Sixteen-year-old Josephine S. (JoJo) has moved cross-country three times in the past four years. That type of journey can be tough for a teen, especially one making the transition from middle school to high school. We recently sat down with JoJo for an open, honest conversation about how she successfully made the adjustment from West Coast to the East Coast and back again ― and how it’s impacted her life. Here’s what she told us.
You’ve Moved a Few Times Recently. What Were the Reasons?
Technically, we moved a total of four times. In late 2018, my family and I moved from Sausalito, California, to Manhattan because my mother got a job that was too good to turn down. All I can say is that things were good until they weren’t. There were some family-related issues, then Covid hit and it was better to just move into my grandparents’ much larger house across the river in Hoboken, New Jersey. We couldn’t stay there forever, so we moved back to the only place we had: California. Fortunately, our house hadn’t sold yet.
Did You Find Moving Easy, Stressful or Both?
Every move is different and they are all going to be stressful. But when you have a mom as organized as mine, it’s a lot easier.
Note: If you’re not as organized as JoJo’s mom, our Move Checklist will come in handy.
How Did You Make New Friends?
Mostly through school. I joined the fencing club at my New York City school. Then when we came back to California, I became a varsity cheerleader. I think getting involved and participating in school activities is important for you socially. Both programs helped me make some of the best friends I’ve ever had.
To be honest, it always takes me a bit of time to adjust to new people and having a touch of social anxiety doesn’t help. If you find the right people though, you slowly but surely get used to it.
Did You Use the Moves to Create a New Look or Image?
That certainly happened in New York. I was feeling down and upset with my parents and I definitely dressed that way. When we moved back to California I was still a bit down. I ended up dyeing my hair so many times that every color you can imagine was on the top of my head at one point or another. But starting high school in California definitely changed me. I went from being a “sad girl” to a varsity competition cheerleader. Yeah, no one saw that coming.
Do You Stay in Touch with People From New York?
Of course. One of my best friends in the world still lives in New York. We’ve been friends for several years now, ever since we both joined the fencing team.
What Do You Like Best About Where You Live Now?
My cheerleading. That team is like my family and I love them so much. We won first place last summer at the National Cheerleaders Association camp and we’re going to regionals next month. Another thing I enjoy about living in California is the ocean. I love to go swimming and surfing, and it’s great to just lay out on the beach reading a book and getting a tan. For me, nothing beats the California life.
What Do You Miss About New York?
I miss the people and the overall straightforward attitude. In New York when you make plans with someone, they actually happen. People in California often say they want to hang out but then they never actually make it happen ― or they just flake out. I also miss that everything in New York is either within walking distance or you could just hop on the subway.
Any Words of Advice to Other Teens About Moving?
Take it one step at a time. So much is out of your control and you just have to get used to that. No matter where you end up, there will always be someone you can become friends with. Even if they’re not a lifetime friend, you can still have a lot of fun. Also, remember that moving is not just hard for you. Your parents are also going to miss their friends and sometimes things are even harder for them.
We wish JoJo and her family every success in their journey to Finding Home. And remember, no matter where you happen to be in the moving process, you can count on Mayflower to be with you Every Step of the Way®.
Moving or about to move? Get a no-obligation quote from Mayflower.
Oh, and did you know Mayflower has a channel on Spotify? Move and groove to tunes that get you to your new place — and settled in — in style.