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Relocating for Grad. School


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Hi:

Love this cafe! I live in CA, but may have to relocate to Chicago, if accepted into the MA program there. Any advice, no matter how miniscule or nonsensical, would be gratefully accepted. Have applied to all grad schools in San Francisco, LA Areas for MSW program, but they offer only clinical, whereas UChicago offers both clinical and social administration (policy and programs); which perfectly matches my interest.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Relocation is a relatively hard decision. I say relative because it gets harder if you are married and/or have kids, a job etc. You will have to develop your own social circle all over again in the new city. That said, I think relocation gives us a chance to grow intellectually and experience things outside out comfort zone. Some other factors that go into this decision may be weather, economy, location, cost of living etc in the new city/country.

Good Luck

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I relocated for grad school. I also moved to be in the same city as my boyfriend who just got a full time job. It's been difficult to say the least. I left my family and friends behind and my program is fairly challenging. It takes time to build up a new support network. I'm sure it will be worth it though, at least I hope so. I've never moved before so that adds to the problem, the whole thing is very new to me.

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I relocated. I agree with ktel that it isn't easy to rebuild your network. However, I made a conscious decision to do so and now, 2.5 years into my Ph.D., I have friends who are almost as close as those I had before moving here. (I lived in the previous area ~13 years!)

Also, I really enjoyed moving somewhere with 4 seasons. I do miss the growing climate in California but am happy to see fall color and SNOW!! Also, the part of CA I was in was starting to get very built up; I now live in an area with lots of open space, which is necessary for my mental health. So I think the move was a good choice on my part.

There would be many good things about moving to Chicago. It's a neat metropolitan area--my sis who used to live there has also lived in the Bay Area, LA, Seattle, and DC and she thought Chicago was awesome. There are lots of things to do, and even a fair number of "outdoorsy" places to go if you like to be outdoors. (But buy some good winter clothing so you can go outside year round.)

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Relocation should be viewed as a positive thing. I've relocated three times for graduate school (MA program, PhD program, field research) and each time has been a challenge. It's been difficult to make friends, settle in and find housing, etc. But, I think you'll find all of those things whenever you move for a job.

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In relocating, I would advise you to maintain a support system from back home. By keeping in contact with old friends, the process of acclimating to a new environment won't be nearly as overwhelming.

Of course, making new friends at the University of Chicago is a given, but don't be afraid to put yourself out there while making friends. Some of the people you meet would be more than glad to show you around the city, which is good for two reasons: you'll be making friends and learning more about Chicago.

I wish you the best with your relocation!

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I just relocated in August from California to Georgia for my MA. By doing so I moved away from all my family and friends as well as my boyfriend, which was definitely the toughest part. I agree with dbowe4415 -- it's REALLY important to maintain your support system from home. I've found it a tremendous help in my transition.

Like others have said, relocating is without a doubt very difficult. My advice: be kind to yourself and, if you're ever feeling down, remind yourself that things will improve. Sometimes it seems like things won't but you WILL make friends and you WILL adjust. And maybe this is just one of my own particularities, but I would also advise you to not place any "deadlines" on yourself, for example don't expect to have fully settled after 1 month, 2 months, 1 semester, etc. Just let things unfold. In fact, I am just finishing up my first semester and don't think I've fully transitioned, but I feel significantly less out of place than I did 4 months ago!

It seems like you recognize the UChicago is the best fit for you, so assuming you do relocate, don't forget that. I've found the first semester of grad school trying not just because of the high academic standards, the plight of unstructured time, teaching for the first time etc. but also because I moved 2000 miles from home. Often I questioned why I moved so far and what I was even doing in this city. At these moments it's good to remind yourself that you moved there for a GOOD reason. I also encourage you to make your new place a home -- sometimes I tend to see my time in GA as only temporary, which is fine, but it has on occasion stopped me from buying a nice rug for my apartment or making my place feel like "home," things that would make me feel significantly happier.

Sorry for rambling, but this post really resonates with me since I'm wrapping up my first semester and, quite honestly, one of the most difficult times of my life. All in all, expect things to get difficult sometimes but just don't forget the big picture. Best of luck!

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  • 4 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I am relocating, not a huge distance this time, NM to CO. I really like moving, its a new adventure. New places to go and people to meet, there's a lot to explore and discover. Since high school I have moved around a lot, and enjoyed it every time. CO to OR to WA to NM and back to CO again (different town then where I grew up). I am a pretty independent person so I have no problem checking out new areas and events. I think because of this I also do not get down on not having a close group of friends around for some time after moving to a new location. I can see how relocating could really take a toll on someone who aren't as good at getting out on their own, especially in some cities like Seattle where many find it is harder than most cities to meet people and make new friends.

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