Extremely relatable post and I wish you all the best @Soiyer (and good luck with the applications and subsequent programs @mundanesoul) .
I am basically coming off of three years in a place that I moved to exclusively for an opportunity–granted, I now live in a city premised on the hopes of work but this last move feels like more of a choice.
So, I had lived in New York for five-six years and had wonderful friends, community, and a job I genuinely loved–albeit had plateaued at and was feeling very frustrated by–and gave all of that up to go to law school in a remote area. It was… in short, a very rough, long three years. Things worked out in that I am sitting here writing about it now, but, yeah, for the most part I found myself in a program full of people I didn’t entirely relate to (I mean, maybe I should have known there wouldn’t be a ton of armchair anarchists / leftists in law school) in a small college town with nothing to do but go to a multiplex or like three very bad bars. I was fortunate in that I made the move with my partner (now wife) so we had each other but a lot of our adjusting involved us working hard to move beyond our typical comfort zones and like really find out how we both cope in a crappy sort of situation. This meant trying things like hiking and exercise classes just to meet people or, you know, being willing to drive like an hour or so to try a coffeeshop or restaurant with the understanding it was probably going to be bad but the adventure would be fun–or what you make of it. I will say that moving to a new place with like zero social activities in contrast to being surrounded by stuff in New York did help me kind of embrace or be at peace with FOMO and accept that sometimes it is nice to just stay at home and read a book or be quite instead of trying to hit a party and a show because it is what all your friends are doing and you don’t want to miss out. Also this gave me the opportunity to take up bread making and yoga things that I really rely on these days for my mental health (and sandwiches).
I dunno, what I am trying to say is it can be rough and draining to be in a new place because you took what felt like a good opportunity but now you are left wondering if isolating yourself can really be worth it… BUT I think if you are willing to push yourself, I found that I learned some good things about myself, picked up some decent hobbies, and in some ways made myself a better person.