Oh the joys of graduating college, figuring out what you want to do with your life at the ripe of 21/22, and then getting up and moving to a completely new, unfamiliar world! Sounds exhilarating and enticing, right? Moving to a new city, or even a city you know and are accustomed to, is a life-changing event. No longer are your parents going to hold your hand, you're an adult now so you "have to" start acting like one. Who knew that moving required so much effort, so much packing, and SO MUCH manual lifting? Not I! It isn't easy packing up your life and essentially starting over but nevertheless it can be done! Here is a list of stages that you may encounter when venturing out on your own and moving to a new city. God speed my friends, Godspeed.

Stage 1: Pick a city.

Do you know how many cool cities there are to live in this world? You have Atlanta, Chicago, LA, NYC, San Francisco, Denver, Seattle, Miami, Charlotte, Charleston, Boston, D.C., and all those random ones in the middle of the country! Pick a city that you feel comfortable in. Let’s not even get started about the amazing opportunities that are available to us abroad but you know that could really drain the bank account and we’re trying to be responsible here right? Right! So you finally pick a city and get a job there that pays real people money, not Monopoly money, now what?

Stage 2: Freaking out.

You start to think about all the new, scary things that lie ahead of you. A new home, new friends, new location, new job, new everything. Let the weight of that sink in for a minute. It is scary as all h*ll. How does one even make friends? Where is the nearest ice cream store? Where does one even go to buy groceries? Wait I have to get car, health, and renters insurance? Holy mackerel.

Stage 3: Snuggling up to your parents.

You soon realize that eventually you will no longer live under their roof and that scares you. You don’t want to admit it to them but you will miss their constant questions about where your life is headed and why you’re still single. Granted you’ve gotten a taste of independence while at college but you always knew you were going to be returning back home. Now you actually have to clean your whole apartment, cook your own food, and do your own laundry! You will no longer be accustomed to a fully stocked pantry and random cartons of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream that always appears in the freezer. Hey, who knows this could be a diet period for when you realize how much groceries cost.

Stage 5: Computer research.

This Internet thing looks like it’s going to stay around for a while. Thank goodness for that. As soon as you get a job in your proclaimed city you immediately start doing research about the city. What is the clientele like? How do people describe the city? What is the ideal place for a young professional to live? What is the nightlife like? Hey, you’re a young adult and are going to need some sort of social life that doesn’t include eating by yourself every night. You can spend hours upon hours doing research and you start to feel more confident about your decision. Yay Google search engine!

Stage 6: Contacting long lost humans.

You know that person that you haven’t talked to in 3 years but you see that they are moving to the same city as you thanks to Facebook? Yeah, you hit them up ASAP! Or the person that you never talked to but you graduated from the same university? You bombard them with a zillion questions until they stop answering you. Use your resources and network like crazy! Although it may seem strange reaching out to people you haven’t talked to in eons it is beneficial in the long run to create a strong support system in the city you’re moving to.

Stage 7: Searching for a roommate.

Maybe you're one of those people that can live on their and if you are I salute you. Knowing myself I would probably start talking to the walls and think that I am getting a response from them. Finding a roommate isn't as easy or clean-cut as it was in college. There ain't no roomsurf to help you out and there are some straight-up wackos out there in the real world. Hopefully, if you're lucky a friend of a friend will be moving to your city of choice or someone from school. Pounce on them and ask very sweetly if they would be your roommate so you don't scare them off.

Stage 8: Finding an apartment.

God bless the souls that are moving to New York City. I would have to sell my soul if I wanted to move there. You make appointments to see a bunch of apartments and you feel alright about the cost until the person starts talking about the security deposit, trash services, an application fee, admission charge and then an additional charge for pets although they say they are "pet-friendly." If you are pet-friendly let my non-existent pets stay FOR FREE! You look at your bank account and think that if you room with two other people you would have enough to afford to live in the closet or the laundry room--good plans!

Stage 9: PR-ing yourself.

You start selling yourself to people. Any family friend that you encounter you starts to tell them how you’re moving to a new city and don’t know a lot of people. You hype yourself up. You start talking about how excited you are, how you’ve done so much research, and how you think your personality will be a great match for the city. They then mention that they have a long term friend that lives in the city and you kick it into full gear. You are enraptured listening about the friend that they know as if they are talking about Beyonce herself! Is this friend a he or a she? Can I be friends with them? Oh, they go to all the football games and have reserved parking? Wow, best friend status coming right up! You make yourself seem like the coolest person to anyone you encounter just in case they know someone in the city you’re moving to and you want them to put in a good word for you! Duh!

Stage 10: Actually moving.

You got strong a$$ guy friends already in the city? Call them up because you and your momma are not going to be able to easily lift a couch up a few flights of stairs. The whole process leading up to it is stressful enough but when you actually get there you have to actually make your apartment look livable in. You want people to come over your apartment and hang out, right? If you’re broke maybe just throw some pillows on the ground and call it cozy.

Stage 11: Step outside of your comfort zone.

Some wise human once said, “life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” You are in a new city with strange surroundings; in a nutshell, it is your time to shine! You have to be willing to be adventurous and try new things because this is the time to do it. You are in a different place where you may not know anyone so make something of your time. Whether this is a location you plan on staying in forever or just for the time being, it is your duty to make the most of it. Also, how bada$$ of you for picking up your life and starting anew? Rockstar, you are!

Stage 12: Deep breathing.

You did the damn thing and moved! Not many people can say that they did something like that. Be proud of yourself for having the courage to separate yourself from a life you once knew to create a great one for yourself. I will not sugarcoat it and can assure you that at times life is going to be tough and it surely isn’t going to be a walk in the park. The first step is already accomplished: you moved! Now you can breathe for .5 seconds and revel in your accomplishment! Focus on that deep breathing and know that you can do anything now that you have moved to a new city! Woot woot!