Moving from a small town or suburb to a large city can be an intimidating proposition. Here are a few tips to help make your move as painless as possible.
Research before you move. It’s important to understand the culture you’re joining. Do research online and find out about school systems, neighborhoods, parking, weather, public transportation, and laws that are native to that area. If you can, visit a city before moving and connect with someone who’s lived there before(like myself). In the end, I am a pretty solid resource when it comes to living here, so don’t hesitate to ask me anything!
Have a plan. There are a lot of steps to go through before you start packing the moving truck. Find housing before you leave, or at least know where you’ll stay while you look for a home. Never sign a lease on an apartment that you haven’t seen. If you can’t get here, let me know and I can preview it for you. Have a job waiting for you, or if that’s not possible, know what you’ll do for money in the first few weeks of living there. Try to line up things like driver’s licenses, car insurance, renter’s insurance, and parking passes ahead of time as well.
Get involved. Meeting people in Chicago can be daunting. Don’t expect the neighbors to knock your door down with a casserole when you arrive: city life is often too noisy and hectic. Take the initiative. If there are things you liked to do in your town, find ways to do those things in the city. Try new things. Volunteer. Big cities offer so many opportunities to engage other people, so find what you like.
Mind your wallet. City living can be expensive and a shock to some. Everything costs more: food, insurance, clothes, rent. There are also a lot more ways to get ripped off, whether legally or criminally. Be careful how you spend, and know where your money is going.
In the end, if you have any questions about Chicago or moving to the city, do not hesitate to reach out and ask! I have been a resident my entire life and know the city quite well. 🙂