Moving to Melbourne from a rural community
It's getting toward the end of the year, and a lot of people are considering moving to Melbourne to study or to find work. For many Victorians, this might be a pretty standard move. They might already live pretty close to Melbourne and be used to such a big place.
But I want to set the scene for you about where I come from. And I'm sure there are a lot of others out there that can relate.
Life in Yarram
I live in a small rural community called Yarram, down in Gippsland near the coast. The last census put our population at around 2600. Almost every second house seems to be a farm and the nearest place with a Target or a McDonald's is an hour's drive away.
As you can imagine there's not a whole lot to do around here. We're surrounded by nature (which isn't a bad thing!), so you can understand that when one of us wants to make that huge, three-hour trek up to Melbourne for a shopping trip or something, it's like going to an entirely different world.
In Melbourne the entire population of our town walks past you every five minutes. There's a chain restaurant or shopping centre literally around every corner, and huge buildings everywhere. It's a shock to the system, but not an entirely unpleasant one. I can barely imagine what it would be like to have to stay there for longer than a week, let alone to live there. I'm sure a lot of young people from rural communities like mine might feel the same way.
Up to the big smoke
So what about those of us that have to move up there to continue studying? I got in touch with my friend Tane recently, to talk to him about what it is like to live in Melbourne and how he managed moving from a small place like Yarram up to the big smoke.
Tarram has been in Melbourne for about a year now and has dealt with it all, finding a place to live (twice), adapting to a new environment, and juggling studies with city living. Here's what he had to say on the subject.
How did you find your house?
I didn't actually play any role in locating the house myself, it was just luck that I found a group of people who were looking for another person to move out with.
Why did you choose to study in Melbourne and not one of the closer campuses?
I've always liked the look and feel of Deakin, as opposed to other campuses, which played a large role in it being my choice. I also like being in the city, so from the start I wanted to move away from the country instead of finding a closer campus.
What was it like to live with a bunch of people?
It's pretty fun, especially when you're bored, but it can get really annoying at times, especially when it comes to allocating different tasks or whatnot. Overall, though, it's enjoyable.
How is being in Melbourne different from being in a place like Yarram?
It's much easier to get everywhere, there is public transport all over the place. It's also really nice having everything so close, rather than having to travel an hour to get to the bigger shops like you do in the country.
How are you coping with the change so far?
I think I coped pretty well. I didn't seem to get homesick at all, and I feel like I adapted to the changes of living in the city, even if it can be quite hectic at times.
What are the biggest changes you've had to make in terms of lifestyle?
Probably the lack of living with family would have to be the biggest change. I never realised how much I relied on Dad to make sure I didn't sleep in or anything. I also had to learn to cook. That was... interesting.
What new kind of responsibilities do you have?
Nothing overly stressful, thankfully. It's really just standard things like keeping the house in order, paying bills, things like that. They also don't push you very much at university, so it becomes your own responsibility to make sure you strive to achieve.
What are the downsides/stressful things about living in a place like Melbourne?
The people - definitely the amount of people. It's nice being in a country town where you could walk down the main road and not be swamped by hordes of people rushing here and there.
Is there anything you miss about Yarram?
Once again, the people. The friends and family that I left behind would have to be the biggest thing that I miss. Also, it's incredibly hard to find a decent chicken schnitzel burger, apparently.
For more about moving out of home, check out Harry's story about moving to the city, Maddison's list of the top 10 things you'll need when moving house, and Jasen's article about moving out of home. And for even more info about moving house, check out our Housing & accommodation pages.
Articles Written by Grace H
Reviews written by Grace H
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