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You made it! You packed up all of your belongings and moved somewhere new. Leaving all that’s familiar to you can be overwhelming, especially because you don’t have your usual squad to make all the new-ness less terrifying. On top of that, you have to figure out how to make friends.
Putting yourself out there takes a certain amount of vulnerability and emotional risk. But a simple comment can open a conversation, which can lead to a coffee date, and then more (always be sure to follow up with people!). If worse comes to worst and you have a terrible experience, so what? You never have to see each other again and you have a funny story to tell your friends back home.
And don’t forget, making just one connection opens you up to meeting more people. So even if things aren’t clicking with Stephanie, she might introduce you to your new BFF Ashley. Say yes to any invite and every event because sitting home by yourself will just make you feel lonely and bored–and what do you really have to lose?
Now that you’ve got the mentality to conquer the challenge of making new friends, pump yourself up and get out there! To make it even easier, here’s a list of how to make friends and places to go that set the perfect scene. Go get ‘em, killer!
Friends of Friends
A pro of Facebook is that you can connect with a lot of people all over the place, so go ahead and ask if anyone knows someone in that city. People understand being new is tough, and that friend of a friend or an old relative can make a huge difference when you first arrive.
A class doesn’t have to be academic-based—you can take cooking classes, go to salsa nights, or even learn a new language. Not only will developing skills be something to do that’s fun and productive, these places have a community atmosphere that promotes building relationships.
Find out what’s happening around you. Cities host events and most businesses have special event nights as well. My personal suggestion is hitting up any type of restaurant or bar, but the advice you should probably take more seriously is find an organization of young professionals. Networking is key in any career, so why not make some friends while you’re at it?
Local Coffee Shop
A coffee shop is basically a room of people sitting around waiting to meet someone new. Chat with someone while you’re in line or sitting at a table waiting for your drink, talk to someone who’s reading a book you enjoy, or even just sit near someone who looks your age and say something along the lines of, “I’m new here, what’s one of the best drinks to get?”
Join a league for whatever sport is happening at that time: softball, basketball, ultimate frisbee. If you were doing this in your old community you’ll miss playing, so a new group can ease that pain. If you’re not super athletic just join a league that’s easy or more for fun (another personal recommendation: ultimate frisbee is found everywhere, they welcome newbies well, and any group I’ve played with has all been friends and focused on having fun together). You can also join running clubs or a yoga class that meets outside. Explore the new city with people who actually know their way around.
You need to take your dog out already and being outside is always a mental boost. Dog parks are a great place to meet other owners (aka: potential friends), so suggest meeting up for puppy play dates.
This can be a little tricky because some people like to focus on their workout at the gym, but if you find a chance to chat with someone or keep running into the same person, go for it! They will probably know about fun fitness things happening in the city, and finding a new workout buddy can be essential to staying in shape.