Ready (Or Not) for San Diego!

A blog post from SOLES Ambassador and PhD in Leadership Studies, Tara Edberg:
Moving to a new place can be daunting, moving cross-country even more so, as there is so much to think about and consider. I did it 3 years ago when I started my PhD in Leadership Studies so I thought I would share some advice. California is the 8th state I have lived in, so I have learned a thing or two in my moves. This is just my personal advice, I am sure other Ambassadors have additional advice they can share. Here are my thoughts:

  1. In San Diego most rental properties are not posted until the month they will be available, therefore when you find a place you typically move in within the month. So you do not have to look for a rental until 30 days before you move. This can be difficult to do from far away. Some people fly in, in order to find a place, others have a friend in town that can go to viewings, some do everything online (which can be risky), and still others move in to a month-by-month rental situation so they can get to SD, find the neighborhood and a place they like and then move to a more permanent location. That is what I did and it worked out great. I moved in to a bedroom in a house that I found on Craigslist, and once I was here and familiar with the area I moved to a new place a couple months after moving to San Diego.
  2. Each San Diego neighborhood has its own personality, this article ( does a pretty nice job speaking to many neighborhoods but sometimes you have to read between the lines (ex. Ocean Beach’s “1960s hippie vibe”). Also, there are neighborhoods not included on the list you may want to consider (Mission Valley, Mission Hills, Point Loma, etc.). Finally, it might be helpful to know that the beach communities have a lot of our undergraduate students in them: Mission Beach has a lot of USD students, Pacific Beach has a lot of SDSU students, etc., and some people prefer to not live in the undergraduate scene. Most of the Grad students I know live in Mission Valley/Hills, Hillcrest/North Park, and Downtown. I live in North Park and love it! If you are curious about a specific neighborhood, feel free to post your question on the Facebook group and Ambassadors will chime in.
  3. The other question you will have to consider is having a roommate vs. not having a roommate. If you are looking to find a roommate you can fill out the roommate survey and you will get the contact information of other students who are looking. Having a roommate will obviously allow you to rent a bigger space for less money. Rents vary, but most people I know pay between $750-1,200 a month. When I first moved here I found a room in a house for $600 a month, but the house and the neighborhood left a lot to be desired. For me, I knew I wanted to have my own space, in a walkable neighborhood, and preferred not to have a roommate so I was looking for a studio. I found a great studio bungalow (AKA Mother In-Law Quarters) in North Park on Craigslist that was being rented by the owners.
  4. After looking at the costs I decided it was not worth it to rent a moving truck, drive it cross-country with horrible gas mileage, and have the added stress of possibly needing to tow my car. I also looked in to Pods, which were also very expensive. In the end it would cost more to move my furniture than simply buying new. So I sold most of my furniture, stored some belongings with my parents and moved out to San Diego with what I could fit in, and on, my SUV. So be sure you look at costs of moving your belongings and consider if it is worth it. One thing I found out during my research, but I did not need, is you can actually ship boxes with Greyhound. I will probably use this service to ship some belongings on my next adventure.

These are the major questions I feel like people have when moving here. Sorry this blog is so long, but I hope you find it helpful. If you have questions feel free to post them on the Facebook page or email me (, I am staying off social media through May. Good luck in your transition! 🙂

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