Adjust

In under a week I will be living in a new city in a new state.  This has me thinking, how will I adjust to my new surroundings?  As I metioned in an early post, I don’t plan to immediately make changes to my personality to fit in.  I will, however, need to adapt to my new way of life.  For example I will no longer have a vehicle at my disposal whenver I need it.  I will have to use a combination of walking, biking and public transport to get around.

As I have been thinking about it I ran a quick search and found a short post from somebody who has done it.  He emphasizes trying new things and allowing yourself some time to adjust.  I like the post because it is a real-world example and simplifies problems with relocation.

I’ve got to keep it really short today…it’s finals week!!!

Change in Plans

I was informed of a slight change in plans today by my soon-to-be boss.  He called today to inform me that my start date will be pushed back a few days – from a Monday to Friday.  At first I was slightly worried, but after a few moments on the phone with him I decided that this could be a great thing for me. 

I will be arriving at the Boston airport on Saturday evening, and will need to find my way to my apartment on my own.  I will then have time to unpack and get some rest after a day of traveling.  I plan to do some exploring and shopping on Sunday because I will need to buy some groceries and a few basic things.  I’m sure I will have my few belongings in my apartment organized by the end of Sunday and will get to relax a bit.  Monday through Thursday will probably be spent hanging out at the apartment as well as some exploring in my neighborhood.  I also have a few more things on my list to purchase, and this will give me plenty of time.

I see this slight change in plans as a great opportunity for me to unwind after 5 years of college, and to prepare myself to enter the workforce.  I am incredibly lucky to have found a job with an up and coming company full of young energetic people to work with, and I can’t wait to start…but those few days will be really helpful in allowing me to settle in.

I also wanted to mention in this post that I am considering doing a bit of filming throughout my transition and incorporating that into my blog posts.  I would mostly be short videos from around Boston/Cambridge and possibly some short video diaries.  I would also be willing to take requests of places people want to see and film a short segment to share – if time allows.  Would that be of interest to anyone?

Thanks for reading, cheers!

Finding Your Place

When I began job hunting back in the fall I started by thinking about where I may want to live.  I enjoy the outdoors and thought a bigger city would offer me more opportunities so I used that as a starting point.  I first looked to the West; Colorado, Washington and Oregon.  I also looked inside of Minnesota at the job market in the Twin Cities.  Weighing the pros and cons of each location became very time consuming, and once I decided on a few places to focus my search things got even more interesting.  Searching for a specific career in a place you’ve never been can be difficult.  For this reason, I turned to outside sources and came across a few interesting pieces.  My favorite of which is fairly recent and is titled “Best Cities For New College Grads” by Susan Adams of Forbes.  It’s a very quick read and gives some information on top ranked cities.  Another fun list is “America’s Best Cities For Young Professionals” by Morgan Brennan, also of Forbes.  Another quick read with pictures and extra info on each of the locales.  I’m just lucky enough to be moving to one of the cities mentioned in both lists!

Boston is where I'll be calling home very shortly.

Finding your place doesn’t only refer to a physical location, but also to your role within the organization for which you work.  I thought an article on USNews.com called “10 Tips for New Grads Entering the Workforce” by Alison Green was a good place to start.  The list gives 10 simple tips on how to succeed in a new career.

Finally, a blog I recently came across entitled “Gen Y Girl” has lots of interesting and informative posts that encompass all aspects of entering the workforce.  I’m sure any 20-something, college student or recent grad will find it very helpful.  Give it a try!

I know there are tons of resources out there so I thought I’d share a few quick, fun articles for you to look at as well as supporting another blogger.  All for now, cheers.

Yesterday

It is quite cliche, but I’ll say it anyway; it feels like only yesterday that I began my college career.  Now I am about an hour away from my final class period.  I’ve been to two different schools (three if you count my study abroad), met so many people and seen so many things.  I’ve had an incredible experience and enjoyed my time as a student.  It’s hard to believe that it is coming to an end, but I think I am ready to take that next step.

Over the past five years I have learned that college is about much more than classes, homework and tests.  College is about the things you learn outside of the classroom as well, the people you meet, the relationships you create, the stories you will never forget (whether you want to or not) and so much more.

To anybody out there who is contemplating continuing their education, I would strongly recommend it.  You will not only improve your education, but impove yourself as a person.  This is not to say those who haven’t attended college aren’t great people, but they will not be exposed to such incredible diversity as is seen on college campuses.  There may be different paths to take, but for my money (literally) college is the best way to go.  What a great way to spend four years – or five in my case.

