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Old 02-25-2013, 08:38 PM
 
241 posts, read 403,042 times
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Hey guys,

I don't really know if I have a specific question. Just kinda venting, looking for some input and maybe some personal experience. I'm graduating college soon and will have a pretty good entry level job in my field (business related) at one of the most respected firms in the field.

Because they are an international company, I am sort of able to choose where I wanted to go. I'm from Florida and think I'm going to choose Chicago. I wanted a big city that was cheaper than NYC while still having most of the same qualities, while still being a little less busy and overwhelming, as I've never lived in a big city and any change will be huge for me. I have to show them that I'm not a wishy-washy person and stick to my convictions, so no matter if I choose to stay in FL or go to Chicago, I have to let them know relatively soon.

I'm the type of person that really craves the company of others. I'm not someone who likes to be alone. I decided on trying out a big city because I figure this will be the best chance for me to find a significant other. Where I am now, its mostly college kids, which is fine now but after college wont be the crowd I'm looking to hang with. And back in my home area in FL, its all families and old people. Florida isnt the best place for the 20-30 crowd, except for maybe Miami. I think it would be a lot harder to find a serious relationship in Florida, which is a goal of mine.

My problem is, I've had the same group of friends since Middle school, and I'm pretty close with my family. I realize I can make new friends, but the thought of it now makes me think that if I made new friends, it would be like "Yeah, you guys are my 'friends', but you aren't my real friends, they're back home." I realize this could just be cause I haven't actually met these new friends yet, but it has me worried that I won't have any true friends or family around that I can be comfortable with. The cold Chicago winters might be even colder if I feel alone.

I definitely think the big city thing makes sense for me in regards to career opportunities and finding a relationship with the age group that will be there. I also think it would be a nice change of pace to live in a big city after living in Florida my whole life. But I am really concerned about the friends and family thing. I always try to think "if I hate it after a year, I can transfer" but the reality is that will be more complicated than getting it right the first time. I don't wanna look back in 20 years and regret not doing this, but I also don't wanna look back in 5 and regret doing it. And I don't know if it's just some quarter life crisis thing I'm going through, but I'm just starting to think that my parents won't be around forever (probably a little premature considering they're only 40 and 50), and maybe I should try to be closer to them than half way across the country. Maybe it'll make me a better person by just facing my fear of being alone and just making the jump, I don't know.

Like I said, I don't really have a specific question, just maybe looking for some advice or experiences of people doing/have done the same thing or what they would do.

Thanks for any help.
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:01 PM
 
Location: Former LI'er Now Rehoboth Beach, DE
7,866 posts, read 10,540,715 times
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Congrats on being employed in your field. When we were kids we used to sing "Make new friends but keep the old one is silver and the other Gold". This is how it will go. Your friends will Eb your friends both old and new. You need some of both.

I live on Long Island and the only bit of advice I have for you is really more a question. Have you ever lived in or near Chicago in the winter? Especially being from Fla. I will tell you that it is a rough winter season and it is not for everyone. Have you considered Boston or one of the burbs of Boston or Atlanta? I might think about them and NY before Chicago. JMO however.
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:59 AM
 
Location: Orlando
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I think you have very little to lose by moving to Chicago, and a great deal to gain, but you have to be smart about how you do it.

Chicago is a great, great city. It has all the big-city advantages of New York without the nuttiness and with a much lower price tag. To me, Chicago is the best city in America. It's also a very beautiful city, with extraordinary architecture, and the river and the lake.

When I say "be smart about how you do it," I mean you should do extensive research before you move there. For a start, read everything in the Chicago forum here on C-D. Have a clear idea about where in the city you'd be working, and where you would want to look for a place to live, and how you would commute between those two places.

Also research how to live in a cold climate when you're not used to that. It will get cold in Chicago, but millions of people have learned how to deal with the winter cold, and you can too. There are specific threads in the Chicago forum about what to wear in the winter. As has been said, "There is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing."

Another place to do some research is meetup.com, where you can find gatherings of people with similar interests to yours. If you want to make friends in your new location, whether it's Chicago or anywhere else, you have to be proactive about it. Go out and look for them (and I'm not talking about hanging out in bars, although that's fun sometimes) and make an effort to get to know people. Become a Cubs fan -- they always need new people to cry with. My point is, plan to get involved in something beyond your work life. Put down roots, become part of the life of the city.

I think you're very fortunate to have this opportunity. Make the most of it.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Western Colorado
11,079 posts, read 12,458,603 times
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I moved to a new state alone and in a week had lots of friends. In a big city like Chicago, I would think people would be a bit friendlier that New York. It should be easy to make friends there. Good luck and have fun!
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:01 AM
 
Location: the AZ desert
5,037 posts, read 7,746,910 times
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I guess I am the dissenting opinion here. I think you should remain in FL.

First off, you will be starting a new career. If you are familiar and comfortable with your surroundings, you can spend the first couple of years really implanting yourself in the company, learning "the ropes", and gaining real-life work/business experience. During this time, I would spend as little money as possible and sock away as much towards the future as possible. While you may not currently have a SO, you still have family & friends around, so you will not be completely alone.

