by John Chen
Moving to a new city is an exciting and scary experience. At some point, we all end up doing it, whether it’s for work, school, or maybe you just need a change of scenery. Moving to a new city is rough on your social life. It’s a stimulating experiencing—new restaurants, museums, parks, stores and unique offerings in your new area—but doing all of this by yourself eventually gets lonely.
A year ago, I moved from California to Washington, D.C. I’ve had varying success developing my social life. At the organization I work at, my coworkers are either married or significantly older. I get along with them great in the office, but we’re not exactly hanging out together after work. Coworkers can always be a source of new friends, but I have varying opinions about letting some of my older coworkers in on my social life. (I know it’s not very Gen-Y’ish to separate work and non-work life.)
These are my four tips for making new friends in a new place:
A popular meeting site for people in the same situation as you. Here you find people willing to get together for anything and everything, ranging from happy hours, museum visits, sports outings, day trips, outdoor events and even wine and food groups. Their motto is “meeting everywhere about most everything.” I’ve had success on this site, especially meeting people around my age. It’s easier since everyone is a little nervous. The groups I’m involved in range from 20s and 30′ groups, young professionals, food and wine, volleyball and a few other niche groups. Wherever you are, I definitely recommend joining this site. There’s always something going on any given day of the week. The best part? People just like you run the groups!
Whether you’re 18 or 80, there’s always a sports league you can find. Bowling, softball, tennis, volleyball and whats seems to be making a comeback (at least in my area): kickball. There are at least a dozen different kickball leagues in my area ranging from super-competitive to social groups just looking for a reason to wear the same shirts to happy hour.
Great minds think alike; so do great souls and great hearts. Grouping yourself with other people who donate their time and energy for the betterment of others is a noble cause. Be but warned: do it only if you are truly willing to give it your all. People can tell when your willingness is not sincere. That’s my take anyway.
Say “Yes” to Invitations
When your neighbors, friends, acquaintances, coworkers, classmates or other people invite you to something, join them! It’s important and much easier to expand your network of friends through people who already know you. Work on those second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth degrees of separation. It’s much easier to meet new people when you already know people there. Hopefully, those who invited you will be good hosts and introduce you to people possessing similar interests as you.