Only five tests stand between me and the degree I have been working so hard to achieve.  Once I have that weapon in my arsenal I feel as though the sky is the limit.  Also, I am one of what seem to be the lucky few graduating with a entry-level career waiting for me.  Hopefully those of you reading this have similar thoughts on the college experience.

Off to campus for my final class session…ever…maybe…grad school?

New Identity

One of the things I am most looking forward to about relocating is recreating my identity.  I mentioned something along these lines in my last post, but now I will go a little more in depth.

I was born and raised in a small town in northern Minnesota.  I then left for three years after high school to continue my education in a small city in northeastern Minnesota.  I then returned to my home town for two more years to finish up college.  This is where I am right now, almost out of college and ready to move on.

My hometown is a great place and I know a lot of people around town.  This is a good and a bad thing.  This means that in some way a lot of the people I meet already have a preconceived notion of what I am like whether we have met or not.  I am looking forward to meeting some complete strangers without them having expectations about me.  I will be able to reinvent myself in that way.  I will be moving from the life of a student to the life of a professional.  I will also be moving from a small Midwestern town to an East Coast metro area – that alone will change me a bit.  I don’t plan to change too much in order to conform to my new surroundings, but I am planning on becoming a new person in some ways.  To put it simply, I am looking forward to meeting new people and having new experiences.

All for now, it’s a beautiful day…cheers!

Sunshine, Reflection & Buckets

Thoughts from my short walks through campus…

Today is a gorgeous spring day in Minnesota.  These are the days I dream about during the depths of winter.  The sun is high in the sky with no clouds to block its rays.  The temperature is moderate in the upper 40s and there is a slight breeze, perfect “sweatshirt weather”.  Days like today make me realize how lucky I really am; I have already done so much and I will soon be a college graduate with a bright future ahead.  What more can you ask for?  Great family, great friends?  Yep, I’ve got those too.

So now I look toward the future after a bit of reflection, and realize that the potential is truly unlimited.  Beyond my big move which I talk about endlessly, and my new job, there is so much out there to do and see.  This becomes more apparent to me all the time and I can’t wait to get out there and go for it.  This sparks a thought, what kind of experiences top my (bucket) list?

1. Live in a foreign country for at least a year

2. Travel to all seven continents

3. Participate in a rally race with my older brother

4. Offer a scholarship

5. Ski (cross country) in the Alps

6. See a WRC event in person

7. Learn another language (can be combined with #1)

So many more things to list.  How can I choose what makes the list and what doesn’t?  Anybody out there have similar items on their list?

 

Inspiration

Finding inspiration and motivation to write can be tough for me some times, this has been the problem as of late.  I have spent so much time writing papers for school that I have not had the drive to write on here.  Luckily, I was saved today by a friend of mine who writes a blog called “Approaching Metonoia“.  After reading his blog post from today just a couple of minutes ago, I was inspired to write something of similar context.

Since I found out that I’ll be moving out to the Boston area my life has been a blur, but time has been moving very slowly at the same time.  It has been about a month since I returned from my trip out to the area and I feel as though it was so long ago.  Until about three weeks ago I wasn’t entirely sure that I’d be going, but then I received my job offer letter and things started to take shape.  I have since found an apartment for the summer months, purchased a new computer to help me tackle new tasks at work, and begun packing and eliminating some of my possessions.

Like my friend, I am about to embark on a completely new journey and chapter in life.  For the past five years all I have known is the life of a college student.  Because of this it is such an exciting, yet unnerving prospect to imagine life without school and homework.  During this relocation I will also be undergoing a transformation.  I am leaving so many things behind physically, mentally and emotionally; some of these things I would rather take with me and some I am glad to put behind me.  I expect to be exposed to so many new experiences and fully anticipate some changes in my life.  I welcome these experiences and changes.

I am only 16 days from college graduation, and 17 days from my move East.  I feel as though I should be nervous, but the only emotion that comes to me is excitement.  Again, I will be leaving behind family and friends, but those people will always be in my mind and, therefore, I don’t let myself get discouraged about that.  Plus, it’s 2012, I’m only a call, text, e-mail, Skype call, etc. away.

Hopefully I will find more motivation to write within the next couple of weeks.  After that I will be very busy with work, but I will have fresh material to write on.  Cheers!

