Small-town kids face a major change moving to the big city.
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Student Life

6 Familiar Thoughts Every Small Town Kid Has Before Moving To A Big City

Don't worry! You're not alone.

Rachel Berry

It's just about that time of the year: you're writing your graduation 'thank you' cards, purchasing the final items for your dorm room, and soaking up every last minute you have with your friends and family at home. Everything seems like it's falling into place, yet something just doesn't feel right. The occasional "am I making the right decision?" or inevitable "what if?" questions start to loom as the move-in date approaches.

According to NBC News, only 51% of incoming freshman for the class of 2015 felt "very prepared" for their upcoming college adventure. That leaves the other 49% of eighteen-year-olds anxious, confused, and downright scared for the next four years of their lives. On top of these concerns, many students are about to undergo a significant location change (many from a small town to a big city). Personally, preparing to migrate from a community of roughly 264,000 people to the THIRD LARGEST CITY IN THE UNITED STATES is a little daunting. Many have said that to overcome your fears, you must first address them head-on. Therefore, I've compiled a list of common thoughts and concerns nearly every young-adult (myself included) has experienced before taking that major leap into the big city.

1. "This is unfamiliar territory. What if I get lost?"

Yep, it's bound to happen. Large cities are unpredictable and complex - leave early for class, travel with a friend, and utilize Google Maps!

2. "So now I'm a broke college student AND I have to keep up with big city prices?"

Being smart with your money is going to be a struggle regardless of where you're living. Though the cost of living is significantly higher in densely populated areas, many businesses offer student discounts and free admissions on certain weekdays. Not to mention the employment opportunities big cities provide, as well as an increase in minimum wage for workers. It's okay to spend some money now and then - just be wise with your purchases!

3. "It's such a fast-paced environment. Will I be able to keep up?"

In my town, the busiest crowds to overwhelm visitors are limited to the annual "Three Rivers Festival" in the summertime, or the local shopping mall on the weekends. Becoming accustomed to the fast walkers, never-ending construction zones, strict deadlines, and jam-packed schedules will take some getting used to, but in time you'll be a natural! Remember to stay organized: write important dates in a planner, utilize your phone's calendar, and invest in some comfortable walking shoes!

4. "What if my personality doesn't mesh well with this new crowd of people?"

If you think for a second you're not going to connect with SOMEONE in your work, school, church, apartment, or local coffee shop, you're crazy! The city has some of the most diverse and open-minded individuals in the world just looking to start a conversation. You're bound to meet someone just like you, so make the first move!

5. "Urban cities are notorious for crime. How am I going to stay safe?"

Every city has their pockets of criminality, but big cities have a larger area to patrol and report about. It's important to be smart and really just use your common sense. Do not travel alone at night, keep an eye on your purses and book bags, stay away from certain neighborhoods, and try to appear confident even if you seem lost or confused!

6. "I just know I'm going to get homesick."

Yeah, you probably will... and that's completely normal. This is most likely your first time away from home for a long period of time, and you are going to miss the comfortable, carefree lifestyle of your younger years. When the nostalgia of home-cooked meals, small town get-togethers, trips to the local movie theatre, and summer bonfires seem to pull at your emotions, take a trip home or simply pick up the phone.

I hope that through this peek at my own inner dialogue, you may find comfort knowing that you're not alone in this journey. You will overcome these irrational fears and reach your full potential in your new home in the city. There are so many sights to see, food to taste, people to meet, photos to take, and changes yet to be made. How lucky are we? Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone, because when you do, you will do great things.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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