One of the greatest things about being in your 20s is the freedom to pick up and move at the drop of a hat. From fresh sights to exciting job opportunities, relocating to a new community offers plenty of highs, but it also comes with at least one low. The idea of moving to a city with no friends leaves some twentysomethings feeling like the new kid in school, but a few handy tips can help. Discover the best way to make friends in a new town or city in your 20s.
Explore Your Surroundings
To make friends in a new town, you first have to find them. Nicole Booz, Editor-in-Chief of GenTwenty, The Twenty-Something’s Guide to Life, recommends getting out and exploring the community right after you arrive. Whether you’re taking a stroll through the park, having a bite at the taqueria down the street, or shopping at the local farmers’ market, you never know who you might meet.
Keep an Eye Out for Flyers
Coffee shops, whole food stores, and local colleges and universities make great places to discover what’s going on in the community. Bulletin boards pasted with colorful flyers promote all sorts of local happenings, from arts and craft fairs to enrollment in a neighborhood sports league. Many cities also offer “digital bulletin boards” featuring daily events and activities in a variety of categories that can connect you with like-minded people.
Download an App
If you’re struggling with how to meet friends in a new town, don’t worry. As with many problems in the digital age, there’s an app for that. Moving expert Anne Sobka from Let’s Move recommends Meetup, an app centered on the idea that you are at your best when you befriend like-minded people.
If you fancy yourself a foodie, 10ChairsNYC and Eatwith offer a delicious dining experience that may end with new friendships. Additional apps for meeting new people include Hey! VINA — a friend-finding app for females — and Friendsy, an app created strictly for college students.
With a trend toward health and fitness at its peak, many cities offer sports and exercise activities teeming with social possibilities. Do you prefer group fitness over jogging alone on a treadmill? Sign up for a class. Think spinning, yoga, circuit training, or martial arts. If you have a competitive streak, look into joining a co-rec softball, volleyball, soccer, or kickball league. For out-of-the-box ideas, think about attending a trapeze workshop, enrolling in a Bollywood dance class, or joining a roller derby team.
Check Out More Classes and Clubs
If breaking a sweat isn’t your cup of tea, communities across the United States serve up a number of other ways to follow your interests and meet new friends. Try your hand at a painting, pottery, comedy, acting, or gourmet cooking class, or learn an exotic new language. If you’re into books, board games, wine tasting, or public speaking, local clubs offer regular weekly or monthly gatherings and lots of chances to meet new people.
Get a Dog
When moving to a new state alone, you may want to consider getting a dog. A study from Western Australia found that having a dog is one of the best ways to make friends in a new town. Participants with dogs were five times more likely to get to know their neighbors than participants who did not own dogs. Other benefits of canine companionship include:
- An increased sense of security
- A more active lifestyle
- A happier mood
- A longer life
If you’re looking to contribute to a meaningful cause and make new friends at the same time, volunteer. Whether you’re building homes for low-income residents, serving food to the homeless, or helping out at the local animal shelter, volunteering connects you with caring people worthy of being part of your social circle.
When you’re in your 20s, relocating can be an adventure, but it’s good to know what to consider when moving to a new city. Understanding how to make friends before you arrive can help you build a social circle quickly and make the moving process much more enjoyable. If you’re looking for furnishings for your first dinner party or game night, check out the variety of stylish options available at CORT Furniture Rental.