Posted on 10/21/2019
Did you or do you want to move to another city or state after graduation?
Did you have no idea where to start, how much money it was going to cost, how to get a job there—always a never-ending stream of questions? That’s me. So, for the past two fall breaks we’ve had, I’ve taken that opportunity to pack up and go visit friends who live in big cities around the US. I’ve been getting their first-hand advice about what they did, how they did it, do they regret moving away, how long did it take them to find a job, all the works. Not only was it an opportunity to pick their brain, but also to spend a few days in a potential new city—to see if I could see myself there or not, network there, and of course try amazing food. Last fall break, I went up to New York City. It was amazing, of course. Who doesn’t love New York? This year, I spent my fourth and final fall break in Boston, Massachusetts.
It was absolutely beautiful. The vibrant fall colors and crisp, cold weather that we love in Tennessee, but haven’t gotten yet, were in full bloom there. However, my body was not ready to go from 70-80 degrees here to 50 degrees and windy there. The locals thought I was insane for wearing so many layers when it was “only 50 degrees”. It was a much-needed break from class, exams, and papers as “senior-itis” is quickly creeping up in me. Both of these trips have provided me with reassurance, encouragement, and peace of mind in my decision-making process about whether or not I want to move and how to practically do it. Over Christmas, I’ll be making a trip out to San Diego to visit another friend to see how this new place and life stage is going for her. I know a lot of people say, “this is the time! There’s no better chance than this to go out and experience different places on your own,” and they’re absolutely right. We’re young, college graduates. As the cliché puts it, the world is indeed our oyster. However, seeking out people who have been in your shoes and understand where you’re coming from is crucial. There are things you’ll never think about that come up, that they could help you anticipate like, do I need to change my driver’s license over, what about my bank account, how do I find a roommate? I know traveling to visit people and cities may not be an option, but in that case, I encourage you to call someone you know who’s moved away. Get on LinkedIn and find the feature that tells you what alumni are in that city and reach out! Use those communication and networking skills we all have come to know and make it possible for yourself. Hoping and wishing for an opportunity to come along that will take you to the job and city of your dreams can only do so much from sitting right here in Knoxville. Be proactive, look for jobs in other cities, start saving, and start talking to people. You never know who has an opportunity for you if you don’t ask. Post grad life is scary for us all, especially if you want to be in a brand new, shiny, expensive, city. But, instead of being scared, be excited. Be prepared. But be excited. This is the time you’ve been looking forward to for however many years. It’s here! Make the most of it all.