Moving to a new city can be hard for anyone at any age. When I first moved to New York years ago I only knew roughly 6 people. I did not have a group of girlfriends like I have had in college or high school to go out to with. I spent the majority of my first few months hanging out with my guy friend from high school and all of his friends. It was not until I joined the New York Junior League that I started to really feel like NYC was my home. Honestly if it was not for joining the NYJL I probably wouldn’t of have lasted as long as I have in New York. There were plenty of times I felt lonely.
About a year into living in New York I changed career paths and got a job at a popular fashion brand. I met some amazing people at my new found career and made friendships that have lasted to this day. It was nice to be surrounded by people who had a similar interest as me. When you meet someone who may enjoy the same hobbies, sports team, or passion, it is much easier to connect.
I left New York and it seemed like the majority of the friends I made did the same thing. So when I moved back to the city I was at square one (again). I knew some people, but my close friendships were gone. I forced myself to reach out to people who I semi knew and asked them to meet for coffee or drinks. Some were happy to meet and they have become my best friends.
Also this time around I am so lucky to have two roommates who have become great friends. I met one of my roommates briefly in the fall when I was visiting through my high school guy friend’s girlfriend. A month after visiting my guy friend asked me if I was still interested in moving back because his girlfriend’s friend needed a roommate. A month later I moved in with her and our other roommate. You never know what could happen with the people you meet.
Blogging has played a major key role in making new friends for me. I have met some of the most incredible people through blogging. Some of my best friends in the city I have met through blogging and I am so grateful to be in this career. The four ladies you see in the picture above (Christy, Ashley, and Elena) — I only knew Ashley prior to moving to New York. We met at an event party during Fashion Week a few years before because I had the same dress on as one of her friends. We were joking about it and I ended up hanging out with Ashley and her friends for the rest of the evening. And we all ended up going out to dinner afterwards! I kept my new friendship with Ash and she has become one of my very good friends. The other two wonderful ladies in the picture I met this past year and couldn’t imagine my life in New York without either of them!
Blogging is a field where you really have to put yourself out there and talk to people. I can’t tell you how many times I have literally walked up to a group of people I have never met, interrupted them, and introduced myself. It is sometimes the only way when you are at an event and you know no one there. I love meeting new people, even if I do not feel a connection with them. It is nice to just know someone– you never know where the connection may lead to. Not everyone in the blogging community is going to be my best friend, but we all share a similar interest which connects us. I also found the more connections and friendships I made the easier it had become to go to events and get togethers. I now have someone to go with!
Meeting new people, making new friendships can be easy if you are open to it, but I know it can also be scary. I am a social person but I still get really nervous, and even reserved, when going into a situation where I do not know a single soul there. The best way to create a friendship is to be yourself– always!
I put together 4 ways to meet new people and create friendships!
Join an organization
The best decision, like I said, was joining the New York Junior League. The second I walked into the beautiful Astor House in the Upper East Side, I immediately fell in love with it. When you get accepted into the league you are put into a provisional group to learn about the organization and what it has to offer. After (months) provisional training, you join a committee of your choice. I was on the Shops! Committee– fundraising. The NYJL also host lots of events, which was a great way to meet women from other committees. Joining an organization whether it is a political, community lead, a charity, sports centers, and so on, is a great way to not only get involved, but to meet people with similar interest.
Meet people at work
This seems like a no-brainer. You spend 6-8 hours a day with the same people, it is only natural for some of them to become friends. Do they have to become your best friends? No. But you never know who you will meet when you go out with them on a Saturday night or attend their get together. Taking chances like this really opens up opportunities for possible friendships.
Join a club
Joining a club will give you the chance to chat with people among an organized social setting. Club’s usually have tons of events lined up for each season. Don’t be afraid to go to them alone or see if you can take a friend/ co-worker to help ease your nerves. And don’t be afraid to chit chat with new people! I find most folks in this type of setting are more open to chatting with new people, where as at a bar they may be stick to their circle of friends. The whole purpose of these parties is for people to mingle, network, and create meaningful connections. When I lived in Columbus I joined the Athletic Club of Columbus and I quickly joined their Women’s Committee where I met some amazing people! Through my time at the ACC I made some meaningful friendships! Friends that I still talk to and meet up with when I go home.
Reconnect with old classmates
Maybe you two weren’t the best of friends during high school or college, but nothing brings two people together like being alone in a new city. Don’t be afraid to reach out! Search social media for old classmates that may be in the same city as you. Facebook is a great place to start. There is usually a Facebook group dedicated to college alumni’s in XYZ city that you can join.
When making new friends it is all about putting yourself out there and being yourself. Sooner or later you will start to meet people with similar interest or a common connection and a friendship will blossom.