• Olivia Allred

Complain With Me About Moving to a New City

Remember that time, when you were watching that one movie? Where the main character decides that they’re going to move from their tiny hometown, to a big city like New York, and they have a cool job and they make all these friends, and then, like, something bad happens and they’re all like, “Oh no, I have to move back to my tiny hometown, but I felt so trapped there, blah blah blah,” because they're a total drama queen, but it all works out in the end and they live happily ever after? It’s the American dream! Everybody wants to move somewhere new, meet new people, see new things, have a fancy new job, live in a new place, and basically have everything be NEW and EXCITING.

Obviously, the majority of people know that Hollywood and the Hallmark Channel, or even that cute Facebook picture your friend posted—where the teenage daughter with heavy eyeliner is the only one that doesn’t look like she just won the lottery and it was untaxed—are not entirely honest.

Just in case there are some people, like me, out there who buy into that “Everything Will Be Amazing in a New Place” idea, here are just a few things that suck about living in a new city.

1. If you’re not moving for a job, finding one will most likely be difficult

I don’t want to say I moved on a whim, but in a general sense, I moved on a whim. Many times I said, “Oh, it’ll be so much easier to find a job once I’m there! No need to apply now!” I was mostly wrong. I had what my dad and Seinfeld like to call a “Summer of George,” where I laid around my apartment for a month and let my muscles atrophy because I didn’t want to put on sunscreen to go outside.

I’m sure anyone who is looking or has looked for a job knows how truly awful it can be, and so I honestly think one of the most important things about a job search is just allowing yourself be frustrated. It’s so annoying to tailor 30 different cover letters to 30 different jobs, and not get a single call back. I cried more than I’m proud of. What I like to hear in situations like this is “That sucks,” not “Everything will work out.” It sucks that you have to keep writing your cover letters and tweaking your applications. Maybe every once in a while, take a printed copy and rip it to shreds.

2. Making new friends is not as easy as it was in school

Maybe you don’t think making friends in school was super easy, but at least you were sort of in the vicinity of the same people all the time. Even in college you have some classes that are small, where you and one other person always end up sitting next to each other because that’s where you sat the first day. As an adult with no job, making friends is the worst. How are you even supposed to meet people? Stand on a corner with a sign that says, “I need friends”? No one wants to be friends with that person. That person is probably a serial killer. In any case, it sucks that the hermit life isn’t for everyone and I’m not going to tell you it doesn’t.

3. You have to find new places for all your hobbies I like to go to the bookstore. Some people like yoga or weightlifting or birdwatching. Is it a huge deal to find new places to do these things? No. But sometimes you go to a new bookstore, and the shelves are too close together, everyone in there is older than you, and you don’t understand how they have the store organized, the used books are too expensive, and that’s just all stuff you’re going to have to get used to. Now maybe it’s a new gym, you have to find the locker room or the bathroom and the drinking fountain and the room where your dumb exercise class is, and there’s a whole new group of people who are probably just a little better than you at whatever class it is you’re taking. Not to beat a dead horse by going back to the bookstore example, but it sucks to spend an hour looking for the book you want and then find it by the front door as you’re leaving.

4. It feels different It’s weird to move to new places. The outdoor activities are different, and people talk about different things. If you move to California, you might have to worry more about wildfires and earthquakes, which I personally forgot were things that happened frequently here. Even though the palm trees are really cool, the ocean is beautiful, I can walk on the beach every day, and I love the architecture, there are still days when it feels just a little too out there. It takes getting used to, and having to get used to things sucks, too!

5. There’s always something to dislike

I dislike that it’s November and there’s no crunchy leaf pile in the park. It bothers me that the weather is always exactly the same as it was the day before. So, I guess what I’m saying is that you can never expect a new place to be paradise. It sucks that some of us were made for cooler climates and we didn’t think of that before moving to a place where it never snows.

There’s nothing wrong with not loving where you are all the time. Sometimes, being in a new place is just the worst. Hating it might be a sign that it’s not meant for you, or it might just be growing pains.

Of course, because I’m the worst, I must admit that all of the things that suck about moving have also been really cool. That new bookstore is kind of whimsical. There are so many jobs that shouldn’t exist but somehow do. The suckiest thing is that it might not actually suck as much as my bellyaching would suggest.

What’s the most frustrating thing that has ever happened to you while relocating? What’s the most drastic move you’ve ever made? What do you hate and/or love about being in new places? Let us know in the comments!