Moving to a new city is always daunting. You can’t find the dishes among all your boxes, you get lost on the way to the store, and you don’t know where to find good pizza. Worst of all, you are alone. How will you make new friends? Building a social circle from the ground up isn’t easy, but it is doable. Here are nine ways to make friends in a new city.
Use social media to find friends who might already be in your new city. Modern technology gives you the ability to track down and reach out to old friends. Renewing an old connection gives you an immediate sense of familiarity when everything else is new.
Tell your friends that you are moving to the new city. See if you have any mutual connections there. If you can become a part of the shared friend’s social circle, you immediately have new opportunities to make new friends.
Go to a Meetup group. Whether you like hiking, biking, or language learning, you will find something to suit your interests. If you are motivated, you can even start a group of your own.
Organizing a group allows you to interact with all of your members and quickly become a familiar face.
Join a sports league. Even if you aren’t a sports fan, competing with the same people every week is a great way to make connections. Whether it’s a bowling team, a beach volleyball league, or recreational softball, sports are a great way to bond with others.
Use dating apps. Not every online date will result in romance. But if you are open-minded, you may find a friend who can open new doors.
Use Citysurfing.com. This APP is a great alternative if you’d like to skip the pressures of “dating” and just meet locals that share similar interests. You can search for locals in practically any city you’re visiting and then use the app’s filters to find people you’d like to hang out with.
Do volunteer work. Teach adults to read. Walk dogs who live in a shelter. Chat with residents at a nursing home. Giving is a great way to counteract loneliness. And you are sure to meet people who are as generous as you.
Attend lectures. Universities and community groups frequently sponsor speakers. Learn about astronomy, local politics, or gardening. Many times, you have a chance to chat with the speaker and other attendees after the talk is over. Your shared interests could be the launch point for your next great friendship.
Take charge. Most people in your new city already have established social circles. You are the one who needs to make friends. Be proactive and suggest activities to do with people you connect with. Don’t wait for them to make the first move. Call them.
Get involved at school or work. Whenever you are asked to socialize with co-workers or fellow students, say yes. If your co-workers eat lunch together, join them. If your classmates plan to sit on the grass and share notes, then you should be prepared to share yours, too.
Making friends takes time. Close friendships don’t develop overnight. Building a new social circle from scratch requires a concerted effort. Develop a plan, pick the activities that appeal to you, and get out and meet people. New friends await you.