In August of 2017, I made my first major move. I left my family and friends and moved to Buffalo, New York, a place where I had little history but was about to become my home. To my surprise, I’ve learned more in these last few months than I did in my four years as an undergrad. Having almost completed my first year in graduate school, I want to share the things that got me from then to now:

  1. Find time to work on and maintain your physical health. Your mental wellbeing and overall health will thank you.
  2. Don’t be afraid to talk to anyone. Moving to a new city alone can quickly get lonely but you never know where a potential friend can be found.
  3. Explore your city. Yes, adjusting to grad school can be stressful but staying inside by yourself can be even more stressful. Get out there and see what your city has to offer (FYI: Buffalo rocks!)
  4. Savor your alone time. Sometimes just taking a minute to think and reflect on yourself is just as great as exploring your surroundings.
  5. Don’t be afraid to rely on your support systems. Call your people, reach out! Tell them you miss them, or you love them, or plan a visit. Do not isolate yourself.
  6. Your work friends (whether you have a graduate assistantship, a full time job, or a part time job) will become some of your favorite people.
  7. It’s OK to fail or get lost in your new city (even with a GPS). Do not panic just keep moving forward.
  8. Google is a beautiful tool for almost all the questions you have (like where can I go to get my car fixed?)
  9. It doesn’t take long to make your new city your home. Buffalo isn’t a bad place to be! Who doesn’t want to study in a city that has weekly festivals and daily activities and food trucks!?
  10. Find a sleep schedule that allows you to feel like your best self. (Hint: go to sleep and get up at the same time every day).

This move has challenged every aspect of my life and I couldn’t be more grateful for Canisius taking a chance on me or Buffalo welcoming me with open arms.


By: Rachel Bediako