How to Survive The Big Move after Graduation.
YOU TAKE A BIG LEAP AND ONLY YOU HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE IT EITHER WORK FOR YOU OR FAIL YOU.
By Diana Odero
Graduation day comes with a lot of emotions, and a lot of big, real-world decisions to make. Sure it’s all fun, pomp and glamour, but once the rented gowns are returned, the tassels stuffed in your closets and the money cards emptied, reality sinks in once more… What next?
Some of us are fortunate enough to have scored full time jobs even before graduating so the next year or so is covered. Some of us don’t really feel ready for the real world yet and so grad-school prep either starts or continues depending on the type of person you are. For the rest of us who just graduated and chose not to really plan everything out but decided YOLO to whatever comes next… this is where we are now, at the ‘What next’ chapter of our lives. A blank slate lies before us; a chance at a fresh new start at whatever we want to do.
Most people choose to spend the summer after graduation travelling, exploring and enjoying a well-deserved break. Others like myself pick up and move to a whole new city. No concrete job defined, no ties leading you there, just a hope and a prayer and a car full of suitcases. That, ladies and gentlemen is what we call, CHALLENGING YOURSELF. Also referred to as the big move after graduation but the former sounded more captivating.
I recently made a big move to Atlanta coming from New York with no prospects of work or networks here at all. Also no friends or family… yeah, quite the trip, but I made it happen and I can confirm to you all that it’s really not as scary as everyone thinks it would be. Now having taken this big step in my life, I learnt a lot and want to share with you all the Do’s and Don’ts of making the big move to whichever city or country you choose to go to.
- DO make sure you have a place to stay FIRST. Always. Being homeless isn’t fun and moving from place to place aka couch surfing was only cool in college, in the real world, not so much. I say this because you are trying to establish yourself, start a whole new stage of your life. Think of it as laying the foundation of a new building. You need to lay the foundation to the next chapter of your life. If you cannot afford it, explain it to your parents why you need to have a safe and reasonable place to stay, they were once in your position. They will always help you out and once you are earning the big bucks, you’ll pay them back…
- DO fly Southwest if you are travelling locally and Emirates/Turkish Airways if flying international. Which other airline gives you TWO complimentary checked in bags on a domestic flight? None! And I say Emirates and Turkish Air because I think they are the most lenient when it comes to excess baggage fees which you most likely will have if you are moving. Their excess baggage fee is only 50$ as compared to other airlines that can charge you up to 200$ in excess baggage fees.
- DON’T pack every single thing you own. You’ll soon realize you don’t really need everything that sits in your house. And by doing this you may actually escape those baggage fees mentioned above, win win!
- DON’T spend the first few days/weeks just sitting in your new surroundings applying for jobs online. I’m not saying don’t send in applications, obviously you need to get a job but don’t spend all day and night doing it out of fear. I made that mistake and the boredom and loneliness really got to me. Plus sitting indoors for days staring at a computer screen can really pile on the pounds. Which brings me to my next point….
- DO explore your new city. You moved there for a reason right? It must have something that attracted you to it so get out there; you never know what you may find. Drive around, or if you don’t have a car, get on a bus and just go along for a ride, see where you end up as you take in the city’s ambience. I got on ‘The Peach’ Atlanta’s main bus and went all the way downtown where I found several shopping malls, the CNN and Coca Cola headquarters, Olympic park and various eateries and amenities that I did not see in my current location. So now I know where to go if ever I need to go to those places.
- And lastly DO not lose hope. In yourself, in your future and in your surroundings. You took a big leap and only you have the power to make it either work for you or fail you.
I have been in Atlanta for a month now and I feel very at home here now. I have a job which keeps me busy during the week, I spend the weekend exploring more of this city and I hope to be settled here a while before taking on another big adventure. I’ll leave you with a very inspiring statement I read from another article the whole big move after graduation topic…
‘Whatever situation you are in right now, it’s not your fault, it’s your responsibility.’