I’m about to make a move to a much larger city than anywhere I’ve lived and it’s intimidating. Large cities are in a league of their own. They’re loud, they’re crowded and they’re full of life. Learning how to use trains and public transportation, and figuring out different sections of such a massive city takes time and there’s no guidebook out there that will make it a perfect transition. The only thing I’ve been telling myself is to dive in full-heartedly and just embrace it for what it is.

1. Invest in a map.

Explore everywhere; learn the city. If you know where you’re going, it won’t seem so intimidating. Make it your city. Educate yourself on the areas to avoid, the fastest ways to travel, the hidden gems you shouldn’t miss! Hit up all the tourist spots, then find the local hideouts. Immerse yourself in the dining and culture of the city, and just take it all in.

2. Make sure you find good housing.

A bad apartment can put a damper on what could be a great experience, so do your research and find the perfect spot for you! Reach out to friends and connections in the area. Networking anywhere is important, but especially in a big city.

3. BUDGET!!!

Upon arriving at a big city, make sure you can afford to live there. That means not going out for fancy brunch every weekend or you’re going to be hurting financially before you know it. When you’re in a big city you have to live like a local not a vacationer. That’s kind of crucial.

4. Be alert.

There’s no safe haven and crime does happen everywhere, but that being said, be smart. There are tons of people in big cities and you do need to be aware of your surroundings.

5. Push your boundaries.

Chances are you’re not going to live in a big city forever (though some do!) so make good use of the opportunity while you have it. Do things that are outside of your comfort zone. If you’re going to do something, do it big!!