Moving to London can be intimidating. Some are lucky: if you’ve studied or grew up there you have a head start. But others, feeling the call of the capital in their twenties, after studies or beginning a career elsewhere, have no such advantage. It means starting over, at a time in your life when you have made such fresh starts at least once already, maybe more!
It means leaving behind the life and support structures you’ve built up, and relying on your ability to make friends and find new opportunities in the biggest city in the country. There are many reasons people make this choice, from those chasing social work jobs in London, to people who want to get into publishing, programming or more of the industries that have major hubs in the capital. People with artistic aspirations are also drawn to London, the site of so many theatres and galleries where opportunities abound to make a mark and begin a career.
Today we’re looking at ways you can build your new life in this new city, and avoid feeling lost and lonely while you settle in.
One of the most important things you can do is start to build a network of friends again. Social networks and mobile friends make it easier to stay in touch with people you’ve moved away from, but there’s no substitute for people you can see in person regularly, people who understand the problems you’re facing and the life you’re leading because they’re leading it too!
Look up other friends who’ve moved to London: these revived friendships may blossom or may not but they certainly give you something to work with. It’s possible you might find yourself moving to the city at about the same time as other friends – a few out of every graduating group at university will find themselves draw in by the city, so stick tight with these people in your first months. As you establish a life, work and recreation will bring new friends, but in the early days these existing friends are vital.
Forming a Routine
Feeling at home in a new city – and in a city as big and anonymous as London, feeling at home is vital – is a matter of routine. You need to build a routine that can reassure you, help you rest and relax, as well as stimulating you.
Explore your local area and find the coffee shops, bars and restaurants that are going to form the backdrop of your life. Find your local gym, or the park where you’ll go running or take long walks in the autumn, and start to slowly find the rhythm your life takes after your move to the big city. Make sure it’s one that works for you, and if it doesn’t: change it!