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How to Adjust to the Suburbs After Living in the City

Updated on June 15, 2013
Moving from the city to the suburbs? It can be an adjustment but ultimately a pleasant change.
Moving from the city to the suburbs? It can be an adjustment but ultimately a pleasant change. | Source

Coping with Moving from an Urban to a Suburban Area

Living in a big city can be exhilarating--your life is full of new restaurants, theater, museums, festivals, and more. It is also generally very convenient; groceries are nearby, you can order almost any meal you can imagine and have it delivered to your front door, and public transportation can whisk you around so you don't have to deal with traffic or parking. You likely also live very close to your job, with little commute.

Unfortunately, city living isn't always feasible once you've started a family. City schools often struggle with excellence ratings and safety; buying a house in an urban area can be prohibitively expensive, especially when you factor in property taxes; and most things are just generally more expensive, even groceries.

These issues spur many people to make the move from the city to the suburbs, which can be quite a change. Read on for how to adjust to moving from the suburbs to the city.

Making friends can ease your transition from the city to the suburbs.
Making friends can ease your transition from the city to the suburbs. | Source

Adjust to the Suburbs by Making Friends

If you've chosen to move to the suburbs, you may feel a bit lonely once you get there. While once you were within a ten-minute drive from your friends, now you may be half an hour to even an hour away from them. It's no longer feasible to go to a happy hour after work and still get home at a decent hour, and no one seems excited about making the long trek to see you, either.

To make the adjustment from city living to suburb living easier, get out and make friends in the area! Join your neighborhood Homeowner's Association and go to any events your neighborhood offers. Bake a plate of cookies and introduce yourself to a neighbor. Look up classes in the area--cake decorating, gardening, etc.--and attend. Be friendly and introduce yourself to everyone; once your social calendar fills up, you'll find that living in the suburbs can be very enjoyable and you will become just as close-knit with your new friends as you were with the old.

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Adjust to the Suburbs By Making Your Home an Oasis

Many people who make the move from the city to the suburbs leave small apartments or town homes for a bigger house. All that new space is an opportunity to make your home a haven! Fill your free time with improvement projects, such as painting, gardening, and decorating.

You finally have free rein to do exactly as you please with your living space, because you're no longer leasing. Create a spa in your bathroom, a personal library, or an herb garden.

When I lived in the city, my apartment was just a place where I slept--I knew it was temporary and didn't take much joy or pride in it. Now that I have a home, I'm eager to return to the beautiful environment I created--and I enjoy being there much more than I enjoyed living in an apartment. If you fill your home with things you love and can appreciate relaxing there, you may feel the same and not be as restless as a result of the change!

Adjust to the Suburbs by Enjoying the Community

It's easy to have a snobby city attitude--"Oh, the restaurants will never be as good as in the city, and neither will the art or the theater..."

If you overcome that attitude, you'll find that the suburbs have a lot to offer! Look around yourself for individually-owned restaurants and you'll quickly find a new favorite place. Attend local productions of musicals and plays, and you'll see that talent exists everywhere and is more important than a big budget. Try out local festivals and events, and in addition to meeting people you will find fun even in the suburbs.

When you engage with your community, you will become a part of it and soon not regret the move from the city to the suburbs.

The Suburbs versus The City

There are pros and cons to living in either the suburbs or the city, and some people are staunchly for one or the other. But if you have the right attitude and go into it with an open mind, even the most ardent city lover can enjoy life in the suburbs. They have a lot to offer!


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