Experience or no experience, have you ever felt nervous or scared before taking up a new task, professionally or personally? Think we all have. Likewise, moving to a new city might arouse the same feelings in you. It’s daunting because you’ve been uprooted from a lifestyle you were most comfortable with, concerning work, home, and of course, your friends. At the same time, it’s also exciting because you’re starting a new life and getting to create new experiences.
While the thought of managing all alone in a new city can be overwhelming, it’s not something you should sweat about. Why? Because there are a ton of ways you can create a social circle today. It might take time and effort, but nothing in life comes easy. All you have to do is be a little proactive and go out more, and you’ll find what you’re looking for. In fact, finding a roommate might be a good way to start connecting with people. Need help in that area? Cirtru, the most trusted roommate finder in the USA, can help you in your roommate search! Finally, we believe that if you follow these 12 extra tips, you’ll make friends in no time!
Reach out to people in your network
Before moving to a new city, reach out to the people in your network comprising friends, former coworkers, extended family, acquaintances, and anyone else you can think of. Ask them if they happen to know people living in the city you’re moving to and if they’re comfortable connecting them to you.
If you manage to gather a couple of contacts, you’re all set! You’ve created a small circle of people you can connect with over coffee or drinks once you’ve moved. You’ve just saved yourself a great deal of time and effort!
Get to know your coworkers better
If you’ve moved to a new city for work, use your free time at the office to mingle with your coworkers and learn more about them. Because you’re new to the city and the company, you might be hesitant to ask them for a drink after work. Think of it as a pilot project and ask them to accompany you to lunch, or see if you can join them for lunch. The conversations you have over food will give you an idea about whether you can bond with them well enough to meet them after work. Office games, events, and potlucks can also be great ways to connect with your coworkers.
When asked, be sure to share your real experiences or challenges of managing on your own in a new city. If you’re candid, your coworkers will be able to relate to it because they might have gone through similar experiences. This can forge an instant connection, and they’ll be sure to include you in their social gatherings in the future.
Throw a party and invite neighbors
More often than not, your neighbors are the first set of people you’ll meet after you move to a new city. Also, since they live next door, they’ll be the first ones you can contact for help in an emergency. So, it makes sense to find a way to get to know them without invading their personal space or doing something that’s out of your comfort zone.
So, what’s the next step? Organize a gathering at your house and invite all your neighbors. Call it a housewarming party, if you will.
Be a community volunteer
How would you feel if you could do something for someone selflessly? If you have even the slightest interest in serving others, consider becoming a community volunteer and working for an NGO in your spare time. There’s nothing like seeing a smile on someone’s face whose day we just made better!
When you get out there, you’ll realize just how many people think the way you do, which is an ideal way to forge long-term connections. You could check out the portal VolunteerMatch.org with your city name and the causes you’d like to work for. Some of them include children and youth, animal welfare, human rights and advocacy, education and literacy, and crisis support and disaster relief.
Sign up at a gym
A gym or yoga class is a perfect place to meet new people and make friends. If you’re a fitness enthusiast, good for you! But if you’re not, this is still a great way to meet like-minded people and stay in shape.
So, go ahead and sign up at a local gym or fitness center and make sure you go there regularly. You’ll undoubtedly find some excuse to talk to other gym or studio members, and over time become comfortable in their company and vice versa. The comfort level should help you invite them for a coffee or a drink later, depending on which part of the day you choose to meet.
Be part of a professional networking or a Facebook group
Regardless of the profession you’re in, you can always look for a group of people who belong to the same field. The best part about making friends with such people is you have one thing in common: your profession. In other words, if not anything else, you can always find a topic you’re at ease talking about. Being part of such a group exposes you to networking and collaborative events, which give you more opportunities to form your social circle.
Another way to meet new people is to become a member of specific Facebook groups dealing with different activities. Use the search bar on your home page to type ‘groups,’ and you’ll find plenty of them. For results more specific to your city, add the city name and see what comes up. Send a request for membership and start your interactions with other members of these groups.
Visit the park with your furry friend
Every city and neighborhood in the United States offers parks to benefit its residents. So, if you’re an outdoorsy person, use your free time at the parks near your home. You can get some fresh air and meet new people taking leisurely walks in the park. Do you have a dog? That’s even better! Many people own pets, so this can give you an excellent opportunity to bond with fellow dog owners. As a matter of fact, you can take your dog to a dog park nearby, the ideal place to meet more potential friends.
Attend a local music, art, or food festival
Events that celebrate the culture of a city, whether it concerns art, food, or music, are perfect places to meet and connect with people. These events are usually open to all and have numerous games, competitions, and other activities that require people to team up, either in pairs or groups. When you’re thrown into the company of total strangers, and you need to work as a team, you have no choice but to talk. And here’s your chance to strike a rapport with them and make new friends. Check the newspapers or your city’s portal for an update on upcoming events, and be there!
Enroll in a foreign language class
Learning and mastering a foreign language is an art and a fantastic way to acquire a new skill. If you’re an avid traveler or have plans to travel internationally, you can find a way to put your skills to good use. Moreover, it offers you an opportunity to learn something new about another culture.
However, language learning is more fun when learned in a group as opposed to one-on-one. Also, learning in a group allows you to interact with other learners and forge new friendships. Once you’ve settled down, search online for language-learning companies or institutions and give it a go!
Avail services of local businesses
Local businesses thrive on the services they offer to residents and are always open to finding new customers. Shopping from local boutiques and shops, having food at the eateries, and coffee at the local coffee shops are terrific ways to blend into the community and meet like-minded customers who can eventually become your friends. Also, cultivating relationships with the owners over time ensures you get quality stuff and occasional discounts.
Be a part of MeetUp.com
In the digital age, it’s not difficult to find portals and apps for everything from buying groceries to booking tickets to finding people whose interests match yours. MeetUp.com is one such app/website that helps you do exactly that and is available in all major cities in the USA and across the globe!
What do you like to do? Whatever your interests are, from reading to cooking to traveling to acting, there are a million groups related to each. Type in your city name and your activity of interest and you’re all set!
Explore museums, aquariums, and zoos
Public places are where you’ll expect to find the most people, right? For instance, museums, aquariums, and zoos are public places. So, check them out. Every city has a number of museums where you can explore and admire the diverse exhibits. Zoos and aquariums provide walking tours and wildlife classes, so you can sign up for one. A group setting is always a great place to initiate a conversation with someone next to you and see where it goes.
So, what’s your take on the tips we’ve highlighted here? We hope you find them doable. Remember, all good things in life don’t come easily, so remain true to yourself, have faith, and do your thing. In the end, if you find yourself in a friendship that’s draining you of all your energy, let it go. Believe us when we say that there are plenty more out there waiting to be your friends!