If you are a new kid on the block and feeling lonely, perhaps it’s time to make some friends. This isn’t always easy. Socializing in a new environment requires you to step outside of your comfort zone—and that can be scary. Check out these tips for how to meet new people in a new city:
1. Volunteer your time.
Spending just a few hours each month helping your favorite cause will put you in the company of people who feel the same way. Organizations that may need help include those dedicated to:
- Health care
- Children, youth, or schools
- Environmental causes
- Crisis support or disaster relief
2. Get a gym membership.
Work out with weights, sign up for classes, or swim for a few hours, and you’ll meet lots of people. Some gyms offer personal fitness coaches who can likely introduce you to other clients who need a workout partner.
3. Run or cycle with a group.
Join up with local runners, cyclists, or triathletes. Most organized runs or rides have various levels, from newbies to ultra athletes. You can also learn about which local races are happening and sign up to compete.
4. Network, network, network.
Network acquaintances can easily become good friends. If you are self-employed or run a small business, join the Chamber of Commerce to meet other business owners. If you are involved in a specialized career field, connect with those in similar professions. This can include groups for professional accountants, attorneys, teachers, senior services, and so much more.
5. Join a religious or cultural group.
Get active in a local church, synagogue, or mosque to meet friends who share the same beliefs and rituals. Or connect with those who share your culture and ethnic identity. This can be centered around music, food, or pride. Learning how to meet people in a new city includes checking online for local chapters of national ethnic or religious groups.
6. Read with friends.
Ask local or independent bookstores for information about book clubs. Some even have specific genre groups such as science fiction, romance, or nonfiction fans.
7. Become an official supporter of your favorite sports team.
Are you a Packers fan? Or maybe you love Manchester United? No matter what team you root for, there are probably others in your city who feel the same way. Call around to local pubs and sports bars to see what teams they support. Then, on game day, cheer them on with a crowd of potential new friends.
8. Support the arts.
Museums or theaters often encourage supporters to become members. Membership includes classes, fundraising events, and many other chances to meet members with the same interests.
9. Take classes at the local college or university.
Learn a new language or skill, brush up on world history, or take classes in art appreciation. Most schools have continuing education classes for older people or professionals who don’t want to stop learning.
10. Join a meet-up.
It seems like MeetUp.com was made for folks wondering how to meet people in a new city. With so many different interests to choose from, you’ll enter your city or town and view numerous “meetups” near you. Try a few!
11. Find your passion.
What are you into? Politics? Yoga? Gardening? Check out bulletin boards at libraries or coffee shops. Find information at stores that sell items related to your hobby or interest. They might know of groups that meet regularly.
12. Ask your friends.
When you’re getting ready to relocate, talk to current friends. Ask if they know anyone where you’re going. They can hook you up with new friends before you even get there.
13. Make friends with coworkers.
When you relocate for work, take advantage of lunch hours and coffee breaks. Introduce yourself to new colleagues in the cafeteria and around the water cooler. Be friendly and approachable. Many companies also have groups specifically designed to provide socializing opportunities. See if any of them are a good fit for you.