Moving can be stressful, but also exciting. According to melissadata.com, almost eight million Americans move to a new state each year and people between the ages of 18-34 make up the majority of that number.
Whether being the headquarters for the LDS Church, its five National Parks, views of the mountains from pretty much anywhere, or a booming tech industry, Utah is slowly becoming the fastest growing state, and Salt Lake City is becoming a more popular place for young people to move.
There are many nuances when moving to a new town, especially Salt Lake. It can take time to find your way around the grid system of the Salt Lake City streets, which Utah natives seems to find so easy. For example, 3rd means 300 and 11th means 1100.
“The hardest part about moving to SLC is learning the layout of the city and adjusting to the grid system. I speak English although, with my east coast accent it’s hard for people to understand,” says Salt Lake Community College student, Tonye Bob-Manuel.
Bob-Manuel moved here in 2014 from Rhode Island, where he had lived his entire life. His plan was to attend school at the University of Utah, but came to SLCC when he found out about the film program.
95% of Salt Lake Community College’s student body is made up of Utah residents and it only takes a year to become a resident, but that can seem like a long time when paying out of state tuition.
Bob-Manuel said that he misses the mixture of people and culture back on the east coast, as does SLCC student, Alexis Ahlzadeh, who moved from Atlanta in 2015, where she had spent her entire life up until that point.
“The second I land back in Atlanta, I remember all the other groups of people that just don’t exist in Salt Lake,” says Ahlzadeh.
The adjustments of moving to a new town can be made easier by knowing someone in the area.
“A couple of friends from work here really helped me adjust,” says Bob-Manuel.
“I met a girl who grew up in Atlanta right near me, and now we are really good friends. She helped me register at SLCC and now is helping me register at the U. She also taught me how to ski,” says Ahlzadeh. “I miss my family. I visit home at least a few times a year and always on holidays.”
The weather can be a shock to Utah newcomers. Winters are bitter cold with a lot of snow, while the summers can be uncomfortably hot.
“The hardest part was adjusting to the cold. I was freezing the first winter I spent out here and was not prepared with the right boots or jackets at all. I spent all winter with wet feet. It was miserable,” says Ahlzadeh. “I love the winters now, surprisingly.”
Some from out of state say they plan to move after being in Salt Lake for a little bit.
“I graduate next year and if I find a job here, maybe I’d stay a few years, but the most would be 5 years,” Bob-Manuel.
Newcomers waiting to become a resident should take advantage of the opportunity to explore the new terrain and try new things
“Salt Lake is the most beautiful place I’ve ever lived and I love it! I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. I love that I can drive 20 minutes in any direction and hit the mountains. My life is full of hiking, rock climbing, skiing, and camping – it’s awesome,” says Ahlzadeh.