Growing up in the countryside is an exciting experience. It exposes you to a different way of life that is more communal as opposed to the individualistic city life. Moreover, the physical environment you grow up in is fresh and natural, with minimal to zero pollution. However, higher education can disrupt all that natural comfort as you move to the city for further studies. Therefore, it’s essential to know what you should expect when you get there. This post shares some of the facts you should know and prepare for when studying in a big city. Read on to prepare yourself for this life-transforming transition.
Life in the City is on the Fast Lane
First, student life in a large city is fast-paced. You will have to do everything in the fast lane of life. For instance, once you alight from public transport to class, you will need to join other city inhabitants in elbowing away and wading through thronging crowds—really fast. Also, you will have to learn how to compete for space in all public facilities such as elevators. Many times, you have to push your way in or out of them to do things on time. Therefore, prepare to be aggressive in everything you do.
Loneliness is Common in Large Cities
What crosses your mind when you remember the beautiful and lush countryside you grew in? Definitely, you feel nostalgic and lonely. In your first days, you will have such feelings crossing your mind until you adapt to a new environment. You will also need enough time to make any meaningful friends since students come from different backgrounds.
Moreover, keep in mind that although large cities are crowded with people, they are some of the loneliest places on earth. More human bodies thronging around you doesn’t necessarily mean they can deal with your loneliness. Ironically, the sparsely populated countryside is one of the most communally and socially vibrant locations. Don’t try to rush into everything because you don’t need everybody as your friend. Even if you need around six months to build constructive and meaningful relationships, that’s fine. Meanwhile, you can escape loneliness by watching good movies in your free time.
Your Student Loan Will Hardly Cover Your Basic Needs in the City
Unless you come from a millionaire family, it’s worth noting that you will need student loans to go through college. During this period, you will face real financial challenges because life in the city can be costly. Also, the loans you receive can hardly satisfy your basic needs. But don’t panic as large cities have a way of compensating for these troubles. They host flexible job opportunities you can exploit on a part-time basis to make ends meet. For example, you can take advantage of jobs in the retail industry to meet your primary needs. In the process, you can also make meaningful connections to get clearer about where you are heading. Who knows whether your current part-time employer could be your full-time employer after graduating?
City Life Requires You to Plan Your Finances Well
This point builds upon the previous one. Since you are working with a limited budget, you have to learn how to spend your limited cash wisely. Learn how to budget your life and live within your current financial power. Also, do your budget ahead of time and exclude all unnecessary items that could land you in avoidable money shortages or debts. If you’re good at writing, you may help fellow students with admission essay polishing and review or find some other jobs to get some extra cash.
Learn How to Navigate Public Transport
When moving to a large city, you need to understand that traffic is hectic in most big towns. Unless you will bring your personal car along, it’s wise to do your research to understand the most available and convenient transportation forms. This way, you will be better prepared to hassling around in public trains or buses and budgeting your transportation finances well ahead of time.
Don’t forget to find out if the city has a good bicycle infrastructure. Take into account how safe it’s to use a bike in the city to avoid falling prey to thieves. Cities with such facilities can save you money and hassle of dependence on public transport. For example, Amsterdam is one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in Europe and the world. If everything is fine, then you can consider bringing your bike or buying one if you don’t have it.
Most Cities Have Open Spaces So, Know Their Location
Green is the official color and logo of the countryside. Therefore, you have to factor in where you will be spending time in the city enjoying such green sceneries when you are not on campus. Most universities indeed have green spaces where you can relax and enjoy yourself. However, it’s always handy to know where else you can get the same facilities outside the campus. For example, you need to know where the city’s best and safest parks and other nature facilities are located. This way, you will be in an advantageous position to compensate for your countryside nostalgia before returning home.
It’s Worth Knowing Where Local City Authorities are Located
Lastly, find out where the city’s local authorities are because you are most likely to find accommodation outside the campus. In this case, you should know where they are to contact them should you need their help in any way. For instance, you may need them to report a complaint on your premises that requires their attention. Sort this matter early before settling down in the new city environment.
Moving to the city to join college can be challenging for most students who are moving from a country background. This transition can have many implications on such students; hence, they need to know how student life in these major towns can be. Keep these ideas in mind to improve your experience in the city, both on campus and outside, and make necessary preparations before leaving for a large town.