5 Tips for Settling Into a New Apartment and City
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Are you planning to move out of town after graduation? Many students are! Unless your college town is a hub of post-grad opportunities (or you’re not going anywhere in particular after graduation, like graduate school), you’ve probably got a destination in mind to start your life after graduation.
If so, here are five tips for settling down in your new apartment in a new city.
1. Invite friends over to help you unpack
If you’re not moving far (at least going somewhere within your state), you may be able to invite some of your close friends over to check out your new apartment once you get there. They may even be willing to help you unpack (especially in exchange for pizza!)
Having good friends help you settle into your place could make the adjustment process easier for you, since they represent familiarity. It’s nice to have around folks who love you, especially when moving someplace new. They will help add a sense of comfort to your new space, as you’ll remember that they were there with you when you first moved in.
Moving doesn’t have to be a solitary process, so reach out to friends, family, and others you love to see if anyone is willing to help add warmth and friendliness to your new apartment by coming to visit.
2. Find community
Once you’re all moved in, you’ll want to go out and find your community in the new town. This is the best way to feel you belong and to feel connected with your environment. Visit downtown, read every flyer on the light posts you pass by on the way to work, and find out what events are happening locally that you could attend.
Making an effort to scope out the town will help you settle into your community, and you may even meet some new friends! This will help lessen any anxiety you might have about being someplace new. If you do meet some friends right away, invite them over for snacks or a movie in your apartment. Or, if the new folks are locals, they will probably be able to show you around the cute cafes or yummy restaurants that are nearby. Go out and explore!
3. Know your new neighbors
This may be easier or more difficult to do depending on the type of living situation you’re in, but if you so desire, introduce yourself to the folks in nearby apartments and let them know you’ve just moved in. That way, if you ever needed anything, you’ll know at least the names of your next door neighbors. This is generally a good thing to do just in case of an emergency as well.
Neighbors or other hall mates in your apartment complex may also help orient you to the property and teach you the ins and outs of how to use the community laundry room, or other details you’ll want to know about your new living space. If you can make a friend in your apartment complex, that’s even better — especially if you’re living alone.
4. Decorate as soon as possible
The longer you wait to hang up your favorite photos and posters, the longer it’ll take for you to feel like your new room is your room. Similarly, the longer you wait to completely set up your desk space, the harder it will be to get work done. Setting up your new apartment as soon as possible (not leaving things in boxes and only getting things out as you need them) will have a psychological effect — you’ll feel more comfortable in your place.
Furthermore, the sight of unpacked boxes isn’t the prettiest to look at, and it will remind you over and over about the fact that you’ve just moved somewhere new. For some folks, this reminder will be emotional and even painful.
The best option is to just get to unpacking early so that it doesn’t hang over you as a laborious task (which it will if you’re soon to be swamped with work at a new job or university).
5. Establish a routine
If you’re the type of person to feel pretty low or disoriented after moving somewhere totally new, one way to distract yourself is to establish a routine and stick to it right away. Wake up at the same time, make a good quality breakfast for yourself, and go to work or school (or look for jobs in your new area).
When you’ve got a solid routine, you’re more likely to stay in the present and worry less about the fact that you’re living someplace new. Before you even realize it, you’ll have adjusted to the new town before you even have a chance to feel stressed or lonely.
Moving to a whole new town and into a new apartment can be logistically and psychologically challenging. Knowing this, it’s important to lean on your support system during this time if you need anything!
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