Use the vacation time you earn (and long weekends) to travel to big cities and see how they feel to you. Chicago has a different vibe from NY, which has a different vibe from LA. Our great country has a lot of big cities to choose from. IMO there would be nothing more disasterous than living somewhere you absolutely hated and feeling stuck there because of work.

After a year or two, you will be in a good position to request a transfer and you'll have a better idea of where you really want to end up - as opposed to throwing a dart on the map, which is what you seem to be doing now. (Or, you'll have a solid career reference, if you choose to change companies and move on.) You'll also know by then what exactly is expected of you, (as far as work goes), and that is one less stress you will have to deal with. Starting a new career is exciting, but it's stressful nonetheless. Relocating is also exciting, but stressful - especially when you know nothing about the area you're going to and will, more or less, have nobody to ask. To do both at the same time, isn't always the most practical or beneficial.

When you locate and spend some time in a city that calls out to you, you can start to pinpoint where precisely you would like to live. You'll have money saved towards finding a decent place, making the move, and putting down roots. Work will be less stressful because you'll already know what is expected of you and you'll already have your work reputation, so you can devote your energies into the move, making new friends and settling into your new life. Your adult life is really just beginning to take off and it won't be almost over if you invest another year or two in FL.

It's different for each of us, but my personal experiences have taught me that I can easily handle (and even enjoy) one major life stressor at a time. More than one can become a very heavy burden. One stressor is beginning a new career or changing careers. Another stressor is a major relocation. It's difficult to give your all to any one thing when you have major things occurring on multiple fronts.

It's just another perspective to consider. Best of luck whatever you decide.
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:03 AM
 
Location: On the corner of Grey Street
6,071 posts, read 8,361,765 times
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I think you should go to Chicago. You're young and it will be a fun adventure for you! You can do online dating, join meet up groups, heck I even made friends from City Data when I moved to Denver. If you stay in FL you'll always wonder what if you had the courage to go and give it a try. At least if you go and you don't like it you'll be satisfied living in FL because you'll know what else is out there.
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:04 AM
 
Location: St. Pete, FL
733 posts, read 1,299,639 times
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I'm moving to Florida from Oregon alone in 10 days and I couldn't be more excited! Life for YOU!
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:25 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,541 posts, read 17,525,434 times
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I certainly wouldn't do this sight unseen. I moved from the South (east TN) to the Midwest (Des Moines), and while I didn't have any cultural shock, I could see how the winters and winds could wear on someone from FL.

The wind in the Midwest is nothing to laugh at it - it is incessant, strong, and sometimes truly aggravating. I bet IL has more weather extremes than FL overall. The weather alone in the Midwest can drive many people off.

If you're very close to your family and friends in FL, you'll probably fly back a lot, which cuts into your time off and salary increase. Nothing is worse than burning your vacation going back to see family and friends and spending thousands of dollars in air travel.

With all that said, I think people need to shake up their lives at least once, but if you try something this drastic and you don't like it, you're really in a bind. If Florida isn't your thing, I'd try a compromise - finding a job in a city closer to home that's large (Atlanta, Charlotte, etc) that wouldn't be so draining if you want to go back to FL on occasion for personal reasons.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:06 AM
 
2,478 posts, read 4,865,117 times
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I think you should do it. Chicago is a great city with lots of things to do and explore. I moved there back in 2008 and had no problems meeting new people. I found the people of that city much friendlier than comparable cities. I think if you make a concerted effort you won't have any problems. Get out of the south and experience other things. You won't regret it.
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:14 PM
 
468 posts, read 520,748 times
Reputation: 485
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emigrations View Post
I certainly wouldn't do this sight unseen. I moved from the South (east TN) to the Midwest (Des Moines), and while I didn't have any cultural shock, I could see how the winters and winds could wear on someone from FL.

The wind in the Midwest is nothing to laugh at it - it is incessant, strong, and sometimes truly aggravating. I bet IL has more weather extremes than FL overall. The weather alone in the Midwest can drive many people off.

If you're very close to your family and friends in FL, you'll probably fly back a lot, which cuts into your time off and salary increase. Nothing is worse than burning your vacation going back to see family and friends and spending thousands of dollars in air travel.

With all that said, I think people need to shake up their lives at least once, but if you try something this drastic and you don't like it, you're really in a bind. If Florida isn't your thing, I'd try a compromise - finding a job in a city closer to home that's large (Atlanta, Charlotte, etc) that wouldn't be so draining if you want to go back to FL on occasion for personal reasons.

The wind in IL will drive you insane!
I grew up in central IL, moved to FL for 20 years and relocated back to IL 6 years ago.
I'll be moving back to FL this year
There is nothing I like about IL. Taxes are crazy, the government is one of the most corrupt in the nation.
The winters are long and cold and windy. Even if the temperatures aren't that low, with windchill the "feels like" is often 20 degrees colder than the thermometer reads.
Summers are every bit as hot and humid as FL, just not as long.
However, Chicago is a fun, exciting, vibrant city, so I can understand your desire to see what life is like there.
I'm tending to agree with CheyDee in the opinion of you maybe starting your new career in FL where you have a good support system and are in your "comfort zone", THEN transferring to Chicago.
Living in Chicago will be a huge adjustment and at least initially very stressful.
I'm all for a person exploring new places, but timing is everything.
Good luck!
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