From Kindergarten through college, we were able to use class and extracurricular activities to make new friends. Then, we graduate college and move to a city for work. How can we make friends while working a full time job? I will tell you the tricks I have learned since moving to my new city:
1. Do not sit at home every Saturday. I know that we can entertain ourselves at home with Netflix, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook; however, you are NOT going to meet friends camped out on the couch. Force yourself to explore your city and give yourself the opportunity to meet new people.
2. Get Involved. Use social media resources such as the Meetup App or Facebook to find groups of people with similar interests. I personally sat on my computer during the work week and would join any and all groups online that interest me. Each weekend, I chose an event to attend from one of the groups that I had joined until I found one where I really fit in – for example a hiking club. This club gave me events to attend every week and friendships that will last a lifetime.
3. Join a sports team. Not athletic? It’s okay. I joined kickball. Most cities have sports teams for adults with the sole purpose of meeting new people. GoKickball is the site that I used. They let you answer a few questions about yourself then match you to a team that they feel would be a good fit. I join a new team almost every season so that I can expand my social network. I also met my best friend here by randomly going solo to the preseason party my first weekend in the city ( it took a lot of nerve and wine to attend an event by myself). I highly advise joining any adult social sport.
4. Go on Tinder dates. You’re in a new city and need something to do? Sooo why not go out on Tinder dates. They will show you cool new spots to go for dinner or drinks. Maybe there is no chemistry, but you could come out of the date with a new friend and another connection.
5. Do not visit your hometown for the first month. Do not baby yourself by relying on your hometown visits for social interaction. Embrace your new town, tell yourself that this is your new home, and you need to start your own life with new friendships in it. If you visit home every weekend, you’re never going to grow as a person. Stay in your new location for the first month in order to learn independence and to start establishing new roots.
6. Splurge on your apartment. I splurged for my first year in my new city. I chose a complex that had fitness classes, a pool, monthly socials, and was walking distance to dog parks. I chose to spend a little extra money on the location of where I lived in exchange for an increased social experience. I started attending the fitness classes for both my health and to get to know my neighbors. Every weekend, you can lay out by the pool in the summer or walk your dog to the park in hopes to further expand your social network.
7. Do not be a workaholic. I am a young professional so I know how easy it is to get sucked into work; however, you must take one day a week to establish a social life outside of it. If you work all the time, you will never be happy in your new city. It is all about having a work-life balance.
So whether you’re moving to big city or a smaller one, there are plenty of options to choose from…you just have to step outside of your comfort zone and take a leap! You never know that leap could turn into the best move you ever made.