In May of this year we will celebrate two years in Franklin, Tennessee. Since Brian moved out here a few months before the boys and I joined him, it feels like we’ve been here much longer than that – in the best way possible.
Having lived in a number of places throughout my life, there are things that made each place special. On the flip side, there are things I didn’t love as much, whether it be the weather or the traffic or the difficulty in finding our place in the community. But when it comes to Franklin, there’s really not anything I don’t like. I keep thinking that maybe when the new wears off I’ll start noticing things, but it’s been nearly a year and all is well, so…. I can’t say it enough – we love living here, and it’s so good to finally be home.
While every experience is different for each person, it’s fairly obvious that this is a highly desired area. It’s beautiful and laid back and so incredibly southern (something you don’t appreciate until you live in an area of the country that’s not the south). I promise I am trying to make this as impartial as possible, but moving here has been the easiest transition we’ve ever had.
But no matter the circumstances, moving is stressful. Schools, neighborhoods, proximity to work and church and other important things all have to be taken into consideration. I hope you find these next five tips listed helpful.
1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Being an extrovert, I don’t have a lot of trouble with this. But if you are introverted, this might sound like a fairly miserable idea. There are ways around having to talk to all the people until you’re ready though, I promise! I’ve often used social media to ask for referrals on all sorts of things with an overwhelming response. This has been huge in helping me reduce the number of options and make the best choice for our family without feeling overwhelmed. Also, if you moved into a subdivision in the area, it’s likely that they have a Facebook page. I can’t tell you enough how wonderful it is to be in touch with your neighborhood this way – your neighbors will be your greatest resources.
2. Don’t get sucked into the FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).
There is a general understanding here that the level of pressure to achieve, to be the best, to keep up with the Joneses, and to be at “all the things” is substantial. Some people call this the Franklin Bubble. The upside to living in this bubble is that it feels safe and protected from the outside world – low crime rate, helpful friendly people everywhere, darling downtown area, etc. Another downside to the bubble is that it can come with a lost sense of reality, but I believe that’s unintentional… people just don’t know any different. I don’t ever want to have a false sense of security, but am grateful that this feels like the best, safest place our family could be. Stay grounded in what is best for your family, and ignore the rest. You’ll be happier and healthier for it.
3. Franklin is a friendly town, and easy to settle into, so let that be the least of your worries.
There is a healthy mix of people who were born and raised here and families who are new to the area or have only been here for a few years. We have found both groups to be extremely welcoming. The natives are proud of their town and happy to help you navigate the area. The other newbies have an understanding that moving is just hard, so you’ll find them to be fast friends. Searching for a new neighborhood and schools and church and friends and doctors and and and… you get my point, is not easy in the best circumstances, but SO MUCH EASIER when surrounded by people who have done it and get it, or haven’t done it but want you to feel welcomed and loved immediately.
4. When choosing schools, you can’t go wrong.
Williamson County schools are known for being top notch, and they are. Since we moved here when our boys were high school and middle school age, this was a little more stressful, so we let them take the lead on choosing where they wanted to land in order to make it as easy as possible for them. Our middle son chose what high school he wanted to attend based on its exemplary digital art and design program, so we honed in on houses for sale that fed into that high school. On the flip side, I teach at a wonderful classical private school, and absolutely love it. All that to say, there are a lot of options and they’re all good for different reasons. Evaluate the needs of your child, ask a lot of questions, and they’ll land in the right place.
5. Get Connected with Others
All of us have a need for community, and even though I have personally found success with all of those tips, none of them compare to having a church family. Now, I’m not sure if those of you reading this have a church home. If you don’t, I’d love to invite you to ClearView Baptist – where I attend and my husband is on staff. There’s no doubt that plugging into a church is the greatest way to feel at home as soon as possible. The church body is alive and well, friends. Let them love you and welcome you to your new home.