Computer

I just ordered a new computer that will play a huge role in my daily life.  This was a huge decision for me because it will be my personal computer as well as my work machine, so it had to be right.  I had some options, as my budget was somewhere between $1000 – $1250, but in that price range there are so many good machines to choose from.  I am a novice when it comes to computer shopping, although I am lucky enough to have a knowledgeable older brother and a friend who owns a computer repair shop.  Each of them were a big help in my search.

I first consulted with them to decide what brand of laptop I would be needing and we came up with a short list of: Apple, HP and Asus.  All three of these manufacturers are known for their quality products.  Next, I went to each manufacturers site, as well as Best Buy and Newegg to do some comparison shopping.  The “compare” feature on the 3rd party retailers’ sites was awesome to have!  After deciding that Asus didn’t have quite what I needed in my price range, I then narrowed it down to two: 13.3″ Macbook Pro or 15.6″ HP Envy.

My final choice came down to the fact that I found the features I wanted for a better price by going with HP.  At the same price point or $1200 the HP offered way more bang for my buck so it made the choice quite easy.  This was made possible by a coupon code I found by searching online for HP coupons.  I was able to save 30% thanks to Mean Coupons.

My advice to you when computer shopping (and what do I know) is to talk to a friend or two with a high level of knowledge about computers.  Then narrow down your options based on budget, and do some serious deal hunting.  I was able to get an $1800 computer (with the same specs as a $2000 Macbook) for $1200.

Excitement is Building

I now have less than a month until I will be making my move and things are starting to come together now.  I am still waiting for approval on a short-term rental property, but things are moving in the right direction there.  I am also in the process of sorting through all of my things between my current rental property and my parents’ house.  Finally getting rid of a bunch of old clothes and things feels good.  I’m also trying to find a new laptop that will be appropriate for work and play.  The rest of the employees in the office where I’ll be working run Macs, but it’s not required.  I’m looking in that direction but that might be out of my budget for now.

On top of all of this planning, the end of the semester is looming – papers, projects and finals are on the horizon.  Off to take care of some of that.

Apartment Hunting

I’ll be focusing on some basic tips when preparing to move in the next few days/weeks, so I though I’d start with the most basic of needs: housing.  When moving a long distance (like me) this becomes more complicated, so here are some things to think about when apartment/house hunting.  Keep in mind that these tips are renters!

1) Research – Do your homework on the city or area you’ll be moving to.  This includes basic things like: general knowledge of the neighborhood(s), public transportation options, safety (crime rates), housing prices, etc.  Once you have an idea of what the area is like you can make a more informed decision on your housing.

2) Connections – Think about any connections you may have to the area.  Ask yourself some questions: Do you know anybody who lives there?  Do you know somebody who knows somebody that lives there?  Have any of your friends gone to college there?  You can almost always find a connection of some sort, and if it doesn’t result in a housing opportunity it can at least give you a knowledgable contact.

3) Budget – Come up with a price range which you’re comfortable in.  I’ve had to do some serious thinking on this one, and have decided that it is worth a little more to be within walking distance to work.  Decide what is most important for you – space, location, amenities, neighborhood – and then adjust your budget to see if its plausible.  I’ve found that spending about 1/4 – 1/3 of your monthly income should be your maximum.

4) Search – When searching long distance, things can get complicated, that’s why #1 is so important.  Once you have established the location you desire start searching.  Obviously searching online is your only real resource, so start scouring Craigslist, rental sites, realty sites, property management sites, and university off-campus housing sites for places to live.  I really enjoy using craigslist because it allows you to set a bugdet, search in specific areas and designate the number of bedrooms you’re looking for.

5) Basic needs – As I said above, research things like transportation, building amenities, nearby grocery stores, shopping, dining, and whatever else is important to you.  These kinds of things will factor into every day of your life so make sure you are within comfortable distance to your basic needs.  This is especially important for me, as I will be traveling on foot, by bike, and on public transport at all times.

6) Keep down the costs – Rent won’t be our only expense so think of ways to keep the cost down.  Consider living with a roommate(s) in order to bring down the costs of rent and utilities.

7) Sublease – When making a move there are no guarantees that you will like where you end up, or that you’ll want/need to stay.  For this reason, look into subleasing an apartment/house, or a room in one.  This allows you to sign up for a short period of time in order to feel out your situation.  Much less of a committment financially.

There are so many more things to consider, but these are major thinking points for someone who is planning to relocate.  Hope these are helpful and good luck!