Have you recently received PCS orders? If so, you’re not alone.
by Brianna Hartzell
I asked a few military spouse friends what the toughest part of moving was and what their moving concerns were, the overwhelming majority of answers centered on the anxiety and fear of the unknown.
Many expressed how daunting it is to face a new town, new house, new job, and new people. I have to agree, the scariest part of moving isn’t packing up all of your worldly belongings; it is being the new kid again. So how can we make at least one part of the unknown easier? We can start by getting to know the new town.
Here are four tips to help calm the anxiety of new PCS orders:
Start by visiting your new city’s official website (it should be one of the first websites to appear when doing an internet search for your new city) or the city’s chamber of commerce website. These sites are great resources for finding local (often free) events. They also include a list of parks your family can explore and list of local events (farmers markets, concerts, etc.). Also, take advantage of websites like Living Social and Groupon to search in your area for discounted activities and use Yelp to read reviews and restaurant recommendations.
Use travel sites like tripadvisor.com and look up your own town. You may find ideas, places to go, and things to do you had not previously considered. Don’t forget to use your MWR (Morale Welfare and Recreation) department. They will have some great information on local activities, events and often organize excursions to museums and attractions that you can join in for a discounted price.
Talk to the locals. Almost every post has an official (and I am sure a handful of unofficial) Facebook page that can easily be found by a Facebook search. Here, you can poll the spouses who have lived in the area for a while about their favorite sites, places and restaurants. Get permission from the administrator to post this list, it will get you recommendations for all your basic needs, open the door for conversation and maybe a new friend awaiting your arrival!
Plan to get involved. I find that people are much happier with their community after they have become an active participant in a group. Before you arrive look up the opportunities to join your FRG (Family Readiness Group), a church, a hobby group, or a fitness class. Whatever your interests may be, find a group and this will allow you to get involved and potentially make a new friend. Even a simple trip to the park with your kids presents an opportunity to meet new people and get information from them (just today I got a recommendation for a new coffee shop from a dad at the park).
One of the most unique things about our lives is our ability (and the necessity) for us to move more frequently than a civilian family. While this may be testing our patience at times, it is also a wonderful opportunity to see new places and broaden our horizons. I think we should take advantage (as much as we can) of each new duty station.