May 11, 2018
Moving to a new city is an exciting way to get a fresh start and have a blank slate. That blank slate, however, often comes with a need to make friends and create a social network. Whether you’ve relocated temporarily or long-term, moving to a new city on your own can get lonely fast. Thankfully, you’re not alone, and there are plenty of easy ways to build an active, rewarding social life and make new friends in a new locale.
The following apps, websites, activities and more will be your best friend, so to speak, in your quest to meet new people in the city you now call home.
Americans spend 40 hours or more per week at work, so it’s inevitable that many of us make friends or even meet significant others in the workplace. If you’ve started a new job as part of your relocation, take the opportunity to get to know your co-workers. Join them for happy hour, chat with them over lunch or simply stop by their desks to say hello. Eventually, your bond will become stronger and transcend the 9 to 5.
It’s important not to lose touch with your friends in other cities upon moving to a new one. Reach out and ask them if they know anyone in your city, and if so, have them connect the two of you. Go on a “friend date” with the mutual acquaintance by grabbing food, coffee or drinks, and have the person introduce you to their friends. You never know how many new friendships may transpire.
Whether your new city is a small suburb or major metropolis, book clubs are a popular way for people to combine their love of reading with an opportunity to meet people, socialize and have interesting conversation. Look for a book club with a reading list that suits your interests, so you’re more likely to stick to it and have things in common with the other members.
Alumni associations are a fantastic way to meet people, network and potentially make new friends no matter what city you’re in. Find out if your alma mater has a local chapter in your new city, state or region and get involved. A simple Google or social media search will point you in the right direction. Keep an eye out for upcoming events and join their mailing list to stay up-to-date on the latest happenings. Chances are you won’t be the only newcomer looking to make new friends!
Looking for a way to make new friends and do good at the same time? Volunteer for a cause you’re passionate about. Whether it’s beach cleanup, walking dogs at the local animal shelter or serving meals to the homeless, you’ll get to help others, feel good about yourself and meet people who share your passion for volunteering — a win-win for all involved.
Playing recreational sports in an organized league isn’t just for school-aged kids. In cities large and small, adult sports leagues are a popular way for both new and longtime residents to have fun, be active and make friends. Differing levels of competition are often available, ranging from casual to fierce. Pick a sport, join a team, pay the necessary fees and you’re ready to go. ZogSports provides leagues in many major cities, but be sure to check online for other options in your city.
If you’re one of the many people who made a New Year’s resolution to learn something new, why not do so and also use it as a way to make friends in your new city? Many free and low-cost classes are offered at local community centers, colleges, non-profits and adult education centers, whether it’s for art, language, flower arranging or cooking. Eventbrite is another great source for finding learning opportunities in your area.
At a large, busy gym, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd and keep to yourself while working out. Consider joining a fitness studio instead, which tends to be smaller and more intimate. Fitness studios are now available for activities beyond the typical yoga and pilates, such as cycling, kickboxing, CrossFit, barre or even meditation. Come ready to sweat but also socialize.
If you moved to your new city with a dog in tow, he or she can be a valuable asset when it comes to meeting fellow pet owners. Take your four-legged friend to the local dog park and you’ll both have a great chance to socialize and make friends, human or canine. Use the internet or social media to also find out if your neighborhood has a dog-walking or play group.
The internet is a resource for almost anything these days, and that includes making friends. Meetup.com is a popular destination for meeting people with common interests and circumstances, such as being new to a city. Some of the events are one-time while others are recurring, and there are dozens of interest categories to choose from. It’s also available as an app. Nextdoor, Bumble BFF, Tinder Social, Skout and Meet My Dog are other popular options.
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