I’ve now lived in three cities postgrad, and while moving from place to place can be exciting, it’s always hard to leave behind a good group of friends or coworkers. In New York, most of my friends were either from work or from college. In Philly, being in graduate school made it super easy to meet people–it was like being a freshman in college all over again! In DC, I’ve been fortunate enough to reconnect with high school friends, get to know new coworkers, and meet people from college who have been in the area since graduation. When I say meet people from college, it can seem a little silly, since my college was home to only 1,800 students and everyone pretty much knew one another to some degree. However, I’ve found that being in the “real world” makes it much easier to overlap with people who I didn’t have much in common with in college. For example, my school often felt like it was divided between athletes and non-athletes, and most of my close friends were fellow non-athletes. But after graduation, these distinctions start to not matter one single bit, and it’s much easier to connect with new people.
However, I also have friends who have done online meetups, joined running groups, signed up for intramural sports leagues, and more. It’s cliche, but the best way to meet new people is by putting yourself out there! Here are a few ideas…
1) Go to alumni events. Whether they’re for your high school, college, or grad school, there will certainly be some alumni events in your city from time to time. Go with a friend or two or go alone…but just go! It’s funny how in high school or college, people who were a few years older or younger often seemed at such a different stage of life…but now that everyone’s an adult, age really doesn’t matter! Just because someone is two or three years older or younger doesn’t mean they won’t make a great friend. Having friends who are different ages is a great way to branch out, and honestly, it can give you some great perspective! Also, don’t discount classmates who you didn’t click with in college. Times have changed, people! Don’t write someone off based on a first impression from seven years ago.
2) Get to know your neighbors. Whether you live in a high rise apartment building or on a cute neighborhood street, you’ll run into your neighbors from time to time, and odds are that at least a few of them would make great potential friends! Team up with your roommate and invite the two girls from across the hall over for TGIT and takeout. Even if you don’t end up hanging out every weekend, it’ll be nice to see a familiar face in the elevator or laundry room.
3) Work your network. Friends of friends are everywhere, and while you may not always hit it off, it’s worth a shot! Text your college friends and ask them if they know anyone in your current city. You may be surprised!