25 life lessons you’ll learn when you move interstate for work

Words by Eliza Sholly

The truth hurts.

They say only two things in life are certain – death and taxes.

Well, I’d like to issue a formal complaint to whoever made up that rule, because there’s a third item I’d like to add to that list: the inevitability of a quarter-life crisis in your 20s.

There are a number of symptoms to the quarter-life crisis, many of which I’ve personally experienced. I’ve utilised Tinder (tick), related way too much to Bridget Jones (tick) and attempted to journal and then immediately placed it in the too hard basket (tick). However, my most recent endeavour is the fact that I’ve packed up and moved from Melbourne to Sydney.

I know what you’re thinking… Eliza, you’ve moved interstate? What were you thinking? Your mum still schedules your doctor’s appointments. You can’t look after yourself! And while you are entirely correct, moving to Sydney for a job was the answer to ridding myself of the funk I had found myself in.

With all that said, if you’ve ever found yourself in a similar situation (moved interstate for work/love/to get as far away from Trump as possible), please indulge in my listicle below.

And even if you haven’t, still read it, because it may help you sympathise the next time someone tells you they’re new in town.

1. Coming to terms with the probability the only genuine conversation you will have for the day will be with your Uber driver.

2. Enjoying a whole new pool of potential candidates (victims) on Tinder.

3. The phrase ‘table for one’ starts to roll off the tongue more comfortably than you’d like it to.

4. You begin to seek ample opportunities to stalk employees to places in which you can start a conversation. i.e. Hey Ali, oh you’re going to the bathroom at the *exact* same time as me? What a coincidence, let’s walk together and become best friends.

5. You spend at least half an hour conceptualising your new email signature – because nothing says ‘I’m new to the city, please be my friend’ like a jazzy email sign off.

6. Knowing your lunch break will always go one of two ways: a) channelling Cady Heron in the bathroom alone, or b) committing to the idea that you’re too busy to even think about taking a lunch break (when the reality is you just have nowhere to go).

7. You will take notice of the weather a lot more than usual, because that’s how you will initiate 90 per cent of conversations.

8. You’ve come to terms with the fact that you’ll be sacrificing 99 per cent of your annual leave to going home.

9. You’ll seek advice from friends and family about the dumbest of topics. For example, how to find a way to add someone on Facebook and Instagram. My favourite formula is by establishing ONE personal joke, then clinging to it for dear life – “oh my gosh, what’s your Instagram/Facebook/Twitter? I want to tag you in this hilarious meme.” YOU ARE WELCOME.

10. Changing the autofill destination for all your fave online shopping sites, because you couldn’t bear the judgement of getting three ASOS packages delivered to work in the space of one week.

11. Reconsidering the three ASOS purchases because a) you have no mates to perform a mini fashion show in front of, and b) you don’t get invited anywhere to wear them.

12. You’ll remember one random fact about the city you’re living in and find a way to bring it up in literally every single circumstance.

13. You become alarmingly comfortable with the idea of seeing movies alone.

14. Thanking the lord your birthday was prior to the move because if it happened now, you would have to spend the whole day alone, hating yourself because you didn’t bring it up to anyone.

15. Latching onto one seemingly normal person and dubbing them your “work friend,” then setting unrealistic expectations for them. i.e. WHY ARE THEY LAUGHING AT THE PRINTER WITH SOMEONE ELSE, YOU’RE MY WORK FRIEND.

16. The absolute dismay that comes the first time you’re running late for work, and you realise you have no one to text to soften the blow.

17. The idea of ‘after work drinks’ sounded much more fun when they were surrounded by staff mates and not alone on your couch ft. a bottle of wine.

18. Prepare to say goodbye to your data allowance because Google Maps is going to get a hefty workout.

19. Finally working up the courage to ask someone to hang outside of work but then you realise they already have a clique of friends, and you will never be apart of it.

20. Just because you spend more time with them than you do your actual family, does not mean they think of you that way.

21. You will ask yourself at least one completely dumb, ignorant and ridiculous question about the city each day. i.e: Is there a time difference between Melbourne and Sydney? (No, there is not, and unlike me, you should NEVER admit that you ever questioned that out loud).

22. Take the time to find the silver lining in everything. For example: new city – no one remembers the time you got so drunk you attempted to rap ‘These Kids’ by Joel Turner and the Modern Day Poets.

23. Realising that being geographically challenged can be a good thing. You have a legitimate excuse to get out of everything you don’t want to go to back home.

24. But also, with that, comes the FOMO. And interstate FOMO comes like no other.

25. You’ll have to watch plans get crafted in the texting groups you are apart of, and then sit by the wayside as the personal jokes get thrown around.

Illustration by Twylamae

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