Moving to a new city for a job is a difficult process that can challenge people in any number of ways. Just the task of packing up and transporting belongings can be draining both physically and emotionally on it’s own, and there are far more steps.
For this internship program I moved from Eugene to Portland, which on paper sounds easy. The two cities are only about 100 miles apart, and are relatively similar when it comes to things like culture and weather. However, unlike many people in the Portland Senior Experience, I’ve never lived in Portland in my life. I didn’t move home, back to my old neighborhood, habits, and friend group. This has been a fresh start in many ways.
One of the main challenges in making this kind of transition is having a “life” outside of work. This has been an interesting challenge for me, since my internship was pretty much all I had when I got here. The good news is that the internship has been going very well; I’m learning every day and making great professional connections. The bad news is that the internship is at most 30 hours of my week; I have to fill the rest of that time so that I don’t go insane or turn into a hermit. Or both.
The thing that has had the biggest positive impact on my internship thus far has been enjoying life outside of the office. I’ve been exploring the city with my roommates, making new friends, and even playing in a local volleyball league. As much as I enjoy the freedom to focus heavily on my work, it’s easy to become burned out. With more “life” outside of work, I can bring a higher level of focus and productivity to my days in the office.
Moving to a new city can make finding this balance very difficult, but prioritizing it early on can pay huge dividends for months and even years to come.