How to Make Friends in a New Town
Well, you did. You’re finally settled into your new hometown. After scouring the Internet for Memphis houses for sale, negotiating a mortgage, packing all your stuff into a U-Haul, and sitting for hours in traffic behind tourists swarming into Nashville, the hard part is over. Right?
Maybe. Maybe not. Because now that you’re here, it’s time to start making friends. How do you do that? Here are a few helpful suggestions.
Find Your Friends’ Friends
Just because you’re a stranger in a new town doesn’t mean you don’t have connections there without knowing it. Ask your friends and family members if they know anyone in the area who might be willing to show you around, introduce you to new people, or otherwise help you get your bearings. Even if you don’t instantly become BFFs, it can’t hurt to have a local connection.
Shop, Eat, and Drink Locally
When getting started in a new town, it can be easy to feel intimidated and, as a result, to isolate yourself. You don’t know where anything is and you don’t want to go out alone; that’s just awkward, right? Maybe, but pushing past that discomfort is important if you want to meet new people. Instead of just ordering takeout and buying from Amazon, take a walk or a drive around the neighborhood and see if you can find some stores, restaurants, or bars that interest you. You’re a local now, so act like it.
Connect With Your Neighbors
You don’t always have to go out of your way to find potential friends; sometimes you just need to look next door. Whether you’ve got a house in suburbia or an apartment in the city, it’s never a bad idea to get friendly with the neighbors. Even if you don’t hit it off, it’s always beneficial to be on polite terms with the people with whom you’re sharing a street or building.
Reach Out to Newbies Like You
It’s easy to feel like you’re the only person in town who doesn’t already know everyone else, but the truth is that there are always other people in the exact same boat. Seek them out so you can help find your way together. Bigger cities, in particular, tend to have introductory meet-ups for new residents. If nothing else, you all have one thing in common: you’re all strangers in a strange land.
Make Use of Social MediaThe best way to make friends in a new town is to do so in person, on the grassroots level. That doesn’t mean it’s the only way. Social media is a powerful tool for bringing people together, and that’s as true on a micro level as it is on the macro level. A quick Google or Facebook search can help you find dozens of online groups for members of real-world communities. The Internet makes it easy to meet people who live in the same state, city, or even on the same street as you. Don’t be shy; give it a shot.