4 Easy Ways For Every 20-Something To Make Friends In A New City

by Molly Meetz

You finally took the plunge and moved away from home to a totally foreign city (to you) and you don’t know a soul. What now?

All you’ve thought about are new adventures, your awesome new job and that great new apartment. It’s hard to think about all of the negatives when all you see are the positives. You spend the first few weeks unpacking and getting settled into your new routine.

You focus on finding your favorite grocery store and takeout food spots and getting acquainted with your new surroundings.

Then, the weekend hits and you realize you don’t know one person. Your phone isn’t ringing with friends who want to go to a concert, shop or day drink on a patio.

The first weekend goes by and you’re a little lonely, but the next weekend comes and you realize that something needs to change immediately. You’re outrageously bored and your dog is really sick of listening to you talk.

He’s just walking away from you at this point and your mom has stopped answering your hourly phone calls.

So, the search begins: How do you make friends? Check out these four tips:

Join Alumni Groups

First and foremost, you should check to see if there’s an alumni group in your area. Whether it’s for your Greek organization, your school or any other group, you should immediately join and get involved.

However, joining the Facebook group isn’t enough legwork to land you friendships. You have to show up to meetings, go to watch parties for football and basketball games (yes, even solo) and actually talk to people.

You don’t have to be a sports fan to attend watch parties; just be ready to grab a beer and mingle. It might sound daunting, but don’t forget that all of these people have at least one thing in common with you.

Use Facebook

Bring out those stalker skills and get ready to use Facebook to find your friends. Start by searching your “friends” to see who may have moved to your new city without you realizing.

You’re probably not true friends with 75 percent of your Facebook friends, so it’s likely there’s an acquaintance from college or high school who happens to call your new city home. Be prepared to put all of your preconceived notions of this person aside and send him or her a message.

See if this person wants to meet for drinks. If the person has been there for longer than you, then he or she probably already has a network of friends, which is an extra bonus if you end up getting along.

Get Active

Chances are, your new city has a trail on which people run or walk. Take advantage and get out there. If you have a dog, even better!

Go for a walk or a run, but go with an open mind. Do not -- I repeat, do not -- get on your phone. That’s the fastest way to communicate to passersby that you’re not interested in conversation.

If your new city has mountains, go for a hike! I can almost guarantee you’ll bond with someone who is around the same speed as you.

If you’re in an apartment complex with a pool, get out there! Again, put the phone away. Suck it up, sit on the side and look interesting (and interested).

Reinvent Yourself

This transitional period is the time to reinvent who you are. Try things you’ve always wanted, but never had the chance to do.

Better yet, get out of your comfort zone and do something you never thought you could do! Join a volleyball team, bowling league, painting class, photography class, or new language class; the possibilities are endless.

You’ll feel more fulfilled and better about yourself and you’ll probably meet people you never thought you’d be friends with.

The main idea is to get out of your comfort zone and start taking risks, immediately. Don’t let yourself linger on your couch, weekend after weekend. Doing so will make it that much more difficult for you to get up and get active later.

If you put yourself in the right situations, I can almost guarantee you won’t have a problem meeting new people as you start this new, exciting chapter in your life.

Photo Courtesy: We Heart It