New Teacher...New City...Overwhelmed

Discussion in 'General Education' started by StarsofTommorow, Aug 9, 2014.

  1. StarsofTommorow

    StarsofTommorow Companion

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    Aug 9, 2014

    My post is for vet teachers or teachers who have been teaching at least 2-3 years. I am interested in hearing from those teachers who were offered a new teaching position in a new city, hours away from your home and family or across the country or world. How did you deal with the depression of being in a new place alone, having no friends, and also preparing for the new school year on top of dealing with personal issues (relationships, health, finances) etc. I've been moody since relocating. Until new hire orientation next week, I have been super lonely and trying to adjust. Everyone thinks I should be so happy, especially getting a job fresh out of college making nearly 50k all before the age of 25. Anyways, I've been depressed. Trying to watch movies, do constructive things. Please help me with sharing your stories. THANKS!
     
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  3. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Aug 9, 2014

    I moved from New York to Maryland at the same age. It's hard, especially I'm not one that makes friends very easily. Once you get to school, things will get easier. One suggestion would be to go a local restaurant that has a bar. It's a bit stereotypical, but it is a good way to meet people. Not even just in a romantic way... pretty much every person at the bar is going to be looking to meet other people, too. If it's a place like Applebee's (or similar type of restaurant), then there will be people your age approximately.

    Which side of the bay are you on? If you're on the Eastern Shore, you can always go up to Dover Downs. If you're in Western or Southern Maryland, you can go into DC. I used to live in Southern Maryland... if you're there, I'd recommend going to Solomon's Island at some point.
     
  4. ready2learn

    ready2learn Comrade

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    Aug 9, 2014

    Good luck! My advice is to keep busy. As gr3teacher said, it will get easier once school starts. For right now though, take time to explore the area.
     
  5. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Aug 9, 2014

    I didn't make my move until the day before orientation started. I drove down in my mom's car with my TV, laptop, an air mattress, a lawn chair, and some clothes. My parents came down almost two weeks later with my SUV pulling a UHaul trailer. I cried the entire 12 hour drive. Luckily, I went straight to work the next day.

    It was pretty hard. I went to college less than 10 miles away, so I had never been away from family before. Plus, everyone would(will!) tell you that I was the person least likely to ever move away. The first year, I did go home a lot. I flew home for Labor Day weekend. It was my dad's 50th birthday, too. I flew home every long weekend/break. I remember breaking down in October. I lost it one day at school. It was my planning time, and the end of the day thankfully. Between the new job, new grade level, new state, no family, my dad was sick and hospitalized and a woman that was like a second mother to me passed away, and one of my mom's friends also passed away. After I 'broke', things got a lot easier. I hold things in, so I think by me breaking, and everyone I worked with finding out what I was dealing with besides school, helped us bond.

    Hang in there. It gets easier. I promise :)
     
  6. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Aug 9, 2014

    Tying on to that... be careful with the amount you talk to people back home. Obviously your friends are your friends, your family is your family. You need to stay in touch. But the more you talk to them, the more you're going to miss them. The more you see them, the more you'll want to see them all the time. You need to set limits. For me, I talk to my parents every Sunday. I have trips home planned well in advance (short of emergency situations, of course). I know it probably sounds a little cruel, but the more you talk to your old friends, the harder it will be to make new friends, and to adjust.
     
  7. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Aug 9, 2014

    In March 2013 I moved from Southern California to Central Valley California (about 6 hours away + traffic= 7-8 hours). It was for my current job.
    It was just me and my daughter. I had made some friends with my hobby (I actively sought out the group in this nearest city) although most of them sort of faded away since then. I was pretty busy to just make sure I was doing a great job, so feeling lonely wasn't an issue for a while. My daughter easily made friends and she loved it here right away, so that was a relief.

    Honestly what really helped is that once / month I drove back to San Diego, usually on the long weekends, which we ended up having every month, either with holidays or some furlough days. That kept me sane.
    It wasn't until a year later, this past March / April I really started to feel lonely, because my new friends from this area either faded away, or just became very busy with their families and lives, and I started disliking it being all alone. I couldn't really make many friends at school, it's a small school and the staff was mostly men (married with families so we won't be hanging out). The dynamics have dramatically changed for this year, it's mostly females now and I have a lot more people to talk to, and became friends with a few over the summer.

