How does a recent transplant make friends in a small town? If anybody knows, they should tell me.
Seriously, though. When people talk about moving, they talk about finding the best deals and being near public transportation and making sure you don’t forget to bring or buy a bath mat. (Ahem.) Nobody talks about what to do three weeks after you move in when it’s chilly and raining and you think, “Oh, it’s perfect meet-a-friend-at-a-coffeeshop weather” and but then you realize you don’t have any friends, except your boyfriend, who, bless his frugal heart, doesn’t see the point of going to a coffeeshop when you could just make coffee at home.
I guess nobody talks about it because nobody wants to admit it happens to them. Or maybe nobody talks about it because it doesn’t happen to anyone except me because I’m a loser and I’ll never make another friend again and I hate California and if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go have a good cry now…
Just kidding. Really, I’m kidding. I have friends. The lady at the post office always smiles at me and today a random guy walking by said “Hi there.” That totally counts.
So what do you do if you’re new to a place and you want to make some friends? Here are five easy ways to meet people. I’m going to do them all tomorrow.
1. Get a job. You lazy bum. Bonus tip: If you get a job related to something you’re passionabe about -i.e. a kayak maniac manning the checkout desk at REI or another outdoor retailer- then you’re almost certain to meet like-minded people, at least one of whom is bound to not hate you.
2. Get involved. Sign up to man (or woman) a water table at a charity 5k run or canvass neighborhoods for a cause you care about. Even if you don’t make friends, you’ll get out in the community and do some good. And that just feels good.
3. Get in shape. Even my tiny town boasts regular classes in yoga, belly dancing, aerial dance, and probably others I haven’t discovered. I really should sign up for one. So should you! Take a cool class at the nearest gym. Better yet, meander off the beaten path. Think of the interesting people you’ll meet when you start studying Krav Maga or circus arts.
4. Get a clue. At a community-education class, that is. Just imagine – you could learn how to say, “Will you be my friend?” in Japanese.
5. Get a life. So you don’t have any friends. So what? Get out and do things that interest you, like go to concerts and check out gallery openings. Nothing attracts potential friends like someone who doesn’t seem to desperately need them.