As you may know I have recently moved away from my hometown, Aberdeen, for the first time. I’ve moved to Edinburgh, a bigger and more creative city that I was barely familiar with. One of the biggest difficulties I’ve faced is settling in to Edinburgh, although I’m not quite there yet, there are some things that have made the transition a lot easier for me and can hopefully help you too.
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Google Maps Is Your Best Friend
Getting to know your area is hard, especially if you have no one to show you around. What I’ve been doing is looking up a route then attempting to find my way using the map only as a back up. That’s a really great way to get to know the area and feel more comfortable and confident in your new city. Remember that it’s absolutely fine to get lost, and you will! Keep your phone charged in case of emergencies and don’t panic, you’ll be an expert soon!
Join a Club
Moving away can be isolating and lonely, but if you join a group relative to your interests not only do you get out of the flat, but you might make friends as well whilst doing something you enjoy. For me this is going to be either a writing group or a drama group, I’ve already spent time playing board games with people and that helped me a lot with my homesickness.
Download Local Apps
Local apps will help you get a feel for the city. I’d say the most important app to download is the local bus app for buying bus tickets and seeing bus times or even Uber (if your city has it) because you never know when you’ll need quick transportation in a new city.
Find Your Nearest Supermarket and Stock Up
One of the first things you should do when in a new city is find your closest supermarket and buy all the essentials. First of all establish how long it will take you to get there so you can plan your time well then buy all of the essential things for your kitchen. From spices to vegetables buy everything you need to make you feel more at home in your accommodation. You should also buy stuff like pillows, quilts etc. basically everything to set you up in your new place.
Find A Doctor
Here’s the thing, you might not need your doctor now but when you do need a doctor you don’t want to be stuck waiting for the sign up process to be complete or left knowing that they have no slots for new patients. As soon as you get there find your nearest doctor and sign up to avoid any disappointment. Admittedly this is something I still need to do, but I wish I’d done it a lot sooner. The sames goes for dentists.
Just Say Yes
Someone asked you to hang out? Say yes. Be open to opportunities that come up because you never know where you’ll make your best friends or have your favourite memories. Those first few months will be strange and possibly isolating, make it easier on yourself by being willing to meet new people and truly create a new life for yourself.
Give Yourself Time
It’ll take a while to get used to everything. Your entire world just changed and yes, it’s scary. I won’t lie. It’s tough getting used to your new city, your new home, your new schedule, your new friends. A lot of change all at once will take time to get used to and that’s absolutely fine! Just remember that it will get better and if it doesn’t you can leave whenever you have to.
Look After Yourself
With all the big changes it’s important that you remember self care. After a long day, switch off your phone and take a bath or read a book. Look after you. Your body normally tells you what you need, so give in to it. Especially for those first few months. I use meditation at the moment to help me get through at the moment because it’s calming and helps me get back down to earth a little bit.
As much as you need to. Trust me, you aren’t bothering them it’s a big adjustment for them as well. I have phoned my mum a lot over the past month to help me feel more at home and less scared. Parents and family worry if you’re quiet so it helps them too. It helps a lot with homesickness and mental well being. I would also plan a trip home so you have something to look forward to.