Short story even shorter- I got a new job several states away, so I’m finally moving away from home.
It seems kind of overboard to move so far for a job, but I’m young and also work in academia/research, so it’s nbd really.
The biggest challenge was that everything had to go quickly at the same time, because I had to finish up projects at my old job, pack, look for a place to live, and physically move my and my stuff in the span of a few weeks. I also had to get my wisdom teeth out too. TT
I think I leveled up as an adult during this process. This post is me reflecting on what I learned:
- When looking for a place to live long distance and on a tight schedule, you’re most likely going to have to sign a lease sight unseen.
- People will tell you that you can just get an airbnb for the first few days, but that really isn’t practical when you’re moving all of your stuff as well. Plus, it can get expensive depending on the location.
- Best thing to do in my opinion is to find a two month ish sublet. You have a place to live for a while so you can settle in but also not that permanent in case you don’t like it.
- I actually initially thought I lucked out, because I knew someone who knew someone who could sublet her apartment to me, but there were some complications with timing, and I was forced to look elsewhere.
- I ended up contacting someone on craigslist (super sketchy, don’t do this too often). Luckily, that person was very responsive and the place was managed by a larger company. I saw the place via videocall and also called the leasing company to make sure it was legit. So yes, things worked out great (and the sublet even came furnished)!
- Make sure you get all the info about everything though. Like what utilities are included, where the laundry/trash/mailbox is, how to get wifi, is there are any infestations, etc.
- Packing was a little tricky, because I was moving out from home.
- Home, meaning that my rooms where full of stuff I had been accumulating since I was seven. And since I’m not planning on staying in this job for too long (I’m still aiming for grad school after all), I could just leave a lot of the heavier/larger stuff behind.
- I really only brought my clothes, shoes, bags, bedding, toiletries, stationery, and some kitchen stuff. The rest I just bought after moving. Another advantage of this is that you won’t be bringing more things than you need or can fit into your new space.
- Also, as mentioned before, my sublet came with basic furniture like a couch, table and chairs, a bed, etc. So that’s a ton of trouble saved.
- Driving up in a normal car is ideal
- Because I didn’t have that much stuff (two large suitcases, a small suitcase, a few small storage containers), my dad’s car could fit everything. Plus, having someone else there (my parents, in my case) is reassuring in a new place.
- When you have to go out and buy stuff, it’s really useful to have a car, especially if you won’t be keeping the car with you. (The place I live is cold and I don’t want to take care of a car in the winter.)
- Anxiety is normal
- I normally have pretty bad anxiety anyways, so whatever
- This is coming from someone who is fairly financially secure, but there are a lot of problems that can be solved by spending a little more money (or maybe a lot more). Before getting an apartment, I was really worried that I wouldn’t find a reasonably priced place to live in time (which is a legit worry!). But really, there are a bunch of hotel around the area that are like $70 a night or so that are pretty much guaranteed to have vacancies. It’s way too expensive for long term, but it was a do-able last resort plan for me.
- It’s good to be as prepared as possible
- I was making lists of things to buy and things to do starting from the day that I signed a sublease.
- I already knew about the apartment and the area, so it was fairly easy to anticipate what I would be needing once I got there.
- But it’s also good to be flexible
- The timing for the move worked out so that there was an entire week between my last day at my old job and my first day at my new job. I moved in midweek and had several days to get things together, unpack, and settle in.
- Those several days weren’t completely filled up with activities, because it kind of depended on what I needed to buy and what the weather was like. You can plan all you want, but don’t be too set on like, going to Walmart on a specific day.
- Cleaning is very important
Um, I think that’s it? More than anything, I wanted to reflect on this experience. This is actually the first time I’m living completely by myself in a place so far away from home, so it’s exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. Hopefully I’ve prepared myself well enough for everything that comes my way.