the new city faster, while they can also recommend good places to go out and meet more people. It is easier to adapt when you are busy with work or school, since having a lot of things going on helps dispel loneliness and boredom.

Moving to a new city can be as exciting and life-changing as it is unsettling. But if you maintain a healthy balance between work and play, you will find that adapting to city life is easier than you might imagine.

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