Making Friends When You Move To A New City
“What I noticed immediately about these women is that they were enthusiastic and open. They wanted to be there, and they wanted it to go well. People laugh at your jokes, even if they’re not that funny. It was much less awkward than one might imagine.”
Moving to a new place comes with plenty of excitement, and new challenges, but it can also be tough. Suddenly, you’ve left behind the network you’ve known and are striking out on your own. We often make friends through school/college, or work, but after moving to a new place you are starting again from scratch. Fending for yourself in such situations is a part of life, but it’s always great to find like-minded people who can add some fun back into your life. This may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Think of your move as a chance to do things over. Let your hobbies and interests guide you, and you’ll soon notice that there is wide variety on offer in your city. There are bound to be places you haven’t explored yet, perhaps a new art gallery, a music venue that showcases local talent, or even a comedy club where you can get a few laughs after work. We all have lots of things we are interested in, and this overlap is the perfect starting ground for finding new social connections. If you’re not sure where to start joining a weekly class or popping along to recurring events in your area can help to ease the transition.
This way you can meet people more than once, and get to know them on a personal level. Why not ask your new neighbours about what the location has to offer? After all, they live nearby so can easily give you the low-down on where to go. Meeting people is the best way to learn about your surroundings, local knowledge and personal recommendations, will give you a much better understanding of what to do and where to go. With GirlCrew getting out and exploring couldn’t be easier as you immediately have access to a pool of people who are all in the same boat, and are open to meeting up.
My GirlCrew Experience
My first post on the GirlCrew Toronto Facebook page went like this: “Hey, would anyone like to do tea/coffee later this week? I’m new to Toronto and looking to make some friends, but a bit of an introvert so nothing too full on…”. Within minutes there were likes and replies, and so far I’ve met one lady for coffee and a group of ladies for what turned into lunch.
I had a moment of “No, what have I done?!” after I posted. I just told a rather large group of people I’m an introvert. Plus, now I actually have to go and talk to strangers! But it was out there now. I was eased into the experience by meeting a fellow designer and introvert for coffee. It went well, and I felt good knowing I had taken steps towards getting to know people here. I had even managed to meet a Canadian! There [are] many the Irish [people] who went “out foreign” and only befriended more Irish people!
By the time Saturday rolled around I was feeling nervous, but hopeful that I’d meet equally nice people. After some initial doubt as to whether the people approaching were in fact the ladies I was going to meet (Facebook profile photos can be deceptive) we all headed for the patio of Queen Mother café. What I noticed immediately about these women is that they were enthusiastic and open. They wanted to be there, and they wanted it to go well. People laugh at your jokes, even if they’re not that funny. It was much less awkward than one might imagine.
I met a group of ladies that on the surface I might not have much in common with. We don’t work at the same thing or come from the same place. We don’t have shared friends or experiences (yet). But we still chatted for almost two hours. We talked about everything from winter boots to Donald Trump, and the words Irish & Scottish people have for things that don’t exist here. We got a small glimpse into each other’s lives, and found some common ground. I think of GirlCrew as a bit like going on a blind date. You really can’t be sure what you’re going to get, but in this case you’re not searching for that elusive “one”, you’re just looking for connection.
Anna Healy, GirlCrew Toronto
Making those connections will make your new life much easier, from finding friends to improving your career prospects, you never know what can come of meeting new people. It’s important to have that escape from work, and to get into a routine of creating some time for yourself. Without your usual friends to rely upon it’s imperative that you dive right in and don’t get stuck in a rut. It’s very easy to fall into a circle of work, home, TV, sleep, repeat. Not only is this cycle easy to fall into, the longer you do it the harder it is to break. We are told time and time again, about the importance of friendship not just for having a full social calendar, but also for the benefits it gives to your mental health. While of course, it may take some time to settle in, it’s important that you actually take time out to enjoy of what is going on around you. This is the only way you’ll get to fully experience your new location, and actually live in it, as opposed to just working in it. You’ve made the big move, so now is the time to make the most of it. If you’d like to find some people to try out all these exciting activities with, GirlCrew is the perfect place to start – find your local crew here.
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