Moving away from friends and family

Moving away from home can be really awesome, but it can also be tough to leave friends and family behind. Get some tips on how to handle the transition to a new location, including what to do if you’re finding things really tough.

This may help if:

  • You’ve just moved away from friends and family
  • You’re really missing friends and family
  • You’re having trouble meeting new people in a new place
Moving boxes

Deciding to move

It’s normal to have mixed feelings about leaving home. On the one hand, moving away can be hugely awesome – an opportunity to make new friends, be more independent, and gain new experiences. Moving away from home allows you:

  • Space and independence. It’s an opportunity for you to explore your interests, dreams and develop new relationships.
  • To improve your close relationships. Even though distance is hard, space can sometimes make it easier to deal with any issues you might be having with friends and family. You’re much more likely to appreciate the positive things about your relationships, and you’re less likely to take the people closest to you for granted when you move away.

But it can also be hard to adjust to being away from the people you are closest to, and the environments you’re most familiar with. It’s normal and really common to feel isolated, lonely, and overwhelmed when you move away from friends and family. It’s also really common for people to feel like close relationships change, because there are now limits on how they can communicate and spend time together.

Strategies to help you adjust

  • Find new ways to communicate. Keeping in contact when you move away from friends and family takes extra effort. Facebook, emails, texts, Skype, and phone calls are all easy, instant ways to keep in touch. Letters are another great way of expressing your feelings, sharing your experiences, and allowing people to stay involved in your life.
  • Plan ahead. Plan times to meet up with the people you’ve moved away from in advance. It gives you something to look forward to.
  • Get involved. A great way to meet new people and make new friends is to get involved in activities in your area that interest you, such as sport, music, and community services etc.
  • Create your own space. Try and bring a bit of home to your new home. Posters, your favourite doona, photos etc will make you feel more comfortable.
  • Develop positive coping strategies. If you can express how you’re feeling it can release any tension or stress you’re carrying around with you.
  • Give it time. Moving away from friends and family is a big thing, and it takes time to get used to. Once you’re more familiar with your new routines and start to make new friends, it’s likely that being away will start to feel easier.

If you’re still finding it tough

Talking to people about how you are feeling can be really helpful when you’re finding things tough, so bring up what’s going on with someone you trust like a friend or family member.

What can I do now?

Last reviewed: 21 October, 2015
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  • Ngaio-RO    (39 days ago)

    Hey Iamhere,Relocating to a new place can be incredibly difficult. For everybody. So please take a moment to acknowledge yourself for doing something very courageous. I'm so sorry to hear that things are rough for you at the moment. Loneliness can be a very difficult feeling to experience but there are some things you can do to help reduce the intensity of it and to hopefully feel it less and less. You say you have moments of happiness, what are you doing in those moments? If it's because you're distracted, then start looking for other, group, distractions. If it's because you're connecting with someone then start being pro-active and initiating contact. Don't be afraid to reach out to the people around you and tell them you're lonely. People get very caught up in their own stuff and often don't notice when someone around them is struggling. You might need to say to your workmate or classmate 'I'm feeling lost and lonely. Can we hang for a bit?' ( This might help you understand loneliness a bit better and ( this might help you with some tips on meeting new people. And don't forget to use this community, ( for some online support and company. Take care.

  • iamhere    (53 days ago)

    Hi there, I have moved out of my home town recently. I have never left there ever in my life so this is also the first time. I have moments where I'm happy but mostly always sad or overcome with some sort of sad feeling. anyway... My best friend came to visit me and after she had left i felt that i was feeling a little bettr and so lonely but I'm afraid the feeling will come back again and how do i cope with the sadness or how do i move forward without having these sad feelings again. Thank you

  • Rosie-RO    (1208 days ago)

    Hi Strawb3rrykrush,

    It sounds like you are in a difficult situation at home, and it's good that you are making plans to get yourself into a situation you are more comfortable with. As you are now 18 and therefore legally an adult, you are well within your rights to move out of home. I know that leaving without a word seems like the easiest way to go, but remember that this may cause your parents to think something has happened to you. If you feel comfortable, explaining to them that you are leaving may help them understand why, and also prevent them from reporting you as missing.

    Even though you are looking forward to leaving, remember that this will be a big change for you! If you ever feel like you need to talk about all of this, you can head over to the forums ( or if you would like to talk to someone one-on-one, you can always give kidshelpline a call on 1800 55 1800.

    Take care of yourself!

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