It’s that all too familiar eery transition season. A time when people start new jobs, leave home for college or just pickup their lives in search for something more. I’ve been there. A lot. And I’m here to tell you that no, it’s not easy, but you can and will survive. And you will be a better person for it.
I moved to what I thought was the big city, at the time, of Fayetteville, AR after graduating high school and much to my surprise, none of my closest friends had plans to follow my same path. We all scattered and went out separate ways. Calling and texting occasionally, but it was hard keeping up a long distance friendship. I had new exciting things ahead of me at the university, but there was one major problem. I had no friends. I was a new face in a sea of 25K students all trying to find their way. Talk about overwhelming.
Fast forward 4 years later, I had to face this all over again. I accepted my first real big girl job after college and moved myself into a tiny one bedroom apartment in Tulsa, OK. Not knowing a sole in this whole state, I forged on. I started my job and prayed things would get easier…somehow. After about six months that lonely, sinking feeling devastated me again. How was I going to survive the real world alone? Where are all the recent college grads out there experiencing this exact same thing? I needed a sympathy shoulder, someone to grab coffee with me on a random week night, a friend to explore this new city with. Someone to actually have a conversation with besides my coworkers and my mom.
If this is you, there is hope just stick with me here. I’ve gathered a few easy ways I was able to make new friends in a new city.
Find a weekly workout class & stick to it // Developing a consistent workout routine is not only great for your health, but when you join a workout class you are bound to be with the same people week after week. Consistency builds relationships. Buddy up with someone in your spin or yoga class and strike up a conversation. Continue to grow that relationship by expanding it outside of your class together. Before you know it, you’ve got yourself a new bestie.
Introduce yourself to your neighbors // Introductions are just common courtesy, but if you are in a college town there’s probably a 99% chance that your neighbor is also a student too. Make friends with your neighbors, #1 so it isn’t awkward when you see each other walking to and from your place and #2 you never know when you might need them.
Volunteer for a cause // When a person is volunteering there’s most likely some similar passions between the two of you. It takes a special person to volunteer their free time to help others, make friends with these people. Be a helper, find someone at the event and ask to lend a hand at what they are doing. This is a great opportunity to strike up a conversation and invite them out for a coffee after a long afternoon of work together.
Find your alumni network // Every city has a network of other graduates from a variety of different colleges. Just like what happened after graduating high school, all your college friends and classmates will scatter across the U.S. for jobs, families, etc. Get online and find your school’s alumni network and join their next meet up! You already know you have the same school spirit in common…what’s more to love?
Seek out like-minded people // Do you have a favorite hobby? For me it’s running, tennis and other crafty things. Seek out groups and places where these people might also gather. For runners, most cities have running groups – hit up their next meet up and run together. Take a tennis lesson or find a gardening class. Not only will you be doing something that you love, those that you meet there will be having a great time too. That’s grounds for finding friends!
Do you have other ways of meeting new friends in new cities? Tell me in the comments below.
THANK YOU to all the submissions for the September “Ask Candace” series. I am loving some of the questions and comments coming from this community. Truly inspiring. I’ll be selecting the next question on Monday to feature next week.
Do you have a question you would love answered on the blog? Submit them to me via email at CandaceWoesch@gmail.com or via the contact form here.