5 Tips for Moving to Chicago that No One Tells You

Moving into a big city like Chicago can be scary and overwhelming. I know because I am an out-of-state student coming from a small town in Pennsylvania. I lived in the dorms at DePaul and have been living on my own for the past 3 years, so I have a lot of advice to give!

1. Learn the different areas of Chicago

It is easy to stay in your bubble and get stuck in your own world, especially if you’re somewhere new. One thing that I did to help me be more confident in navigating the city is by studying the map of Chicago! I looked to see what areas are easily accessible by the CTA, (spoiler alert, they all are!) and then I research the area. I like to find at least one coffee shop and maybe a cool boutique or thrift shop that I would like to visit in that area.  That way, I still have a destination and am not completely aimlessly walking around, but I’m also still getting out and trying new things. You also become the friend that knows all the cool hole-in-the-wall spots.

2. Find one hobby that you really enjoy

Be open to new experiences and say yes to things that might be a little bit out of your comfort zone because you may find a new passion, or at the very least, have a little fun. However, I have found that if you develop one hobby that you invest a lot of time in, you will never be bored and you won’t have to search for something new to do every day. It acts as a go-to activity that you know you will be comfortable doing and enjoy. Personally, I am into photography, and the city is the perfect model!

3. Take everything one day at a time

The great thing about Chicago is that there is always something going on. However, you may start to feel overwhelmed. I recommend finding a calendar system that works for you so you can plan out your month and know what is coming up, but you don’t have to think about it until that day arrives. College does go by fast, so take the time to enjoy every day!

4. Don’t overpay for things 

When I first moved to the city, I was attending so many events and paying much more than I needed. Take advantage of the free days that many of the museums offer throughout the year. Each neighborhood also has free events scheduled throughout the year like the Lakeview Taco Fest and Oktoberfest. Use Groupon and Do312 to get discounts/information on things like kayaking the river and comedy clubs. The more money you save, the more you can do.

5. Do things by yourself 

When you move out, you will learn a lot about yourself.  Now is the perfect time to figure out what you like to do. When you do things by yourself, you set your own schedule and you become the source of your own happiness. You can bring that energy into your new relationships and you will feel so much more fulfilled.

~ Morgan

Become a future student in Chicago!