Moving cities, whether it’s interstate or an overseas adventure, can be the most exciting, nerve-wracking and life-changing thing you’ll ever do. Whether you’re doing it for work, for school, or just for a change of scenery, it’s bound to bring you a rollercoaster of emotions. But let’s be real, trying to make new friends is probably going to ultimately determine how much you really love a new city or location.
After all, you want to be able to go to cafes and bars with people, share experiences, as well as laugh, cry and dance together. It’s already hard enough trying to make new friends as an adult, so we’ve teamed up with headspace to give ‘ya some tips on making new mates in new surroundings.
#1 Start Attending Heaps Of Events
It’s time to get your social hat on and embrace all of the new people. Websites like Eventbrite and Meetup are perfect, especially if moving interstate in Australia. Whether it’s gigs, social sports, or hobby classes, hitting up a bunch of events is a great way to start meeting people living in your area.
There are a heap of free events out there, and even more that are relatively cheap. It’s a good starting point if you don’t have any friends or contacts in your new city home.
#2 Pick Up A Class Or Short Course
Some of our best friends come from school – maybe it’s the joint pain of cramming information into our overloaded brains, I’m not sure. And if you’re a bit picky about who you befriend, or want to be sure to surround yourself with people you share interests with, short courses and/or classes are perfect places to find them. Think General Assembly or short-skill based courses which you can do a few days a week. Whether it’s a language, an art class, photography, upping your computer skills, learning an instrument, a cooking class, there’s bound to be something for you. It might require laying down a bit of ca$h, but you’ll get to meet new people, expand your skills, and become a more interesting, well-rounded person because of it.
#3 Become A ‘Yes’ Person
Stop saying ‘no’ and let out your inner ‘Yes’ Person. Whether it’s to attend birthdays, housewarmings, using dating apps, joining sports teams, joining a class, or finding a new hobby, try out a ‘yes’ mindset. But this doesn’t mean saying ‘yes’ to absolutely everything (that’s a nightmare that no one has time for), it just means being a bit more receptive to new opportunities than you have been before.
It will require putting yourself out there a bit more at the start, but putting yourself out there = getting outside = meeting new people. You don’t make friends being a shut-in. And even if you don’t meet people, you’re getting out and about, doing new things, and exploring your new surroundings.
#4 Be Super Duper Inclusive
As you start to meet one or two fresh faces, become the inclusive legend of your group. If you see someone hanging on the edge of a group, or they’re not really involved, bring them into the conversation and make them feel welcome. If they’re standing on their own and looking a little lost, strike up a conversation – you know how nice it feels to be included. Whatever it is, just be warm and welcoming.
It’s easy to stick with the people you know when you’re in a new environment – we’ve all been to a house party and clung to the two people we rocked up with. And you know how sucky it is to feel like a fish out of water, so try and include others as much as possible. Be a bit more proactive, basically. Not only will they be super grateful, but you’ll feel super confident that it will soon become second nature, which is never a bad quality to have.
#5 Destroy That Comfort Zone
Bottom line: you’ve got to take a leap. You’ve already made a huge comfort zone jump by moving cities, so why stop there? The last thing you want is to end up in a new city, but not have the company and friends to share your time with. A lot of the above might scare you, especially if you’re not one to be overly extroverted or social.
Push yourself to step out of your zone and experience new things, and trust me the result will be not only a happier lifestyle, but amazing friends to share experiences and vibe with.
A bit stressed about an upcoming move or not sure how to make new mates? It’s pretty normal and can result in a tonne of stress you just don’t need. Check out headspace’s guide to creating a healthy headspace to see how you can meet new people with ease, and stress way less. You’ll be a little social butterfly in no time!