Guest author Moises McCulloch
Leaving a small town might be one of the most underrated fears. Some individuals don’t ever leave because they are too afraid of the idea of leaving their “comfort zone,” but the thought of better opportunities drives this urge to leave.
I left the small town of Chester, located in Northern California, which was comprised of 2100 people and had zero stoplights. Family-friends thought I would never make it more than one academic year here at CPP, which has been the norm for many students who leave these asphyxiating environments. Nonetheless, I proved these individuals wrong, and you can too by following these six steps.
Set a Specific Goal
There is a reason why you might want to leave your small town, whether it’s because you are looking for bigger opportunities or because your small town does not offer what you are looking for. Whatever the reason is, there is a goal in mind. Define the specific reason why you may want to leave a suffocating small town. Setting a goal helps you stay focused, otherwise you will be like a dog chasing its tail.
A good strategy for goal setting is setting a “S.M.A.R.T” Goal.
- Time Bound.
Don’t Look Back
It’s easy to look back at how easy life was in your small town and how there were no worries. Don’t get me wrong, it is still important to know where you came from and know what made you into the person you are. Remember your roots, but don’t go back until you have accomplished what you set out to achieve. Being aware of all this will help your future in your new intimidating city with more than three stop lights.
Grow Roots in Your New City
Many things may have held you back in your small town such as friends, family and nostalgic spots. These all hold a sentimental value and it can be hard to replace, but when relocating to the big city, try to find new things that may keep your heart and mind in your new home. Things that helped me acclimate to my new city were making new friends, growing my inner circle and starting a new job.
Do It For Yourself and No One Else
One of the biggest mistakes young adults make when choosing what they want to do with their lives is basing it off the ideals and hopes of the people they surround themselves with. Define your goals and aspirations and choose a career path that will get YOU to YOUR destinations. Check out surveys online to help you decide which next move might be the best for you.
“It’s not what you know, it is WHO you know.” This phrase carries a lot of importance when it comes to college. The random people you meet at parties are most likely not the people who will be lining up interviews for you. Instead, make connections with people who matter like business professionals and your peers who have common life goals. These are the people who will help you be more confident in the big city.
(Optional Step) Practice parallel parking… Properly
For those who are already professionals at parallel parking, feel free to skip this step. However, for those who cringe at the idea of parallel parking, pay attention. There is never a need to parallel park in a small town, every store has a parking lot, and every business has plenty of parking spaces. BUT when you are in a big city, parking is crammed in the most inconvenient locations, and you will inevitably have to parallel park. And yes, there is actually a proper way to parallel park. For those who are still intimidated by the thought of parallel parking, try public transit instead.
All images via Gify