Starting a new life after college graduation often entails relocating to a new and exciting place. It’s an opportunity to start a new adventure. But figuring out the city that’s right for you isn’t a simple task, and more has to be taken into consideration than just your initial impressions of the place. So before you pack up your belongings and hit the road, be sure to do some research. Knowing what you’re getting into will lessen the chances of unforeseen problems that could ruin your experience.
The most important factor that’ll affect your lifestyle is the cost of living, which varies depending on the part of the country you’re moving to. Popular cities for college graduates like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco are expensive. For example, the cost of living in San Francisco is 86.6 percent higher than it is in Houston, according to salary.com. So a Houstonian making $35,000 per year would have to earn $65,302 in San Francisco in order to maintain his or her standard of living. Employers in San Francisco pay 20.1 percent more on average, meaning the same job would pay $42,407 – not nearly enough to live the same lifestyle. Before applying for a job, look into the average salaries in your field in the town it’s located and compare it to the average cost of living. How much disposable income would you have? Would you be able to afford rent in a decent apartment? How much would you have to spend after all bills are paid? Being young, you’ll need enough money to frequent the local bars and restaurants on a regular basis. Look into the social scene and culture of your prospective new home. A Southern Belle with Southern sensibilities might prefer to live in Charlotte instead of New York. A lover of live music and warm weather could consider Austin or New Orleans. Of course, where you go depends on the professional opportunities presented. If the economy is bad in your city of choice, you’d be better off looking elsewhere.
As you probably know – being just a few years removed from going off to college – starting anew takes lots of effort. If you plan to move many miles away, consider whether or not you’d have enough money. If you don’t, how would you deal with it? Will your parents lend you money? Will your new employer pay for the move? If you successfully pass that hurdle, you can then focus on building a new social circle. It can be scary living in a new place without family and friends, but there are many way to meet new people. You can volunteer your services to a local organization on the weekends. You can find meet up groups for people with common interests. You can join an organized sports league. Also, see if there are any alumni associations for your college. If you know what to expect and come prepared, your new city can quickly become your new home.