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  • Writer's pictureAlwaysAlinaAnn

New Place, Newish You

There's no place like home.


For some, the opportunity of a new beginning is totally compelling and super exciting! For others, the idea of starting over is their worst nightmare brought to life. For me, it was a combination of the two.

I lived in the Chicago suburbs for the first 18 years of my life. I grew up in the same place, went to school with the same people, and had the same tight-knit group of friends for what seemed like forever. Those who know me know that I’m very set in my routines and love to stick to my comfortable, boring ways.

When the time came for me to look at colleges, just about everyone expected me to stay close to home, including myself. I really am a Midwestern girl at heart (pass the Portillo’s cheese fries, please).

For some reason, something inside of me said that it was time to push my comfort zone to the limit. I knew that if I didn’t leave Illinois then, I probably would struggle to start somewhere new at any point after that.

After a few dozen applications and way too many university visits later, my heart was set on TCU in Fort Worth, Texas. And just like that, I became a Texan and never looked back.

Moving across the country is not an easy task - and I’m not just talking about the actual moving of all of your stuff. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when adjusting to a new place!

Be a Tourist

When the Fort Worth rodeo came to town, you better believe I was the first one there with my cowboy boots on, ready to yeehaw the night away. One of the best ways to learn about a new place is to do allll of the things! Before settling in as a local, embrace the reason that you moved there in the first place. Do all of the touristy activities and fall in love with your new home over and over again! Even if you’re not living in a big city, I guarantee that your town has something that makes it special. Find it and explore it!

Say Yes

You’re not going to like living in a new place if you find yourself alone, scarfing down delivery pizza and watching sad movies every night. Get out there! Say yes to everything you’re invited to and remind yourself to try new things. Join that volleyball rec league, go to that work happy hour, be a social butterfly! As a serial homebody, this was one of the toughest things for me. To this day, I remember having to muster up all of my courage to walk across my dorm hall and ask a random girl if she wanted to go to a concert with me. It was terrifying and so not me, but it worked! She actually ended up being one of my best friends and later on, a bridesmaid in my wedding. Moral of the story… SAY YES!

Take Time for Yourself

Moving is a physical and emotionally draining process in it of itself. Add the fact that you’re in a new place where you don’t know a ton of people, and that only escalates it further. In the midst of unpacking and getting organized, be sure to invest in a little self care. Whatever it is you do to unwind, do it! You deserve to take some time to slow down and live in the moment you’re in. A luxurious spa day never hurts!

Stay Connected

In the words of the great Hannah Montana, “you’ll always find your way back home”. No matter where you are, your support system is right behind you. Lean on the people who mean the most when things are tough. I promise that they want to be there for you! Just because you move to a new place, doesn’t mean you’re abandoning those you ‘left behind’ in your previous town. I’m still best friends with those same girls from Illinois and we talk every single day! I couldn’t do life without them. Relationships are what make a home feel like home and staying connected is the key to just about everything.


Moving is scary, exhausting, thrilling and confusing. It also allows you to grow and discover new parts of yourself that you might have not otherwise explored. Routines are wonderful, but breaking them and trying something new can be even more rewarding. You never know what you’re capable of before trying something new or being somewhere new!


Alina Ann


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