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Overcoming Fears of Moving Starting at Home

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Munashe Chando visited various cities, including San Francisco, California, to prepare herself to move after graduation.

For some, their hometown is the place they wish to call home for the duration of their lives without venturing out for longer than a short vacation. Others hope to find something else or a change in perspective they couldn’t find in their hometown,whether it is a temporary or a permanent move.

I fall into the latter category. I went to grade school in Plano, and then I traveled the great 6.5-mile distance to attend The University of Texas at Dallas. I have absolutely loved my experiences and have no doubt I made the right decision, but it’s definitely time for a change of pace. I’ve spent the past two years of my college career taking trips to various cities across the U.S. in search of where I’d hope to call home after graduation. I am fully convinced I have found where I will call home, at least for the next year of my life. Despite my desire and the drive to move, it is a bit of a daunting leap to make, so I have overcome fears of moving by starting at home.

Although in the past year and a half, I have gone three times to the place I want to move, it’s still nerve wracking to think I could be moving somewhere I don’t have family and know only two friends from high school. On my most recent trip to California, I went solo and quickly realized the things I did to help make Dallas more interesting for myself could help me navigate seamlessly through a city where I no longer considered myself a tourist. Below are three suggestions to help you explore a new city solo by starting in your hometown.

Become More Aware of Your Surroundings by Unplugging

One of the most important things I have realized is the power of unplugging. It’s so easy to look at your screen when you feel uncomfortable, especially if you are unfamiliar with your surroundings. I spent most of my meals by myself, and a challenge I had for myself was to sit at the bar, but to always put my phone away. I found myself making friends with my neighbors and enjoying my meals more.

Learn the Public Transportation System to Navigate Seamlessly

Learn the public transportation system to get a better feeling of where you will live. Not just to get to school or to work, but to explore your city. Most public transportation systems work similarly, and learning to navigate through a new city is easier once you are comfortable with getting around without a car.

Attend Events by Yourself

If you like to listen to music, take yourself to a concert that cost less than $25. I find these are more intimate shows. Though it's a little harder because you can’t just bury yourself in the crowd, making friends with other people in the crowd is easier. Songkick and Bandsintown are two very useful apps to find local shows. If you like art, spend your day in a gallery, or better yet, find a list of the contemporary art galleries the city has to offer and scan their social media to learn if they have a new exhibit opening when you’re in town. If you like to go rock climbing, find a gym… etc. Activities like this offer environments in which you already have something in common with the audience or the people present, which makes striking up a conversation and meeting people so much easier.

A good rule of thumb to save money, and avoid paying luggage charges, is to pack light, and stick to neutrals in your clothing options. Naturally, you walk a lot when traveling without a car, and I found myself making plans on a whim. It’s easier when you feel as though what you’re wearing fits wherever. Additionally, I wound up walking through unsafe neighborhoods and found myself feeling more at ease because what I was wearing was so simple it didn’t make me stand out.

All in all, you must get out of your comfort zone and explore your hometown city to overcome your fear of moving. I've given you three suggestions to explore your hometown – unplug to become more aware of your surroundings, navigate seamlessly through out your city and attend events by yourself. So get out there and hang out with yourself already!

Munashe Chando

Munashe Chando is a senior Biology and Business Administration double major pursuing a career in the medical field. She aspires to use her talents to provide quality healthcare in her home country, Zimbabwe. On campus, she's involved with Alpha Gamma Delta sorority, Dean's Council, nova student ambassadors and sustainability club. Read more articles

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