    So it's a slow process. Every one says to get out and do things, but it's hard when you're by yourself, and it's not that easy to make friends. If there are meet up groups in your area (nothing with my interest here), it can be a great way to meet new people.

    I actually started dating and met someone with whom I'm in a relationship now, so that basically changed everything, but up until then I started being kind of unhappy.
     
  8. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Aug 9, 2014

    I remember feeling the same way when I started. I moved across the country for my job. I had to be there about a week early to sign paperwork, and then had nothing until orientation started the next week. Coming right from college where I could literally walk across campus and do absolutely everything with my friends, it was really rough to suddenly be totally alone. I joined a gym and started going every day for something to do. Unfortunately I was in a rural area and there just weren't things to go do on my own- not even shopping or anything. If there are more things around you, I would definitely recommend taking little day trips and finding things to do on your own. Sitting around at home is going to be the worst thing! Things got a little better for me when school started and I could focus on that. I also remember booking my flights home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas that very first week- it was comforting to know I was definitely going back at some point. If you're in a city or larger area, also try meetup.com. If you're in a larger area, there should be plenty of groups with people your age getting together. There weren't really any in the first place I lived (too rural), but there were tons when I moved to Denver. That's actually how I've met pretty much all of my good friends, and I love having a social circle outside of work people. Even if you hate wherever you're living, keep in mind it can only be for a year. If you want to look for a new job next year, it will be much easier with a year of experience on your resume. I stayed in my first job for two years because I loved the job, but moved before the 3rd year because I needed more of a social life outside of school. Now that I'm in a place I really like, I don't ever picture myself even wanting to move back to my home state.
     
  9. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I'm sorry, but I totally disagree. I talked to my mom every single day, usually multiple times per day. I talked to my sister a few times a week, but she was busy working full time and going to school full time while I was working two jobs. Our schedules conflicted a lot. As for the rest of my family, I didn't talk to them a whole lot outside of text messaging and Facebook.

    One of my biggest regrets, now that I moved back, is that I let my old friendships go. I've reconnected with a few, but there is still time lost.
     
  10. lilia123

    lilia123 Companion

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    Aug 9, 2014

    I got a job in the district where I went to college and a few years later moved 500 miles away. I did though move with my husband so that made it a lot better. I didn't go to work immediately because I had trouble finding a job at first. Then I found out I was pregnant and decided to stay home a couple years. I am now going back to work in a new state and I am much more nervous than I was going into my first year. I had a really difficult first year and although I did fine with getting satisfactory evaluations I had a huge amount of anxiety including panic attacks almost nightly. I know they say the disillusionment period lasts from October to about January, but mine went from October to about April. My second year went a lot better since I got help for dealing with my anxiety. Although, I know I have much more knowledge and can carry a lot of my previous experience over to my new position. I still have this fear that I will end up with the same extreme anxiety I had during my first year because everything is so new. I know I have gone a bit off topic, but I just wanted to share my feelings.
     
  11. abat_jour

    abat_jour Companion

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    Aug 9, 2014

    I did something similar. I was used to a global cosmopolitan amazing city and moved to a very rural area. Luckily in my area people are remarkably friendly and inviting. See where other new teachers hang out. Find a local coffee joint, even if a chain, and go there routinely - you'll see the same customer occasionally. ALso, if you tell ppl you are new they may direct you to things. Visit the local chamber of commerce for info on places. It will all end when school starts. Also, find out the ppl in your department and start hanging out with them.
     
  12. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Aug 10, 2014

    I was told, fresh out of college, that you need to give a position out of state 2-3 years. 1 year to adjust to a new living environment, another year for learning about teaching and another for a school.

    My hubs & I moved from a small, rural town to an urban setting. My parents were (are) about 14 hours away and DH's about 8 hours away. We moved in to our apartment on Saturday & on Monday he started work. I had 2nd degree burns on my leg and had a hard time walking and therefore couldn't work. The first 2-3 years were the hardest. I know I had some tears. Being away from family was hard, but I adjusted.

