So its been about two months since I made the giant leap across the country. This past weekend, my mom came out to visit me and I was able to take some time away from the books and work to finally relax!
In reflecting on my time I’ve had out in Boston so far, I’ve learned a few tips to make the most out of being far from home and doing my best to not feel too homesick:
1: Don’t Forget to Thank Your Mom and Dad!
This may be the most important tip of them all. In my case, both of my parents have given me the ability to move out here. I would not live where I do had it not been for my dad’s help in the apartment hunt earlier this summer. My mom has helped me turn my tiny apartment into a home away from home. I am so incredibly blessed to have their love and support, even if it is from 1,000 miles away. Taking the time to thank both of them for their support has helped me realize I’m not alone in this journey and I will always have them to guide me through life.
2: Don’t Compare Your Experiences to Everyone Else.
With the popularity of social media these days, I have a bad habit of sitting and scrolling through newsfeeds, wondering why my life isn’t like theirs. I have learned to take a step back and stop comparing what everyone else is doing with their lives and focus on my own. This does not mean I have stopped caring about the amazing things my friends are doing, it just means the only person I compare myself to is me. The adventures I have now are to enhance my life and not to “compete” with anyone else. We only get one life, its time to start living it for ourselves.
3: Be Adventurous.
Disclaimer, I am still working on being more adventurous. But since I have moved to Boston, I have learned to take risks and step out of my comfort zone. Several years ago, I would have been described as an extremely picky eater. However, between college and moving here, I will try anything once. By doing this, I have expanded my palate a lot more than I thought possible. Who knows what else I will try that I will enjoy doing?
4: Establish a Routine.
Finding a new daily norm will help you feel more settled. For me this is having my schedule with set time for classes, time for studying, working, and most importantly “me” time. My “me” time includes going to the gym, watching tv, and catching up on the endless list of books I want to read. By having time every day to balance things I have to do (i.e. work and school) and things I want to do (reading and exercise), my life in Boston feels much more settled in such a short amount of time. Of course my schedule changes slightly from week to week, and this requires some flexibility. However, learning to find balance and really get into a basic routine I feel comfortable with has helped me adjust with being so far from home. Finding your routine will surely help you do the same.
5: Find Your People.
The people you call at 2 am when your computer breaks and you have a paper due the next day. The people you go out with and celebrate surviving another week of school. The people who know exactly just what you are going through. Yeah, those people. These people are going to be your rock to help you get through school successfully. Or if you aren’t in school, they will become your support system as you establish a new career far from home. Either way, these people will become your new family. Be there for them because they will be the best thing for you too. Trust me, the friends I am making in my program now are what help me get through long weeks of studying.
6: Plan a Stay-cation.
Invite your friends and family to come out and see your new home! Not all of them will be able to come visit, but if you plan enough in advance, your close friends will likely be able to make at least one trip out to see you. This is your chance to show off all the new fun things you have discovered about the new city you just moved to. When my mom told me she was planning to visit, I started making a mental list of all the things I had to show her, including my new favorite running trails, taking her to my favorite pizza and ice cream places, and of course showing her where I spend a majority of my time, aka school. Having my mom visit and getting to show her a glimpse into what my life out here looks like put into perspective just how much I really enjoy living here.
7: It’s Ok to Do Things Solo.
In college, I always had someone to do everything with, whether that was going to dinner, the grocery store, or hitting the gym. I was alone for only short periods of the day and I got used to having someone to always call when I wanted to go out and try a new place. Moving to Boston however, I do not have the same network of people yet. I have learned that it is ok to venture out and try a new place by myself. For instance, there was a Greek restaurant a few blocks away from me, and had I not gone in alone, I would now be missing out on one of my new favorite places.
8: Get Involved.
Becoming part of the community you live in will help you feel like you belong. For me, this was becoming the part of the Mental Health Club on campus. I was the person in undergrad who got over-involved, so moving to grad school, I learned to cut back a lot and not take on more than I can handle. However, I needed to find something I was passionate about and wanted to take part in, thus came in the Mental Health Club. My responsibilities for the organization are minimal, but being a part of something larger than myself really helped me to not only connect to the other students in my program, but also to the larger community surrounding my school.
9: Skype Family and Friends.
Stay connected to people back home. They will be there to support and remind you why you made this journey. Whether you need some tough love or a safety net to fall on, Skype allows you to see a familiar face and help you get through some of the tough days that come with being so far away. I Skype my friends when I feel lonely, and they help remind me that there was a time before I knew them, and that I had to learn to make friends then, and I will do it again here too. My friends back home have also been very supportive in reminding me that going to grad school will help me attain my career goals and that I did not end up here by accident. They remind me of all the hard work I have put in thus far and that I need to take advantage of every opportunity I am given. Without my friends and family, I would definitely be lost. Reach out to them, they will always be there to love and help you!
10: Make a Bucket List.
Since moving to the east coast, there is a whole new world of opportunities out here that I never had the chance to do back in the Midwest. Between planning weekend trips to finding fun things to do around the city, I am experiencing all sorts of new things to do. By having things to plan and look forward to, it helps me get through long days. In making a list of things to go out and explore, it gets me out of the house and helps me see a little bit more of my surroundings. It also helps me stay present and live in the moment, rather than dwell on the things I am missing out on back home.
11: Have Fun!
Home will always be there. This is the time in your life to live it up. Be bold. Call your mom often, she will appreciate it. But take your wings and fly. If you don’t do it now, you never will.