How to make new friends in a new city

by Carrie Pokrefke

New city...new friends!

New city…new friends!

Have you ever had to move to a new city or town?  But you didn’t really know anyone?  It can be challenging to meet new people once you get settled into your new place.  When I  first moved to Atlanta, I didn’t know the best way to meet new people.  But, over the past three years, I’ve gotten involved in my community and have met some amazing people!!

With the help of some friends, I compiled a list of some easy ways to put yourself out there.  Here are some different ways to meet new people and make some new friends:

  • Work – Chances are, you moved to a new city or town for a job.  Take time out of your day to introduce yourself to co-workers (yet, respect that they have work to do!).  Take your lunch into the break room and talk to your co-workers.  Invite people to lunch so you can learn more about them.
  • Family members or friends that are already in your new city – If you are lucky to already know someone in your new city, make a point to make plans with that person.  You might be tired from moving or settling in, but take a break and invite them out to dinner.  Ask them where their favorite restaurant is and treat them to a meal while you catch up!
  • Friends of people you know – If someone you know offers you contact information for one of their friends, take their information.  Call that person and invite him or her for lunch or a coffee.
  • A Church, Synagogue, or Temple – Find a place that fits your beliefs and worship-style.  If you can, go visit a few different ones to figure out which one is best for you and your family.  After you join, get involved!!  There are a ton of people out there that need help and this is a great way to help those in needs.
  • Join a gym – Find a good gym that offers exercise classes or a different sport sport groups at the gym.
  • Alumni/Alumnae Associations – Check to see if there is a group of alumni for your school, fraternity or sorority in your new city.  This is a good way to meet people you didn’t know in college or to meet new people that didn’t go to your school, but were in your fraternity or sorority.
  • Professional Organizations – A lot of careers have professional organizations that you can join to meet people that are also in your line of work.
  • MeetUp.com – Meetup.com came about as a result of 9/11.  If you’ve never been to the site, go check it out (There’s also a Meetup app).  There are a million different groups you can join with just as many “themes” for each group.  There are running groups, photography groups, motorcycle groups…you name it, there’s probably a Meetup group for your interest!
  • Toastmasters – This is a great way to meet new people and to work on your pubic speaking skills!
  • Taking a class – Consider taking an art class, cooking class or simply a continuing education class at a local college or university.  It’s a good way to interact, make new friends and learn something new.
  • Volunteer – Find a charity that needs volunteers, reach out to them, sign up and go volunteer!  There are people that need your help and it gives you an opportunity to not only make a difference in your community, but to meet like-minded people.
  • Some Other Ideas:
    • Junior League
    • If you have kids, find a Mom’s group or make new friends at your children’s sporting events or at their school
    • Go introduce yourself to your new neighbors
    • Travel groups
    • Take your dog to a dog park
    • Have a garage sale so you can meet your neighbors.
    • Find events you want to go to and go (especially live music events)!  You’ll meet people that have similar interests
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