Summer Writer - Emilia Björnsdotter
My name is Emilia Björnsdotter and I am 25 years old. I am originally from Sweden but have been living in the US since 5 years back. Things that bring me joy are coffee dates with people I like, passionate and kind people, dogs who wiggle their tail so much that their whole body shakes and my all time favorite, FaceTime calls with my mom. My topic for this guest writing is how to start over in a new city all by yourself! These past 5 years have been the most crazy, wonderful, challenging, terrifying and unexpected years of my life. I’ve moved across the world to a new country, studied at one of the best film schools in the US, worked at a fitness studio in Manhattan where I met some of my best friends, lost that job due to the pandemic and then in sheer panic moved across the country to Los Angeles. I would call these years a beautiful yet painful chaos. But I did it. Was it easy? Far from it. Was it worth it? Absolutely. Starting over in a new place is never easy, especially when you do it all by yourself. But it is possible and once you’ve done it, it will hopefully be one of the best things you’ve ever done. At least that was the case for me. I moved across the world for the first time when I was 19 years old and haven’t looked back since. I flew to New York City without knowing anyone or anything about the city and let me tell you, I was TERRIFIED. I cried a few times too, not going to lie. Nothing wrong with it, a good crying session can be amazing at times you know? Anyways, not the main point of this but certainly important. So, my point is that it is okay to be scared, it is okay to be crying and thinking to yourself “is this worth it?”. It is all okay, I am just here to let you know that yes, it is worth it and these are some easy helpful things you can do in order to make it easier in a new place.
First things first, get to know your new city! It is so easy to do by yourself too. Either you get in a car, take the train, bus or bike and just explore. I swear that is how you find the best coffee spots, see places you normally maybe wouldn’t have come across and most importantly, how you make this new place feel like home. Second, if you did like I did and moved to a new place by yourself, you might feel a bit lonely. It’s okay, remember that most people go through the same thing you do too. But fear not, it doesn’t have to be that lonely forever. But then you might ask, “How the *bleep* do I make new friends in a place where I don’t know anyone?!” I understand, don’t worry. It can feel overwhelming. Want to know what I did? I joined a Facebook group. No I am not kidding. There are so many Facebook groups out there and the one I joined was called “Young Swedish people in New York”. It’s okay, you may laugh at this part. But let me tell you, I went on a friend date with a girl I “met” in that group and she is to this day one of my best friends! How cool?! Also if you are not into Facebook groups (though I really recommend em) there is always Bumble BFF or you can just go old school and join some sort of activity (dancing, book club, soccer or whatever) that will help you make new friends in a non-exhaustive way. But trust me, even if it is scary meeting new people, having amazing friends to share the experience with is freaking awesome. Third, don’t stress. I know the pressure of making this new place your home, finding friends and establishing a new life can be a lot. But I am here to tell you it doesn’t have to happen overnight. It is okay for things to take time. It is okay if you don’t feel at home at first or even want to give up and go back home to safety. I think we’ve all at least thought about it once or
twice. It’s not an easy choice to pick up your life and take it elsewhere, believe me, I know. But trust me when I tell you this, if you hang in there, it will most likely be the best thing you have ever done. You will learn about a new place, meet new people and have an experience that you will carry with you for the rest of your life. If I, a shy girl from the countryside who couldn’t speak in front of people, could move across the world and start a life of my own, so can you.
Find more about me here!