How to Make Friends in a New City
Moving to a new city is an exciting and scary time, and it can be even more daunting when you’re doing it on your own. I started my career and life fresh out of college in NYC a little more than a year ago. I moved to the city from a small town in Western Massachusetts, and knew NO ONE when I got here. No one from my college had moved down to the city, and I was going to be moving in with someone I met on Craigslist! Although this was a huge transition, and a little bit of a frightening time, I looked at this as an opportunity to learn more about myself and meet new people.
Living in the city can get lonely, but have no fears; there are plenty of ways to meet people of all ages, backgrounds and interests if you are proactive. Here are a few ideas that I have tried:
This is a great website to meet people with similar interests around the country. You can set up your own account with your interests or search for topics. The site will list “meet ups” in your area.
Go out with Co-Workers
You don’t need to be best friends with your co-workers, but this can make things so much easier around the office. In my office, we’re all about the same age and started around the same time. We started going out to happy hours every couple of weeks, and we all became close and actually get together outside of work as well. It’s nice to be able to take some time and get to know your co-workers better, especially when you already have a common bond.
Many colleges and universities will hold events for their Alumni’s in big cities at least once a year. Reach out to the Alumni Association and see what events are coming to your area, or ask if they can put you in contact with other Alumns in your city.
Join a Sports team
There are all types of sports teams you can get involved with; bowling, dodgeball, softball, basketball, and volleyball, just to name a few. For example, Zogsports.com is a great league that offers sports in several cities while supporting various charities.
If you have a cause that you really like to support (i.e. Breast Cancer, animals, education), look up local volunteer opportunities in your area.
Of course there are a ton of ways to meet others (going to free events, museums, bars, wandering the city), but it’s easiest to connect with others when there’s a common interest. Don’t be afraid to try new things or be a little extra outgoing. You’re starting a new life, a new you, so make the most of it and get out there! In the end, I found that playing on a sports team was the most helpful strategy since you see these people regularly and not just for one event.