Soon, you will learn to love your fresh start in a new place.
Ah, that feeling of being a newcomer comes with lots of emotions. Being the new one isn’t easy. But sometimes, life takes you places. My parents moved us kids a few times and with new schools, new friends, new language, new culture, and new ways of living. From suburbia to cities, and across oceans…every move was a big adjustment.
I’ve also moved as an adult a few times and with that intro, I think I have a few tips for yourself or your kids to make the move emotionally easier.
1. It takes time to adjust. I like to say it takes 1 year to feel settled and 2 years to feel like you belong. So be kind to yourself or those around you. Don’t rush the feelings of feeling settled. Time will take care of it. Just be patient.
2. At the same time, do physical things that naturally make you feel more settled. Don’t live out of boxes, unpack and add some personal items to your space. Don’t stay home all the time, explore your local area.
3. Be friendly. What does that mean? Smile at people, ask neighbors for a 1/4 cup of sugar so you have a reason to talk. Go to Shul, notice the same people in the supermarket again and again? Ask them a non personal question – I’m new here and I bumped into you a few times. Do you know the best place to get ice coffee? Then follow up with your name and ask them theirs.
4. School – if you have kids in schools, attend open parent teacher night, PTA, and school functions…(even volunteer to help run them). Even if in the past it was a chore – and you ran in and out, now as a newcomer take your time walking around and waiting in lines. Don’t rush. Being involved in your school is the best way to meet people that are specifically in a similar stage of life as you. (Ask similar questions like you did in the supermarket above…)
5. Give kids the space to feel homesick to their past house, school and friends, while at the same time encouraging them to be friendly and open to new experiences and friendships.
6. DO NOT COMPLAIN. You can eventually complain all you want. But to start off a new move with complaints on people, food, shopping, apartment/house does no one good. It will only make you unhappy, and will create a sour negative mood to everyone around you. You moved if you wanted to or not. Take upon yourself not to complain the first 30 days.
7. Bonus if you can list one thing that you are grateful about in your new city (I have a backyard, the school is a 5 minute walk, there is public transportation, I have my privacy)…whatever it is that is positive in your new city.
8. New language? Start by realizing, the only way to learn a language is to actually speak it! Make mistakes, talk to children (it’s less embarrassing and they will correct you!) and enjoy the process. It’s actually a pretty good feeling to speak multiple languages!
Have a tip we didn’t mention? Please leave a comment below.