Tips on being new to a city

Growing up I moved all around the country with my family, from New Hampshire, to Denver, to Ohio.  I feel like it really opened up a lot of possibilities for me when I was looking for a new job because I wasn't scared of starting somewhere new. Well thats not true I was scared but I have had plenty of experience being the new kid going to 5 different schools. I ended up moving back to Cincinnati, and I went to high school here for two years.  Which gave me a little bit of an advantage in knowing the city, compared to being completely new.  But if you know anything about Cincinnatians most of us actually live 30 minutes outside of the city and I could count on my hand the number of times I had been downtown in high school.  So it really was like I was starting from scratch as an adult.

I've learned a few things throughout my moves. I believe it has helped me transition a little bit more smoothly into a new city.

The most important thing I have learned when moving, or living somewhere new, is SAY YES TO EVERYTHING!  This is a really important lesson because when you are new somewhere, everything is really uncomfortable.  I'll be the first to admit it.  If you get asked to an event, everything is out of your comfort zone, the location, the people, the activity.  But the reason it is so important to say yes, even if you are tired, uncomfortable or just down right don't want to, is because people don't like rejection.  Most people who invite the new kid somewhere are extending themselves as well, and if you say no it lessens your chance of getting invited the next time around.  It's important to explore and try new things because this is how you learn, either you have a great time or you learn you know maybe this coworker should stay just that, a coworker.  And that's okay! But it's important to try everything once, and let everyone know you're open to hanging out.

I also believe it's important to join some type of club.  This is a really easy way to meet people and most of the people there don't know a ton of people either.  For example if there is a sports group at your work, join!  Two other suggestions are alumni groups from college or a group that relates to your career. An alumni club is really easy because you have two things in common, where you went to school and where you live now.  Which is actually a lot to talk about honestly.  A career group is also a great option.  This is great not only for networking but again because there is a common interest.

Make sure you're always exploring!  Even though I technically moved back to the city, I never realized the amount of good restaurants, coffee shops, bars and parks there are to go to.  I usually go on Instagram or search yelp looking at the pictures and try to go somewhere new every other week.  This way I'm really getting my bearings for the city and having fun while doing it!

My advice to someone new to a city, is have patience.  Moving and finding a good group of friends really takes time.  Being somewhere new is exhausting, it's hard to strike up conversations and put yourself out there but it's really important to say yes to hanging out and trying new things. It takes a lot of effort but you will thank yourself in a year.  If you have recently moved, or you're trying to make a city your own, hang in there and keep putting yourself out there!  It will pay off!

Do you have any tips on being new to a city? I'd love to hear them!