Three weeks after my college graduation, I moved halfway across the country to a city where I knew nearly no one.
Strangely, I wasn’t nervous-in fact, I was confident that I didn’t need anyone but myself. But I quickly learned that life isn’t nearly as easy (or fun) when you don’t have a network of friends, family, and connections nearby.
So, slowly but surely, I’ve worked to build a local network of people I trust. But, it was more challenging than I expected, and I definitely made some major mistakes along the way. If you’re headed to a brand-new city, too, here are some of the lessons I learned (the hard way) about jumping in, meeting people, and experiencing all your new city has to offer.
Don’t: Be Afraid to Go Out on Your Own
When I first moved to the great state of Texas, I wasn’t sure how to navigate it by myself. After all, I was used to exploring restaurants, concerts, and museums with my friends. But, I quickly learned that if I really wanted to experience my new city, I needed stop waiting for things to happen to me-and make them happen myself.
So, little by little, I started checking out the restaurants I wanted to try (confidently saying “I’ll sit at the bar, thanks” is life-changing), attending special events, walking in the local parks, reading outside, sipping coffee at Starbucks, and other things that got me outside my apartment.