New York City is wonderful, exciting, and intimidating all at the same time. You’ve wanted to get here for a long time and now your moving date is approaching quickly. The details involved in the transition and relocating alone is starting to feel a bit overwhelming. You have many concerns, some of which may include how you’ll establish new friendships, find local resources, and generally feel at home in this new environment. These feelings are normal and best of all, you’ve chosen the right place to move! The friendly people of NYC will make adapting to your new surroundings simple. Your angst can be alleviated with some of these practical tips:
Get to Know Your Neighborhood
Once the movers are gone and you have started to settle in, it’s time to get to know what a diverse and inviting place you’ve chosen to live. Although New York is a big bustling city, it’s made up a lot of small neighborhoods and each one feels like its own unique, small village or town. Your new neighborhood will become your “backyard.” Start getting to know it by taking time to frequent the nearby deli or coffee shop, and then move on to discovering the establishments that make it unique to your area alone. Once you become a regular, chances are not only will the retailers get to know who you are, but you might bump into the same people and start to make some friends. Neighborhood locals are also a great resource for learning about what’s happening locally or getting recommendations for a particular thing you may need nearby. The excitement of your exploration will take time but will be totally worth it.
Find Like-Minded People
Like to play guitar, or read, or spend your days visiting museums? There are groups for that. Check out meetup.com and forums where you can find others who enjoy the same interests as you. You can just start going to events and soon you’ll see the same people frequenting the same establishments and may even start venturing out of your new neighborhood to other areas nearby. Getting around is easy. No need to own a car in the Big Apple. At your disposal are a myriad of public transportation options. Soon you’ll be navigating the massive subway system with ease or hopping on the frequently running buses. And, of course you can always learn a lot from one of the many New York City cab drivers. And now your options include easy smart-phone access to Lyft and Uber and share an economical ride perhaps with a new-found friend.
Go Out with Work Friends
Your co-workers know a lot of things, not just about guiding you in your new job, but about the city—whether it’s an apartment that’s being vacated or a dentist they like. These co-workers can also be the start of new friendships. If you find a common bond, perhaps you will enjoy each other’s company beyond the chitchat of the office. So put yourself out there…be willing to go the next time a group from the office invites you to a happy hour. Chances are you’ll enjoy it more than you think. And if you’re lucky, someone at work might just have relocated as well and is adjusting to their own moving experience. Already a common bond, the two of you could venture out and explore together.
Make Your Home Personal
Even if your apartment is tiny and not what you had in mind you can still make it feel like home. Surround yourself with the things you like. Use multi-functional furniture pieces so you can get the most out of your small space without feeling boxed in. You’d be surprised how a simple vase of flowers or a scented candle can make you smile when you come through the door at the end of your work day. Whatever it is that reminds you of what you love about being home, you should do. Be friendly with your neighbors in your building. A quick hello to someone you pass in the hall, on the staircase, or in the elevator can develop into a friendship or at the very least an acquaintance that may make you feel more secure in your home just knowing they are nearby.
Give Yourself a Break
Moving is hard. Relocating solo is even harder, so be kind to yourself and remember it might take a little time before you’re totally comfortable in your new environment. That’s okay. Before you know it, you’ll be the neighborhood expert and the one making recommendations to the newcomers. You’ll not only survive your move, you won’t ever regret it.