How to Make Friends in a New City
If you've ever been the new kid in town, you know it can be incredibly hard to make new friends. The same is true even into adulthood, and once you're past the days of high school and college, when there are always tons of people and groups to join, it can feel impossible to meet new people in a new city.
Having just moved to a brand new city at least four hours away from any of my close friends, I quickly found that I needed to be creative when it came to meeting new people.
Try out these tips if you're moving soon or just feeling a bit lonely wherever you are in life!
Take a class.
Just like in school, one of the best places to meet new people with likeminded interests is to take a class in something you're passionate about. This could be a fitness class, cooking class, art, you name it. Whatever you're interested in, do some research to find a non-profit or local community college nearby that has one up your alley.
Join a club.
Similar to a class, a club is another great place to meet people you already have something in common with. Find a book club or a professional networking group to meet new folks. There are chapters of professional organizations for nearly every profession you could think of.
There are also often shared workspaces and social clubs (like Soho House) that cater to certain professions or demographics, like young professional women, so it pays to search around!
Take it online.
In this day and age, I'd wager half the people you know met their significant other (or their most recent hookup, no shame) on a dating app or website. But did you know there are also apps for finding friends?
The most prevalent one is Bumble, which triples as a dating app, friend finder and professional contact list. It's super fun because it's a great way to know right off the bat if someone has the same interests as you and if you could see yourself being friends with them. Or it can be a great way to just hang out with some new people on weekends.
Get to know your coworkers.
Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best. Get to know your coworkers and go out for drinks or coffee after work. Just keep in mind that these are people you have to see every day. Sometimes you just click and really hit it off with a coworker, but other times it can have a negative effect on your psyche if you spend tons and tons of time with the same people and can't separate work from your personal life. Use your own discretion!
Utilize your networks.
Even if you don't actually know someone in your new city, chances are much higher that you'll know someone who knows someone. Ask your friends and acquaintances if they know anyone they could recommend getting in touch with. If you went to a university, they probably have a big Facebook group for alumni of your class or program - introduce yourself there and ask if there's anyone in the area who wants to meet up and grab a drink or take a stroll downtown.
Above all - don't be shy.
The biggest thing to remember with these is to take the first step. I'm the most introverted and socially anxious person I know, so it's so much easier for me to hide in a corner and never talk to anyone new. But even if you take hundreds of classes at Pure Barre or join a book club, if you never break out of your comfort zone and make the first move, you may miss out on getting to know tons of cool people.
Lizzie is the founder and head girl of & She's Brave. She's a twenty-something blogger, social media manager and marketer living in Chicago with her boyfriend and her enormous ginger cat, Scully. She loves coffee, sunflowers, vinyl records and 90s sci-fi.
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