When you first begin university, the thought of graduating seems like a lifetime away; but then, before you know it, you’re in your final year and in just a few months you’ll be entering the real world of work. One of the things that might have crossed your mind, is the possibility of moving to a new city to follow your dreams.
Before you make the bold move, it’s important to take the time to think about whether it’s right for you. It might feel like an exciting opportunity at first, but the reality can often be overwhelming.
Here are 4 important things to consider, that might help you to confirm your decision.
Moving to a new city is not something to be taken lightly, but there’s no denying that the experience can be extremely exciting and rewarding. If you’ve been forced to move back to your parents after finishing university, for financial reasons, and they happen to live in a small city or a rural area, then moving somewhere new to follow your career is highly likely.
London is usually the obvious choice for UK graduates, and it can often feel inevitable due to the amount of opportunities available. In fact, 1 in 4 graduates are known to move to the capital within 6 months of graduation.
London might have gained a reputation as the best place to pursue your career, but quality of life is equally important. More companies are starting to set up base in other large cities around the UK that might be of interest to you. Bristol and Manchester, for example, have been recognised as being great cities to live in and offer lots of career prospects outside of London, particularly in the creative and media industries.
Family and Friends
This is one of the biggest factors for most graduates moving away. Home is where the heart is, it’s your sanctuary, and it’s probably where all your nearest and dearest live - so it can be upsetting to think about leaving them all behind for your career.
On the other hand, moving away can strengthen your existing relationships. When you’re no longer just around the corner, your family and friends will make more effort to communicate with you. Going back home for the weekend will suddenly feel like a special occasion, while people will also be able to take a holiday to visit you in your new city.
Moving to a new country is a much bigger decision to make, but moving within the UK is likely to mean your loved ones are no more than a few hours away. Also, the great opportunity that comes with moving somewhere unfamiliar is meeting new people. You’ll likely be nervous at first, but don’t forget that you would’ve been in the same situation when you first moved to university - and you never know the life-long friendships you could build.
Cost of Living
After building up a substantial amount of debt from your years at university, you’ll no doubt be all too familiar with living on a budget. That’s what university is all about, and it’s great at teaching you some very valuable lessons. Thankfully you won’t need to repay your student loan until you start earning, but moving away could incur more costs than remaining where you are at home.
If you live in the northern cities of the UK, moving to the south will undoubtedly shock you. Cost of living can vary drastically from city to city, and although the idea of living in London might be appealing for your job prospects and the social side of things, you’ll find that living further out in a small apartment is quite the norm. Often the dream is very different to the reality!
Take time to research the cost of living in a few cities you might be considering, to see if it’s worth the big move. There’s no point landing a job in a city that’s going to burn a hole in your pocket and ruin the enjoyment of your time there.
At home, you know your location and your surroundings well. You’ll know where is safe to go, and you’ll know where not to go. Every city has its good and bad areas, but if you’re thinking of moving to a new one then you won’t necessarily know it well, if at all.
You might start to look at flats and find one that you really like – but do you know where it is and what’s around it? Does it have good amenities nearby and are there good public transport links in case you need to travel at night? These are all really important factors to consider, not only for your own wellbeing but also for your family who won’t be there to know you’re safe. It’s a parent’s biggest concern when it comes to their child!
If you’re sure you want to move to a new city, take a couple of trips before you make your decision to ensure you get a feel for your new home and explore all the different areas.
If you follow the tips above and take the time to think about the factors involved with your move, you’ll ensure that whatever decision you make is an informed one. If you do make the big move, then you’ve got a whole new, exciting experience ahead!