Written by Hayden Skoch, account supervisor for Volunteers in Medicine. 

With summer right around the corner, many students prepare to relocate to new cities for internships and jobs. Moving to a new city is exciting and brings the prospect of adventure and a fresh start. Recent graduates set out to a new city gitty with excitement to decorate an apartment, meet new people and immerse in the culture of a new urban area. However, with the excitement of moving comes unfamiliar obstacles that must be navigated. Not to mention, the inevitable financial stress that comes along with becoming independent. It can be easy to get lost during this transition and lose sight of the reasons you embarked on this journey. Recent UO graduates offered up personal experiences and knowledge they wish they would have known during their moves.


When searching for your next apartment, condo or house, there are a few key things to keep in mind. Of course, cost is the first factor that must be considered. After you have narrowed your price range, location is extremely important to research. You want to make sure you live in an area that fits your needs in regard to activities, commute and safety. Former AHPR Account Supervisor, Tori Ganahl, emphasized the importance of living somewhere safe when reflecting on her move to Portland, Oregon, last August. Tori emphasized that “making sure that you live in a neighborhood and complex that feels safe will make the transition to a new city more comforting.”


Getting from place to place may seem simple enough, after all, we all have mobile GPS, however, figuring out the fastest way to and from work can be stressful when surrounded by the hustle and bustle of an unfamiliar city. It’s helpful to try testing out your route prior to your first day of work, so you don’t feel as overwhelmed when you have the pressure of arriving on time. The app Citymapper is a more thorough version of Google Maps and details step-by-step navigation instructions. Research different public transportation options carefully, so you know which option is the best price and most convenient.


Moving to a new place can be expensive, especially when you take into account potential student loans and the high cost of living, however, with careful budgeting, it can be possible to make ends meet. Seek out the best cheap eats in the city, utilize free events and live with multiple roommates. Recent grads say that financial stress is completely outweighed by the amazing life experience you will gain conquering a new city.  

Making Friends

Making friends may initially seem like the last of your concerns, however, moving can be lonely at times. Finding a niche outside of work can help you meet new people with similar interests as you. Joining a gym or taking an art class can give you the opportunity connect with new people. If you are moving to a city where you have relatives or old friends, make the effort to connect with them. You never know when you might want to see a familiar face. Lastly, anticipate that the transition might feel isolating at times and that is normal. In time, things will normalize as you meet new people.

Despite these challenges, almost all graduates who have followed their dreams to a new city agree that it is worth it. Raelyn Martin, a 2017 UO graduate, spoke with the AHPR firm earlier this year, admitting the financial and logistical struggles she faced moving to New York City, however, she could not emphasize enough that her move was “completely worth it.” Raelyn explained that “if there’s a will there’s a way; you have to take a risk to pursue what you want to do in the place you want to be.”

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