My life has been full of transition. So much so that I’ve gotten used to being apart from my family and have established a rhythm for acclimating to a new place.
Maybe you can relate. Or, with it being graduation season, you’ll soon be able to relate. Big life changes seem really fun at first, but the reality of it is kind of terrifying.
So if you’re floundering in a new city, here are some things you should remind yourself of when you just want to go back home:
Everything—everything—will take time
Processing the complex emotions that come with big life transitions is something I naturally want to suppress. It’s uncomfortable, and it admittedly involves crying. Not to mention the insecurity that unpredictably ebbs and flows into everyday life, or the voice in my head that says You should never have come here in the first place.
Let yourself go through this process. Don’t try to speed it up. Feel your feelings (she said, mystically). You’ve got time.
If you don’t feel lonely at first, you’re doing it wrong
Repeat after me: This is normal. This is what everybody goes through after a big move.
On Friday night when you’re sitting at home with nothing to do but cook a dinner for one and chip away at your Hulu queue, self pity will come full force. If you don’t believe me then I’d love to place some money on that bet. I don’t care how introverted you are. I don’t care how much you enjoy your “alone time.” You’re going to feel lonely. That only means that you’re a real human, with real human feelings. If you don’t ever feel lonely I would assume you’re some kind of robot, which would be unfortunate for you since I have a ton of scientist friends.
When it comes to making friends, cast a wide net
When I moved to a new state after graduating college, I made a pact with myself to accept any and every invitation to spend time with new people. I tend to judge people too quickly, so I decided I would get to know people regardless of whether or not I thought they would be a long-term friend. There’s this saying, “beggars can’t be choosers,” and I think that applies pretty snugly into this situation. You can’t afford to be picky when you know no one.
Go easy on yourself
I give myself pep talks all the time. No shame. I look in the mirror and say what I would say to a friend going through the same thing: “It’s going to be okay, Lauren. God has called you here. Don’t give up. You got this.”
This is your home
Remember this: The concept of “home” is not a destination you can drive to or point to on a map. It’s something you take with you—it’s the discovery of mutual interests in conversation and the steady build toward friendship. It’s slowly letting your roots sink in even though you’re afraid you’ll have to uproot again.
You have a stake in this now, you’re invested. So stop looking back at your past as an escape route and plow forward, ready for a new life and new adventures. Full speed ahead!