In college you have orientation, sororities, classes, clubs and many more opportunities to make friends. And then, you move to a new city. You find that you have less of a network than you were accustomed to. I mean, there are only so many times you can go to dinner with a high school friend or a friend of a friend that someone knew. Those people have their own networks to deal with. Some weekends were spent holed up in my apartment watching reruns of Chopped (don’t judge) while others were spent exploring the new town on my own. I know I know, I’ve been here for over a year now but it still doesn’t quite feel like home.
If you’re in the same boat, I’ll leave you with these four tips to get you off your couch this weekend.
- Volunteer – for me this has been at the local (coming soon) 3 Stars Brewery. For you it might be a church, animal shelter, or hospital. It should be something you’re interested in or else you won’t have the chance to make friends with a common interest. For me, it was beer that lead me to the brewery and a well-rounded network of boozers.
- LinkedIn (and other social networking sites) – Make sure you’re on LinkedIn. This is the easiest way to find other professionals like you in your city. Starting your own blog or connecting with people on Twitter is a great way to meet like-minded people.
- Join a club or team – If you’re in DC, it’s a dodgeball or kickball league. If you’re not, if could be a book club, dinner club, cooking club, etc. Something that you can commit to on a weekly or monthly basis.
- Say Yes! – Stop making excuses for reasons you can’t go to happy hour or for a bike ride. You can! Believe me, even if it’s not something you’re particularly interested in, here’s someone offering you an opportunity, basically handing you an envelope that says “I like you enough to invite you along,” so what are you waiting for?
Cheers to my new merry band of misfits and I couldn’t be happier to have them in my life.
How have you made friends after graduating?