Don’t Be an Introvert: How to Make New Friends in a New City
While moving to a new city — be it a large metro region such as Dallas or Los Angeles or smaller cities like Portland and Austin — the change can bring excitement through new adventures and opportunities. But making friends, especially as an adult, comes with its set of challenges.
It’s important to keep in mind that moving to a brand-new city is more than packing your bags and finding an apartment. It’s a process that requires some exciting adjustments to your routine.
Trying a new hobby and capitalizing on work events designed to help you meet new people can help foster new friendships. Although these tips may require you to step out of your comfort zone, in the end, they will make your new city feel more like home.
Get Active: Start meeting people in your new city by joining a local gym. Even better, take a fitness class consistently each week. If you visit sporadically, it will be harder to encourage a solid friendship. Instead, try to attend regularly and go to class five to 10 minutes early. This will give you a chance to strike up a conversation with a fellow participant who has similar interests as you. Yoga, cycling and Zumba classes all have ideal atmospheres for meeting people.
Active adults 55+ who reside at an Overture community may have access to a comprehensive assortment of group fitness programs and fitness amenities that allows them to meet and interact with their neighbors.
See if there are any hiking groups and running clubs in your new city. The collaborative workouts will encourage socialization. If you’re a fan of baseball, softball and flag football, check out an adult sport leagues. Being a part of a team can help you feel more involved in a community of people.
Make the Most Out of Your Job: Starting a new job creates the perfect chance to make friends. Along with daily conversations and having lunch with colleagues, try going to company happy hours and events. Although corporate outings are still a work event, being outside of the office can make people feel more at ease and willing to socialize. Another helpful tip when getting to know someone is to find out what you have in common. Then, take a chance and invite them to an event you know that you both would be interested in.
Discover Friends Through Social Media: Although you may not know anyone in a new city, there is a large chance that one of your friends does. An easy way to make connections is by posting on your Facebook or Twitter page, saying you’ve moved to a new city and are looking to make new friends. This will give any mutual friend a chance to connect you to someone. Be sure to check your existing friends as well to see if anyone lives near you and reach out to them.
Pick Up a New Hobby: Take advantage of your fresh start in a new city by trying out a hobby. Not only will it inspire a new passion, it gives you the opportunity to meet people. Painting and photography classes offered at your local community college are some creative options. Book clubs, community and church choirs and improv groups are all fun ways to make friends while doing something you enjoy.
“Taking a class, such as an art or history class, can help you connect with others,” said Dallas-based Marci Stiles, a Licensed Professional Counselor, Supervisor and Certified Professional Life Coach (LPC-S, CPC). “Find something that intrigues you. This will give you the chance to find many like-minded people you may want to befriend.”
Go to Apartment and Community Events: It may be considered old school, but getting to know your neighbors can lead to fantastic friendships. Check your apartment community’s calendar for any social events to attend, or simply introduce yourself to your neighbors and floor mates. Visiting your apartment community’s gym or pool also provides the chance to meet people. Also, many of our Resident Portals include an application that is a closed social network for residents of a community. Search for your Resident Portal to see if your Greystar community has a network.
Volunteer: One of the best ways to dive into your local area is by volunteering. Find a cause you are interested in and set a weekly or monthly goal to volunteer. Animal shelters, food banks, hospitals and libraries most often offer chances for people to volunteer on a regular basis. Volunteering will help connect you with people who have similar passions while providing the dual purpose of serving people in your community.
Go to a Dog Park: By going to a dog park, you and your pup can make new friends. Search for the nearest dog-friendly park in your city and let your four-legged friend lead you to some potential besties. If you don’t have a dog, going for a stroll at your local park or trail can be a useful alternative.
Visit Industry Events and Join Professional Groups: Professionals have an advantage in making friends when moving to a new city due to the wealth of career-specific events across the nation. Whether you work in business, law, journalism or creative fields, there’s a multitude of industry seminars, networking gatherings and professional groups that are open for newcomers. Your shared career will act as a great foundation for friendship.
"Just saying ‘hi’ to a stranger or complementing someone at the office can mean progress,” said Stiles, the Licensed Professional Counselor, Supervisor and Certified Professional Life Coach. “Make goals that are achievable, otherwise you set yourself up for failure.”
So, you’ve had your first official friend meet-up and it went surprisingly well! Keep the spirit alive by planning future activities together. Although initial hangouts are a solid start, one of the common mistakes people make is not initiating future meet-ups, which decreases the chance of building a friendship. Try sending a text after your hangout, saying you had fun and would love to meet again soon. This will help your friendship flourish rather than fade.
Don’t let the initial fear of moving prevent you from exploring new friendships. Chances are that that awkward feeling is just in your head.
If you’re planning to move to a new city this year — whether it’s for a new job or a change of scenery — and need an apartment to call your next home, let our experienced professionals create a perfect balance of services, amenities and finishes.
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