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Photo by: Oscar Herrera

Moving to any city for college is a big change. Moving to the fourth largest city in the U.S. from a town with a population of 5,000 is an even bigger change. Going on my third year living in Houston for school, there are definitely pros and cons when it comes to navigating this place.

Driving

Before moving here, the biggest city I had driven in was Tyler, which has about 100,000 people. Driving on a five-lane highway for the first time with basically your whole life packed into a Kia is definitely not something I’d recommend.

Driving in Houston has been the biggest struggle for me, personally. Getting on the interstate to go basically anywhere takes some getting used to. I deal with driving anxiety ever since I got hit while exiting during my first semester here. Even after two years, it’s very stressful for me to drive on I-45, so I would definitely recommend getting used to being behind the wheel in Houston before moving.

Meeting New People

My first year at UH was definitely a bit lonely, as I only knew my boyfriend, who I had moved here with. However, as I start my on-campus job and begin to get involved in different organizations, I found my place.

Moving to an unfamiliar place can be very intimidating. While this is the most cliche advice I can give, involving yourself is the best thing to do. It can be tempting to stay in your comfort zone and keep to yourself, but talking to people in classes and joining clubs are some of the best ways to find friends.

Making friends from Houston also helped so much in the adjustment period. It helped me get to know the city and find really cool restaurants as well as other places to go that might not be the most popular.

I wouldn’t classify Houston as a college town by any means since it’s a car-centric city, which can be difficult for some college students. However, there are things to do around the city for people with all different interests.

Exploring

There are so many museums, concert venues and sporting events to go to. My favorite part of the city that I’ve seen so far is definitely Rice Village. My boyfriend and I have been to D’Amico’s Italian Market Cafe for countless date nights and it’s amazing every time.

Additionally, for my 20th birthday, my best friend took me to the Houston Aquarium. Here, we saw all kinds of animals and did all the cheesy carnival rides outside.  Even if you don’t have a car, there are plenty of things to do at the University, which makes UH a great campus to live on.

Houston is also only an hour from Galveston. This makes it super easy to have a quick getaway to the beach when the weather is nice.

Living in Houston has had its ups and downs for me. I have found myself so much by moving here and being on my own.

My abridged list of favorite things includes H-E-B, having basically any restaurant within a thirty-minute drive and living near so many concert venues. The best concert that I’ve been to so far is definitely the Taylor Swift concert at NRG Stadium, but this September I’m going to see 5 Seconds of Summer in The Woodlands. I look forward to exploring the outskirts of Houston as well as the city itself.

Houston is such a diverse city and UH is such a diverse campus. I feel at home in Houston and don’t regret my decision to move here. While moving to a big city takes some adjusting, the opportunities are endless.

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