So your prospective job is asking you to move to a new place? That place being somewhere that is miles from your close friends and family? I’m sure that sounds pretty daunting. And the truth is, it is pretty scary, BUT what you get out if it makes it all worth it.. Trust me, if given the chance, take the leap.
Flashback to April of 2020, I was offered the opportunity to be a college adviser. CAC is a nationwide non-profit that supports high school seniors in creating and making a plan for life after high school. This was a dream opportunity for me because I love working with young adults, and the work aligns with my future aspirations of wanting to become a therapist/counselor. The only dilemma to this dream opportunity was that I would be moving to the other side of North Carolina (queue Darius Rucker’s “Wagon Wheel”). Specifically a small town named Franklin, in the middle of Macon County, with a population of approximately 4,000 people.
So there I was in your exact same shoes, with nearly the same cards on the table and I chose to run with it. I packed up, left Boone, and started a life out in little ole Franklin. To this day, I can proudly say the past two years in this role have been two of my most growth-filled years of my life. I won’t tell you that it was easy, because moving somewhere where you don’t know anyone, much less the area, is hard, but there’s a silver lining there. You don’t know anyone and they don’t know you. You get to create a new you and a new life for yourself. You learn things about yourself that you may have never been forced to learn unless you had put yourself in such a vulnerable position. You learn to be comfortable with being by yourself, and once you get the hang of it, you might even thrive. You have your entire life to live comfortably, so why not give yourself the chance to taste something different, exciting, and scary… but in a good way.
At the end of it all, you're going to be so happy you picked up your life and chose the life that pushes you toward personal growth. If you choose to pick up your life, know that I applaud you, because I know how hard that decision might have been to make. You're conquering something that most people will never get to, and for that, I hope you're proud of yourself. The truth about moving somewhere new by yourself is that this “new life” will eventually become “your life” and your home. I promise it’s not as scary as it may seem, and, hey, you’ve got a team full of other wonderful people who will be in those same exact shoes.
Here are my three pieces of advice when settling into a new town:
Become a Regular!
The first thing I sought out was coffee shops in Franklin, and I make it a point to go get myself a cup of coffee from my favorite one, every Saturday. Becoming a regular feels almost the same way becoming a part of a family does, it gives you a sense of belonging.
Be a tourist! Don’t hesitate to ask people what the hot spots of your town/city are. Locals will surely know where all the best spots are. Take a day to drive around and get familiar with the area and you might even stumble upon a gem yourself. If there’s one great thing about living in Western North Carolina, it’s the fact that no matter where you go the scenery is always beautiful.
Join Groups/ Network
I can’t stress this one enough. Join local Facebook groups. Find community events. You’re not going to make friends/meet people from the comfort of your couch. You’ve gotta put yourself out there and be open to the possibility of making new friends.
I promise, you’ve got this :)
*Adviser Written by Tiffany Patterson, Franklin High School Adviser