I recently moved to a new area where I don’t know anyone. I’ve always been shy, but I want to make some new friends. How and where can I meet new people? How do I develop friendships now that I’m out of school?– Riley in Tucson, AZ
Moving to a new area is packed with emotions, from excitement to anxiety. The underlying current is being forced out of your comfort zone. What’s cool about this, though, is the opportunity for self-discovery. You experience trying fresh things since you have moved to a new area, and there is a wealth of resources you can tap into to meet people and form connections.
The abundance of possibilities comes from the community you have joined, including services like the library, parks and recreation, classes, and special events. If you go to your city or county websites, you will discover active and passive activities in which you can participate. In your neighborhood and surrounding locality, you have access to spiritual, educational, and volunteer organizations. Plus, the merchants in your region offer a plethora of pursuits to fit every lifestyle. And don’t forget work: Your organization is likely to offer multiple ways for you to engage, meet your co-workers, and give back.
Here is a list of suggestions for you to try:
Community – City or County
- Beautification Projects
- Business Associations – Chamber of Commerce, SBA, SCORE, Industry and Trade
- College Extension Outreach
- Library Happenings
- Meet the Neighbors
- Parks and Recreation Affairs
- Schools – PTA, Mentoring, Fundraising
- Service Clubs – Kiwanis, Lions, Rotary
- Social and Hobby Clubs
- Spiritual – Groups within Larger Organizations
- Charities and Non-Profits
- Children and Young People
- Elderly and Disabled
- Food Banks
- Refugees and Migrants
- Volunteer Match
Merchants and Services
- Activities – Bowling League, Kayak Group, Softball Team
- Coffee, Meals, Drinks with Peers and Co-Workers
- Community Outreach
- Company Events
- Industry and Professional Organizations
- Team-Building Activities
- Volunteer Opportunities
New Activities & New Friends
This list is just the tip of the iceberg. Many of the various merchants in your area – from gyms to home improvement – offer free and paid classes. Many offer activities you can join. Go in and check them out. Try something fresh or an interest you have not previously pursued.
A web search for your interests, groups, and clubs in your area will get you started, too. Many local stores and community locations will have a bulletin boards filled with ideas. The key is to put yourself out there. Participate, interact, and meet new people.
Along your journey, you will meet individuals with whom you share a common interest or passion. After that, take the next step and arrange to meet your new acquaintances before or after the “class” for a coffee or another activity. You’ll meet great people with similar interests. In no time, you will be making friends and have a wonderful time getting out and about.
Lynn Whitbeck is the co-founder and President of Petite2Queen. She is focused on identifying and evaluating opportunities for women at work, helping them define their personal roadmap. She dedicates herself to delivering tools and insights, embracing visualization of the big picture, and identifying and implementing the minutiae of detail. Lynn aims to share lessons learned along her journey and enable positive uplift for women.