    We had no extra money, so I couldn't apply for my teaching certificate in the new state. I eventually found jobs and made friends, mostly neighbors or people I worked with. I worked 7 days a week, sometimes both jobs in 1 day. DH was working retail and his hours & days off constantly changed.

    I'll be honest, the worst were holidays. Since he was working retail (drug stores are open 365 days a year) & the assistant manager he worked holidays. Major holidays I was home alone, others I worked. My parents would come out sometimes. Every vacation we had we went back home.

    We've been here 24 years.
     
  13. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Aug 10, 2014

    I, for one, would talk to my mom daily. It kept me sane. It would sometimes be a short, "I heard the funniest thing and thought of you", kind of call, sometimes longer, but the phone made her just across town instead of 1200 miles away. Friends, not so much contact. They will only be so interested in what you are doing now that you are out of sight. Sorry, I find that just as true today as it was 25 years ago. When someone moves away, there is always the intent to stay in touch, but the touch gets lighter and less frequent the longer you are gone. Perhaps for me it was the half way across the country aspect that killed those friendships, but I also think they die a slow death the longer you are gone. Going to be gone for just one year, stay in touch. Move pretty much permanent? Make new friends and just think fondly of the ones you left behind. Trust me, that is how they will think of you. Right out of college, everyone still believes they will be best friends forever, but time and distance modifies the truth and reality along the way.

    Find new friends, try new activities, put yourself out there to make friends, find social activities that don't rely on drinking, take an adult ed. class, volunteer in the community, and, please don't take this the wrong way, get out of your apartment and off of the computer. The online community has a time and place, but it will keep you stuck inside, away from real live people who can go for coffee with you, visit a flea market, or take in a movie. I love my online community, but sometimes you just need eyes to look into, smiles and laughter that can be seen and heard; it fills in specific gaps in interest, skills, or understanding. My son spends hours online, then wonders why he can't find a real person to go to the movie with, or the take a bike ride with.

    For what it is worth, my mom died young, so knowing that she and I talked virtually every day was and is a huge comfort to me. My sister lived close to mom, but she let too many things get in the way of a quick visit, a call, or getting together. She really struggled for a couple of years over the "could have, should have, would have" doldrums. I knew that I had spoken to mom on her last day on earth and told her I loved her. It was a sudden death, and knowing that I had told her everything that mattered most during that call has brought me great comfort over the years. Just a thought. :unsure:
     
  14. StarsofTommorow

    StarsofTommorow Companion

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    Aug 10, 2014

    Thank you ladies for sharing your stories with me. I am getting a little better adjusted.
     
  15. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Aug 11, 2014

    I moved to Florida from Massachusetts for my first teaching job. I think location makes a big difference because in my situation there were so many other young teachers in the same situation (left their home states for a job in Florida) and we bonded really quickly and had lots of fun.

    It also helped that I viewed it as a temporary thing. I knew I wanted to go back to MA (where all my family was), but that without experience it was very hard to get a job.

    As a beginning teacher you'll be very busy. Put lots of time and effort into excelling at your job, build your resume with lots of professional development and look at this as a step in the next direction.

    At the same time find ways to put yourself out there. Look to meet new people and have fun!

    It's not always easy, but it can be a wonderful situation. Best wishes for an amazing 1st year.
     
  16. mcqxu

    mcqxu Comrade

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    Aug 11, 2014

    Look into meetups in your area that share common interests. When I moved to a new city I joined two for girls night out and language conversation groups. www.meetup.com - If there isn't a group you are interested in you can start one! I also got involved in a bible study and church and that helped a lot too. My growth/bible study group has honestly been the strongest support I have here.

    I lived abroad too for a few years but there were a lot of people who were my age and in my same situation (teaching English abroad and planning to eventually return to the states) so it was easier to find people to hang out with in those situations.
     
  17. mcqxu

    mcqxu Comrade

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    Aug 11, 2014

    I wanted to add that it really does get easier. I have no family in this state, and it really has taken me 3 years living here to really feel like it is my home. I have spent holidays with the family of one of my former coworkers and others with the family of my roommate and it was so hard but I was so grateful they opened their homes to me.
    Anyways, give it more time and get out there as much as you can!!
     

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