How to Make Friends in a New Place

Being a military family we are accustomed to moving, and that usually means leaving the friends you've come to know and love to go to a strange place and start all over again. My kids have gotten used to it but as an adult, it is a lot more difficult. I'm not a fan of change and moving to a new place is hard. There are a variety of complications that arise with doing so, as you’ve got to figure out your housing, your job, and where on earth is even good to grab a drink after a long day at work.

However, if you are moving to an entirely new area where you don’t know anyone, then the absolute most stressful part of this whole ordeal is simply being able to make new friends. We’ve always taken for granted how easy it is to make friends when you are younger. In school, there is a naturally built-in social network to pull from and find people we enjoy being around. However, it’s much harder to find this as an adult. Although you can befriend your co-workers, there will always be a slight barrier with someone you work with, as you need to maintain at least a semi-professional look in their eyes. Here are some tips on how you can still make friends in a new place...


Go to events

After you’ve settled into your new place and have at least introduced yourself to your neighbors, one of the first things you should do is check out any local events that are happening soon. Events are a natural place to get to know people, as they are usually set up to inspire interaction between people, and are designed to have a good time at. Indeed, if you are at an apartment, the property managers may have even set up an event for tenants to get to know one another. Another place to check out events would be to go to the city hall and see if there are any fairs, parades, or conventions that are coming to town. Finding an event that you are interested in is important, as well, as it will provide a great place to meet people with similar interests.


Find clubs and groups

Another great way to meet people with similar interests is to go somewhere that only someone with your same interests would be. The prime example of this is a club or a collective around town. If you enjoy reading books, there are numerous book clubs to share your experiences in (including ones that focus on different genres). If you really enjoy playing sports, there is usually a rec league going on at the local rec center. Or even if you just like to dress up and nerd out about your favorite comic book character, there are groups that advertise online to suit you. The world is full of these different clubs and groups, and if you can’t happen to find one that is based on something you are interested in, then you need to accept that you are a boring person and will probably die alone.


Take a class

We talked a bit about how school was a natural place to make friends, as there was a huge collection of people that had to be there. Well, you can still make this dynamic work for you, even after your high school days are behind you. Signing up for a class at a local community college is a great way to sharpen your mind and meet other people who are striving to do so, as well. If you don’t have a local college nearby, you can usually find out about special classes at your local library. Usually, people in educational environments are a lot more open to meeting new people, and are probably just as desperate to make friends and meet people as you are. So pick up a pencil and an apple and register today!


Play the “new” card

Wherever you find yourself, whether it be a group, a class, a coffee shop, a bar, or even a concert, always make sure that you let people know that you are new to the area. Playing the new card is a great way to test out the waters of a social situation, as people are always going to be a lot more forgiving to someone who is new to an environment.

Let's discuss: What other ways do you make new friends?