About a month ago, I have started a brand new semester in a new university. I moved from Austria after being over 4 months studying there, and getting used to doing things the Austrian way. I even tried to speak some German on the way, such as Sprechen Sie Englisch? 😛
But even though I was getting so used to my life in Austria, the time has arrived for me to move one more time. This time I am in Brussels, Belgium. I’m readjusting to a new bed, neighborhood, university and language(s). From German, I’m now facing mostly French every day, although I am studying in a Dutch-speaking university.
The people I’ve met in Austria have moved to other countries and others have stayed. I left an Austrian boyfriend behind, and my bike.
A month has passed and I’m feeling better now. I am still discovering the city, the places and activities that matter to me, so I’d feel more at home, doing the things that I appreciate.
This adjustment period that I have been feeling is felt my many that go abroad. Rather you moved to a new country again or returned to your hometown, it is super weird to have to build your life all over again and adjust to a different routine and scenario.
One thing that is important to remember if you are going through this is that:
It is okay to feel unsettled and even anxious.
I have lost sleep in the first week because I was not used to my new bed and room.
I felt anxious thinking about the stuff that I had to buy and do. I had to register in the city and university. I had to check how the city transportation worked, the availability of vegan products and places to eat. Every little thing became a concern that took my sleep away.
But as things moved forward in their own pace, I have started to feel more relaxed. It is just a matter of time to get used to your new reality. Things may move quite slowly, so you just have to breath and take one day at a time.
Your new habits depend on you to build them
It is easy to sit around and do nothing just because you don’t know anyone in your new place or don’t have a clue about the neighborhood. But heck, you have the internet. You can research what is up in your new city and find the things that interest you.
You have the ability to really shape your new life the way you want to, and who knows, get those new year’s resolutions to actually work. My point is that you just have to shake it off the sadness eventually and start looking at this new life you are starting with a positive mindset.
I know, I know, easier said than done. But just start with one thing that really caught your attention, rather is going to that bar you’ve heard of or taking a free walking tour in the city.
I have done it, took a free walking tour, attended a hip hop class, visited the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts De Belgique, went to an Erasmus party…
Your memories from the other times will still be there
Rather you like to take pictures and post them on Instagram to remind yourself of the moments you’ve lived, or rather you prefer to enjoy the present to the fullest, you will still have your memories with you about your “past life”, or old city, the friends, and maybe lovers, you’ve made.
If you have lived the “other” life well, you’d still be friends with your old friends, and even get to visit them some time.
In the end, change is good
I believe in change. As much as our habits are hard to change, and so are our thoughts and opinions, we are completely able to change them.
We have the capacity to see things in a new way, to change our minds about things, to start enjoying something that we once did not like. When we change, we are becoming wiser and matured.
As I get older, I realize how hard changes become, but I know that change is inevitable. So I have to be open-minded in order to grow and take the most out of the opportunities I am living right now.
One example that I think about is my shift to veganism. That wasn’t easy. It is never easy to completely change your behaviors and habits to one that is not fully understood by many people in society (one that is often misunderstood and even mocked). But it is a change that I had to go through in order to finally be in sync with my deepest values.
So if you are going through a change and have to start a new chapter of your life, try to look at it in a positive way. It is your chance to become a better version of yourself, step by step. 😉
Do you like a challenge? Check the Portuguese version of this article here: Começando de novo em uma nova cidade com a melhor atitude