Zack and I have officially been in California for a little over a month now. It’s been a huge adjustment this past month, but we’re finally in a place now where we’re a bit more settled. Zack’s slowly in the process of transitioning to a new platoon which means he’ll be officially back at work full-time very soon. With him going back to work, I’m now in a place where I’m ready to get out there and make some friends.
Making friends in a new city can be challenging sometimes. I don’t know about you, but I hate trying to make friends as an adult. Adults just don’t make friends the same way kids do. Kids make friends with the other kids they go to school with. They’re stuck with them all day every day and eventually they get to know one another and became friends. But I’m not sitting in a classroom all day. In fact, the only “person” I’m around during the day is our dog, Jack. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great listener, but he never contributes to our conversations which makes it very one-sides.
Making friends is such a strange and sometimes awkward process. It always starts out by having a conversation with someone or even just daily “hellos” as you pass one another until finally you stop to have a conversation. That first conversation determines the rest. If you happen to think the other person is cool and you make that connection with them then great! You have more conversations and it becomes a friendship. But if you don’t seem to connect with them or the connection is one-sided, then it can be quite the bummer. And awkward when you continue to see and pass them on the street. Am I the only one who thinks this process is frustrating?
Anyway, if you’re in the process of moving or just moved someplace new then here are some ways for you to get out there and make some new friends!
1 | FACEBOOK GROUPS.
I’m in a ton of Facebook groups. Like A LOT. I’m not exaggerating. It’s actually on my to do list to clean them out and remove myself from the groups I don’t participate in anymore. But anyway, that’s beside the point. Facebook groups are a great way to connect with people. I’m in groups for military spouses, bloggers, entrepreneurs, and so many others. A lot of bigger cities will have Facebook groups for meet ups and business promotions and even online yard sales. These are a great way to learn more about the people around you and what’s going on in your area. They keep you connected.
2 | GET A JOB.
I admit, I much prefer to work from home at the moment. But getting a job gets you out of the house and is a super easy way to get to know other people. I don’t necessarily suggest becoming friends with your boss or anything like that, but I guarantee you’ll have a co-worker or two that you really click with. And if not, then I’m sorry. At least you have some extra money though!
3 | GO BACK TO SCHOOL.
Some of you may already be done with school, but if you’re not and you’re wanting to continue your education, then taking some classes can be a great way to meet new people. Group projects and study groups are how I always made friends in college. And as much as I hate working with other people, it was super beneficial for me friendship-wise.
4 | VOLUNTEER.
Get involved in your new community! When I moved to Florida my senior year of high school, I immediately got involved in as much as I could through my school. I knew no one and had never been to that part of Florida before so it was a really good way for me to get settled in. I volunteered with the Ronald McDonald House, a soup kitchen, Relay for Life, trash pickup on the highways, nursing homes and so many others. Not only are you meeting new people, you’re giving back to your community as well. That’s a win/win in my book.
5 | CONNECT WITH THE WIVES OR GIRLFRIENDS OF YOUR SO’S FRIENDS.
This was the most helpful one for me when I first moved to North Carolina. I was very fortunate that Zack was able to introduce me to his friend’s spouses before I moved to the area. The majority of my girlfriends were actually moving to the area around the same time I was so it was nice to know we were all new to the military life and living in North Carolina. Our group became its own family so it made that transition so much easier. Unfortunately, Zack hasn’t officially started work here yet so he hasn’t had the chance to meet many people. But my fingers are crossed that he makes friends with other married marines so that I can have some friends too.
6 | FITNESS CLASSES.
I love having a gym membership to Planet Fitness. All of our friends in North Carolina got the membership a while back, but since we were both supposed to be moving to Japan, we decided against it. Once Zack left and I was still here in the states, I decided to get a membership as well. And it’s been amazing! I met so many great people at our Planet Fitness location back home in Maine. I was there 5-6 days a week so all the employees quickly got to know me and I gained friends from it. It made going to the gym that much more fun because I was always excited to check in with everyone and see how they were all doing. Joining fitness classes has the same effect! So if you love fitness then I highly recommend getting involved in some classes in your area. Maybe you’ll gain a great gym buddy from it!
7 | COMMON INTEREST AREAS.
Common interest areas allow you to meet others who share the same interests as you. This can include the gym, dog parks, playgrounds (but only if you have kids…otherwise, that would be weird), yoga classes, sports teams, etc. What better way to meet people than to meet them doing something you love? That right there shows that the two you have something in common and it gives you something to talk about and build a friendship around.
8 | GET TO KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORS.
I’ve actually never really become friends with any of our neighbors in the past, but I know people who have awesome relationships with their neighbors. So when you move into your new place, feel free to introduce yourself. Same if someone new moves to your neighborhood as well. Friendships all start with that first conversation so if you introduce yourself and you happen to like one another than voila! Friendship.
How do you make friends when you move someplace new?