Three months after I graduated college, I moved across the country from Minnesota to Wilmington, North Carolina. It was by far one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make, but it turned out to be the best one.
I was comfortable. I had a great job, an opportunity to move in with my best friend, and I was finally reconnecting with family and friends that I now lived close to. How could I walk away from that?
Moving with someone. My boyfriend of 4 years was heading out to North Carolina for graduate school. We had done long distance before, but this was on a whole different level being halfway across the country.
I had to trust my gut. I had weighed the pros and cons of this decision so many times and sought out advice from friends and family for what I should do. In the end, I just had to trust my gut. I wasn’t sure if I had made the right decision, but I had to know that everything would work out in the end.
I had a lot of stuff. Now that the decision to move was real, it was time to figure out how I was actually going to get there. Realizing I had to fit my whole life into my car, I got rid of so many things! It felt good to declutter.
Gave myself a couple weeks to say goodbye. I took some time off and planned the move a few weeks away so I could make a smooth transition. Making plans with friends, visiting my college town and cabin once more, family get-togethers, and so on. Just some time to say goodbye, even though I know I’d be visiting in a couple months.
It didn’t hit me that I was moving across the country until I got there. The entire time I was planning and packing, it was all so exciting and adventurous––I didn’t feel sad in any way. It honestly didn’t even hit me till I pulled up to my new apartment and got out of the car. “Holy…what did I just do?” The sadness hit me like a bus, and I missed everyone instantly.
The Hard Parts
It was taking a big risk. Most people have a job lined up when they move––I didn’t. I had some prospects and some interviews, but there was no guarantee I would be able to find something. The time in between moving there and starting my new job was so nerve-wracking with not knowing what I was going to be doing, and ultimately may have affected whether I was able to stay there or not.
Making friends is harder than I thought. Making friends after college is a whole new ball game. When you move to a new city, you realize that you actually don’t really know how to make friends at this stage––it just happened naturally when you were in school.
Have to give it time to get settled. Despite all the nerves that come with being in a new place, you just have to remind yourself that it takes time. Everything takes time. Some people say to give it even 1-2 years before judging your decision to move. The opportunities will come, the friends will come, you may just have to put yourself out there more than you’re used to.
Why It Was The Best Decision I Ever Made
This is exactly what I should be doing right now. I am 22! Moving to new places, taking risks, being adventurous is everything you should be doing in your twenties. When else in your life are you going to be able to pack up, move across the country, and take on a challenge like this?
Stepping outside of comfort zone. I am so glad I moved because I would have never known what it would feel like to be completely out of my comfort zone. Yes, college was a big transition, but this was even bigger. Making a new life in a place thousands of miles away from your friends and family, now that’s stepping out of your comfort zone, and it took more courage than I’ve ever had.
Becoming more independent. You start to learn how to be independent in college and you love it. Every time you visit home, you’re reminded of how much you like being on your own. In a new state, you find out what it’s really like to be independent because your dad isn’t around to fix your car or your best friend isn’t there to grab coffee with. You are truly on your own this time and making all the decisions.
Find out who you are. Somehow, being in a new place helps you discover what kind of person you are. Living in a town you grew up in means the way you’re living your life is most likely influenced by others. Such as pressure from your family to be living a certain way, or you might be closing yourself off to new friendships since you’re surrounded by friends you grew up with. Starting somewhere fresh gives you the freedom to “find yourself”.
Everything happens for a reason. It truly does. I wasn’t sure if I made the right decision, but now it could not be more clear that I did. I am so happy here––loving my job, keeping my passion for dance going with teaching dance fitness, exploring this amazing city on the east coast, and getting to spend every day with my other half. Also staying away from the snow in Minnesota isn’t too bad either 😉
Don’t Be Afraid To Make The Big Move
After going through this, my final thoughts are that everyone should experience moving to a new place. The life skills and lessons you learn are something you’ll never have without going through it. Whether it’s now or later in life, living in a new city should be on your bucket list!