So you’ve moved to a new city–for college, a new job, a relationship, or just a change of place. Maybe you’re with people you know–family or friends–or maybe you’re all alone, for now. No matter what brought you to your new city, there are five things you can do quite easily to make this new place your home. 

Get a local ID

When I moved, I put off getting a local ID for awhile because I wasn’t actively driving, so I wasn’t exactly committing any crimes. However, if you are driving, or if you want to be taken seriously as a local, head to the DMV as soon as possible. It’s pretty easy to check online and see what documents you need, but your old ID or passport, proof of residency, and proof of SSN should suffice in most places. Once you have a local ID, you’ll feel a little more “official” and it was likely help a lot when you’re navigating bars, driving, and other places that want to see ID. 

Get a library card

Having fun isn’t hard when you’ve got your library card. Moving is expensive, and settling into a new city can be overwhelming. Get a library card ASAP to take advantage of their free resources and find a welcoming place in the community. If you’ve already got a local ID, getting a card will be easy. Otherwise, you may need to bring proof of residence. Then, you can take part in their programs, meet some new people, and check out books and DVDs. When I moved in middle school, the library was a savior for DVDs while we waited for our cable to be hooked up. Plus, there’s usually free Wi-Fi if your connection hasn’t come through yet. 

Register to vote

Do you truly live somewhere if you have no stake in what’s going on? If you’re just temporarily in a place–say for a six month internship–this is surely not necessarily, but if you’ve moved to a new town and have no immediate plans to move again, register to vote. 2020 is a big election year all around, and you want your voice to be heard. Plus, then you might get selected for jury duty, which is a real “I live here now” moment. 

Find a church or similar community

For many people, they don’t feel settled in a new place until they find a spiritual community. This could be easy, as simple as going to the church nearest you, or you might shop around to find the right fit. For me, moving to a new city meant finding a new DAR chapter, a group of women who would form a new community for me. Regardless of your religion or social connections, your new city isn’t your home until you’ve got a community. This could be a moms group, a sorority or social group, a church or Bible study, or a board game collective. Try finding groups online that have local offshoots if you’re struggling to find your scene in a new city. 

Get out and about

We all know that person who claims to live in DC but never gets off Capitol Hill. Or lives in NYC but never leaves Manhattan. There is so much more to having a “home” than the area you know best. Get out and explore in a safe way to learn more about the little known secrets of your new city. In DC, that’s meant going a little further on the metro lines and simply walking around one afternoon, or agreeing to go to restaurants off the beaten path. You could find a new hiking spot, a new grocery store, or simply make plans to go thrift shopping in a new part of town. The opportunities are endless, but you’ll feel a lot more comfortable in a new environment once you get the lay of the land. Get out of the Uber and use public transportation or your own two feet. 

Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member