Finding a place to belong in your new city
After moving to a new community, you can feel a huge sense of loss for your circle of people that you left in your last home. Having a sense of belonging is so important to us all so it is extremely important to find somewhere to plug in and dedicate your time and energy. We thought we would throw out a few ideas to get you on your way:
Workplace – If you are in the market to find a job when you move to a new location, whether full or part-time, it can really be a great way to meet people. Often, people who work at the same company spend so much time together that real friendships develop and you end up spending even more time outside of work together. Even if you don’t need the extra cash, finding a part-time job is a great way to meet people and get to know more about a new community if you are feeling sort of lonely in a new location.
Faith Community – Depending on your faith background, a church can be a great place to find your niche and meet new friends. And no matter where you move, there will always be a church to get plugged into. No matter what denomination you are interested in, churches will have ways you can get involved in small groups, children’s activities, volunteering and social activities. And (if they operate how they are supposed to) they are very welcoming to people new to the area. Hey, if for no other reason, check them out for their free food!
Meet-up groups – Whether you are a mom who wants to run at local parks or a young professional who wants to play sand volleyball, you can sign up and check out www.meetup.com for all kinds of low-key social groups in your area. This website is expressly designed for people who want to meet new people and form friendships, but in a casual way. As always, it is important to use some caution when you’re planning to meet a brand new person or group that was advertised on any website, but we’ve heard very positive feedback from people who have used the site.
Organizations – There is no shortage of organizations hoping to bring more people through their doors whether you really hope to find a place to socialize, volunteer or a mix of the two. If you have a passion for a certain cause, look it up and see what organizations in your area support that cause and then just call and say you are interested in getting involved. Almost all non-profit organizations have ways to plug people in and find spots for you and they welcome those that share their passion for their particular cause. Plus, you will automatically find like-minded people who believe in the same cause as you! Groups like the Junior League or The American Association of University Women (AAUA) are great national organizations where you may be able to get plugged in no matter where you move. Plus, they are designed to empower women and provide a place to serve your community, as well as a way to socialize.
Clubs – Keep your eyes peeled to those old-school boards in the back of restaurants or coffee shops. We’ve found they are full of flyers for different clubs in a city. Whether you want to meet up to discuss breastfeeding or find others who like to hike the local trails on the weekends, you can find so many different interests through local clubs. Community magazines and newspapers are also great places to locate clubs in the area.
Classes – Lots of community colleges, centers and libraries hold classes year round for different interests. Usually the classes are low-cost and low-pressure so you can go and have fun learning about things like calligraphy, gardening, pottery or astronomy AND you can meet other people who have similar interests. Plus, they usually only meet once a week, so it doesn’t take over your schedule.
-by Emily Robertson