I’ve moved 7 times. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. When people ask where I am from, they get the full, too much information shared, story of every place I’ve ever lived. I’m exhausted for them.
The majority of my moves were when I was growing up – new schools, new sports teams, new people. In a way, it was extremely traumatic but on the positive side, I have friends all over the US and Puerto Rico. I can talk to anyone and I have grown and learned so much more than I would have if I had stayed in the place I was born.
That said, moving so much as a kid has made me not want to move as an adult. So as I am thinking about my own career, I have recently made a choice to join a company that will allow my family to stay here long term. And since I’ll be new there, I started thinking about my tried & true tips for being the new kid…
- If someone invites you, go. They may not be your lifelong friend. They may not be a person you would have hung out with before but now is not the time to be picky. I’ve become friends with people I would have never gotten the opportunity to know if I had not moved. And that’s a great thing.
- You can initiate too. Honestly, I am swamped the majority of the time but if someone invites me to do something, I will make time for them. Lunch, coffee, the park, happy hour, or the gym. There’s so many options.
- Think non-traditional places to make friends. The grocery store, the gym, the library, online. When I moved to Memphis after we got married, I made friends through my blog. That was before it’s time but people meet online all the time. It’s totally not weird.
- Re-engage in your hobbies. Obviously, you will probably want friends that have common interests so get back into the swing of things. I have made a ton of friends at the gym.
- Get your kids involved in something. When I moved here my junior year of high school, my parents quickly got me involved with my school’s volleyball team. By the time school started, I already knew people because I had been practicing with the team.
- Give it time. I don’t know your story. I don’t know if you’ve done this before or if this is your first time. But I do know that change can be hard and takes time to adjust. Have realistic expectations – if you’re coming from a place where you know the whole town, I am sure you can get there here but it’ll take time.
- It’s okay to let your kids know it’s hard on you too. There’s obviously a fine balance but my mom always acted like moving was the best thing ever and there was no place for negative emotions. She regrets that now. Being vulnerable with your kids is a good thing. You are human too. But obviously remember that you should not tarnish their experience with your own.
- Try not to compare. Comparison is the thief of joy. You may not love it here as much as you did where you were previously. That’s okay. For this season, you are here. Be here and find the good things about this place too.
And most of all, enjoy the ride. While change can be hard, it can also be great.
Cheers to a new season!