10 things you learn when you move to a city for the first time

So you’re moving to a city for the first time! Maybe you’ve got a new job, or you boo is there, or you just feel like a change—but you’re off to new pastures (or, rather, streets/skyscrapers). Everyone’s telling you how exciting it is, and it is—it’s going to be awesome. But if you’ve never lived in a city, it’s also the biggest change ever, and there are a few (OK, a LOT) of things you’ll learn along the way.

Here are just a few of the lessons you learn when you pick up and move to a new city.

1. Moving in is the actual worst.

You may have lived in a house / ground apartment previously, but living in a city, you may end up on a higher level. . . with no elevator. And no matter how many amazing opportunities await you in your new city, it is *never* fun to haul a couch up four flights of stairs. Literally NOTHING will make that a fun experience.


2. But setting up your new room makes it all better!

Looking at a bajillion boxes in your new empty room/apartment just adds to the stress, but then you get to unpack them and make your room ~beautiful~, like you’re starting your life anew!


3. (Until you totally make a mess of it a week later, that is.)

Because acclimating to life in a city is BUSY and who has time to clean or do laundry or pick anything up off the floor when you’ve got life to live?


4. Moving is tiring, but it’s only half the battle.

Packing and unpacking is stressful, but you’ll think that when you’re done with that, you’ll be 100% fine and dandy. But the weeks following the move, when you’re getting used to city life, is the real struggle.


It’s important to know that, because. . .

5. You’ll feel a lot of emotions, and that’s totally normal!


One day, you’ll walk out of your apartment ready to take on the world, feeling so accomplished for having “made it” in the city. The next day/hour/minute, all of the sensory overload—taxis, beeping, trains, people—may make you want to burst into tears on the spot. That doesn’t mean you’re failing at city life! It just means you’re human.

6. Orienting yourself in a new city is the EPITOME of confusion.

If you’ve never lived in a city before, you may have just been able to jump in your car and drive wherever you need, and getting to a friend’s house was a total cinch. But when you move to a city for the first time, literally everything about your life is more confusing just because you have to get used to a totally new way of getting around. Your thoughts may look something like this:

!!!?!?!?! Where am I? How am I lost when this city operates on a grid system?! Does that mean I’m stupid?! OH WAIT, IT’S AN AVENUE, NOT A STREET!!!?!?!?!


And let’s not even get started on public transportation.

7. Asking for help is the fastest way to acclimate.


At first, you’ll be like, “I can totally do this on my own! I’ll be a seasoned New Yorker / Londoner / Chicagoan in no time!” But then, after you’re in the big bad city all on your own, feeling tiny and confused, you realize that you are actually Jon Snow. . . because you know nothing.

But that’s OK and totally normal! Everyone is a beginner at some point, and plenty of people are out there who are willing to help you out and give you advice—especially because most of them can remember being EXACTLY in your shoes.


A quick warning in the form of an equation: It’s gonna be hard for you to manage money because moving to a city = the urge to try ALL the new food. After all, more people = more restaurants, and more restaurants = more delicious food. (This is only compounded if Seamless is available.)


9. And so many wonderful new things to try!


Events, coffee shops, museums, you name it—a new city has everything new you could ever want, all at your fingertips (once you get used to getting around). After you get acclimated, you won’t even know where to start!

10. You are totally badass.

You did it! You moved to a totally new city! It’s scary and frightening at first, but you did it anyway, because you knew you could do it, and because you’re living your best life.


You. Rock.