College opens up the door to so many new experiences. It’s an opportunity to make new friends, experience a different environment and learn lessons beyond what the typical textbook can teach. For many students, it’s the first chance at independence and sweet freedom. That’s a taste that many don’t want to give up even after the four year experience is over. While the “boomerang” trend has nearly 45% of students moving back in with their parents after graduation, many other young adults opt to skip heading home and set their sights on a new city. Without the support of campus staff, however, it can be a tougher feat than one would expect. Here, we provide some tips and tricks for moving to a new city after college:
Visit the City First
It’s easy to feel that the grass is greener on the other side of town, but the truth is that the new city you’re eyeing may be quite different than what you’ve imagined. If possible, schedule some time to take a trip to the city you’re considering before pulling the trigger on the move. And don’t spend that time hitting up the tourist hot spots either, take some time to stroll the neighborhoods you might considering renting in to get a real feel for what life would be like. Even just a quick weekend can be an eye-opening experience that will help solidify or completely change your moving plans.
Keep safety in mind, also. Using sites like Crime Mapper can help you get a clearer picture of the crime rate in neighborhoods that you’re considering.
Set a Realistic Budget
Before you make any big move, you need to make sure that you’re financially secure. After all, what’s the fun in moving to a new city if you can’t go out and enjoy it due to limited funds? It’s important to take into account the monthly expenses that you’ll incur such as utilities, cable, and most notably, rent. Using a tool like For Rent can help you research the average rental rates and see what’s available in cities across the country. That way, you won’t experience sticker shock when you see the price of apartments for rent in cities like New York.
It’s also important to account for all of the costs that go into the move itself, including travel expenses, professional movers, storage facilities, and even rental application fees. Theses individual costs can add up quickly and have a big impact on your bottom line.
Set Up a Local Bank Account
If you’re moving from a small town to a big city, the local bank that you grew up with may not have any branches nearby. While this doesn’t present a problem when you’re swiping your debit card, ATM transaction fees (ranging anywhere from $2-$5 per transaction) can quickly put a dent in your bank account. Setting up an account with a bank that is convenient to your new location will not only help you avoid paying fees, but also give you peace of mind that you can get real, in-person assistance, when needed.
Job Hunt Before You Go
Moving can be stressful. And if you’re moving AND looking for a job at the same time it can be quite overwhelming. If possible, try to secure a job before making a move. Using sites like LinkedIn, Monster and Glassdoor can help you research local companies, network with people in the area, and easily apply for jobs online. If there are slim pickings in the industry of your choice, don’t rule out a part time job at a local café or corner store. It’s a great way to get to know others in your neighborhood and make sure you have an income source.
Don’t Be Homebody
In college, classes and campus events make it easy to make friends who share similar interests and a similar schedule. Once you’re graduated, however, it can be a bit harder to forge a friendship. Thankfully, you can use technology to your advantage. Sites like Meetup.com make it easy to find groups of people in your city who share your same passions and interests. In fact, in cities like San Diego, more than 100,000 meet-ups take place every week. Using sites like this can help you build relationships in your new city, before homesickness sets in.
Moving to a new city after college can seem like a daunting experience, and can certainly be stressful at times, but it’s important to have fun through it all and make the most of every day. Moving will open the door to many new experiences and you’ll create unforgettable memories in the process.
Have your own tips for moving to a new city after college? Share them in the comments below!