A Checklist for Moving to Metro Detroit After Graduating College
Graduating from college can be an abrupt change. Despite the challenges, post-grad life holds many exciting opportunities to shape your life anew, exactly how you want it to be.
For those individuals who choose to move to Metro Detroit, below is a checklist of what to do first when you move to the area.
Make a budget. The first thing you’ll want to do post-college is make a budget. This helps you understand how much you can spend on things like rent, groceries, and extracurricular activities. This budget should include your current monthly income, along with a list of monthly bills (rent, utilities, gas, car insurance, etc.). If possible, try to allocate a few hundred dollars each paycheck for savings as well so you can start preparing for future investments, like buying a house or a car. Once you secure a post-grad job, you can update your budget accordingly.
Find a place to live. The cheapest option is to move back in with your parents or a family member, but if this isn’t an option, there are many ways to find rentable living spaces that match your budget in Metro Detroit. Peruse Facebook groups specific to the area you want to live (for example, Ferndale Forum Real Estate and Rentals), or download apps like Zillow, Apartments.com, or HotPads. Need a roommate? Try Roommates.com, or let coworkers and family know you are looking.
Spruce up your wardrobe. This is a big one and often overlooked. Your post-college wardrobe will likely differ from what you wore during college, depending on the industry you go into. You will need a few staple items in your wardrobe for job interviews, networking events, and the office. For women, that could be a blazer, a blouse, and work pants. For men, a suit and a laptop bag would suffice.
Start your career. If you do not graduate with a job offer, that’s completely normal and okay. But the goal of going to college is to join the workforce and to start a career that you enjoy. While job hunting can be stressful at times, there are ways to make it easier. To start, make a list of the things you want in a job and what kind of work you’d like to do. Then, create a list of companies you would like to work for and check their website to see if they’re hiring; alternatively, explore job sites like LinkedIn and Indeed. Let’s Detroit even has a job board that you can peruse. Networking is also a great way to find a job. (Read about ways to develop your professional network here.) Check out Let’s Detroit’s Grow Your Network page to see who you may be able to connect with within your industry.
Explore local culture. Whether you grew up in Metro Detroit or have never visited before, there are plenty of new things to discover in the area. Visit the Explore Your Area page on Let’s Detroit for local restaurants, bars, and shopping ideas.
Find your people. Making friends as an adult can be intimidating, but don’t worry—you’re not alone. There are many ways to make new friends in post-grad life. Consider forming a trivia team or joining a club. There’s a club for almost every passion in Metro Detroit, such as local theaters, running groups, and intramural sports teams.
Don’t have time for a weekly commitment? Consider volunteering to meet new people and contribute to your community. Local humane societies, food banks, and homeless shelters have ongoing needs for volunteers, and these can be one-time or recurring commitments. Connect with any of the individuals on the Let’s Detroit volunteer page for additional volunteer opportunities. Also, watch out for Let’s Detroit’s monthly roundup of volunteer opportunities.
Moving away from college is an adjustment, but if you follow the steps above, you’re sure to get acclimated in no time. Enjoy this new stage of your life!