By Alison Eckerle
It’s uncomfortable to start over. Moving to a new city, finding a new job and a new favorite coffee shop are all daunting and anxiety inducing, but everyone makes this transition at some point. In a new place we’re forced to establish a new social circle, which can become your new family.
Family is one of the most important things we have as human beings. They love us unconditionally and we’re lucky enough to be born into their lives – we don’t have to earn affection from family. But our families rarely travel with us when we settle down across the country, as so many millennials do. So where do we find that irreplaceable family love? We have to create it.
When we take ourselves out of our comfort zone and away from home, our friends become our family. When I moved away from South Florida to go to school four hours away at UF, I couldn’t afford the time to see my family every weekend. And even though I could call them as much as I wanted, it wasn’t the same as being able to experience my life with them.
My mom will always be the be-all-end-all of life advice, but I was able to find roommates whose wisdom I trust almost as much as hers. My brother will always be my favorite person to share a pizza with, but I found some pretty great guy friends that love Dominos as much as I do.
This new friend family becomes the group of people that you cry your first tears with after a break up and who you know can emotionally support you at 4 a.m. before that big exam. These are the people who are willing to share their old traditions and start new ones with you. Before you know it, Friendsgiving sounds just as wonderful as a Thanksgiving back home.
So don’t be afraid to open up to strangers and let new people into your life. A stranger one day could be like your new sister the next. And I promise, doing the uncomfortable thing and meeting new people will bring joy and comfort like a real family can.