Many of us move to a new city or country in our 20s for university or a new job, to build and live our dream lives and become the best of ourselves. However, moving out of the city is not as dreamy and fancy as it sounds.
Leaving home behind and moving to a new town is almost like uprooting yourself up from home and trying to settle in a strange environment. Moving out of home involves multiple struggles, but these struggles are essential to face for a young person to grow to the fullest potential.
If you are a young person who has recently moved out of home, started a new chapter of life, and wonders how to make friends in a new city, this article is just for you!
If you’ve just moved to a new city and find it overwhelming, this article will help you deal with anxieties, build new connections, and suggest the best ways to make friends in a new city.
How to deal with the struggles of moving out
Moving out of the home to a new city is very painful. Leaving behind parents, family, and friends and being all alone without the people you have spent your life with is extremely hard.
Homesickness can make you sink all into it at some times. Settling down in a completely different culture and building a different life alone is intimidating.
But you must know that you’ll get the hang of it and start feeling more at home in the new city. It is okay to miss home and feel homesick but know that you have to get yourself up and be out there in the world on your own.
Always remember that this is the life you have chosen for yourself, and you need to make the best of it.
You must be proud of yourself because not everyone dares to get out of their comfort zone, leave home and city, move to an entirely new place and live alone like you.
Challenge yourself, but at the same time, believe in yourself. Trust the power in you. You must strongly believe that these tough times will make you a better and stronger person.
Look at the positive side of being free and independent in a new city and building your life on your own. After all, it is only after struggle and polishing that a diamond is made!
One of the most predominant feelings that one encounters after moving out is the feeling of loneliness.
To counter this emotion, you need to make new friends who add hope and love to your life! But how to make friends in a new city?
The process of making new connections and expanding the social circle is fascinating! You get to know different people from you, learn some things, and unlearn some.
The process of making new friends is intrinsic to the development of a person as it makes you learn how to socialize, adjust to situations, and build beautiful bonds that would go ahead with you for life. Listed below are some ways to make friends in a new city!
How to make friends in a new city-
Finding new friends in a new city who match your vibe is not that difficult if you truly desire to make new friends.
To make friends, you need to have a desire in you to meet new people who belong to culture, regions, sexualities that are different from yours and befriend them.
A new city can be a great way to meet people if you’re into making friends in a different way.
1. Keep smiling!
People are attracted to positive energy and happiness, so the easiest way to make friends is to be happy and keep a constant smile on your face. The smile would make people perceive you as a welcoming person and driven to you.
2. Break the ice
When you see new people, be confident to make the first move and go-ahead to talk to them. Break the ice by being amiable and friendly.
By throwing a couple of jokes here and there, make the other person comfortable. Try to strike up conversations with the people you meet in university or at work.
3. Maintain a positive body language
We all know that actions speak louder than words, and hence, it is important to maintain positive and friendly body language. Speak up with confidence and make people know who you are.
Maintaining eye contact is very important to make a good impression on the other person. While standing in a group, make sure that you don’t make someone feel left out. Do not fold your arms and stand as it would make a rude and narcissistic impression.
Also, avoid using your phone when someone is talking to you, as this can make you come off as disinterested.
4. Be a good listener
Everyone wants to be heard and respected, so when in a conversation, be a good listener and pay attention to what the other is saying.
Ask questions in response and make the other person feel heard. Be inquisitive about the other person, and he would make them love you!
5. Meet new people
In a new city, always be up for meeting new people. Expand your circle and make as many friends as you can. Making friends would indeed enhance your experience of life.
You must know that countless other people like you have moved to the same city and are facing the same challenges.
Connecting to them would make you feel better and would give you a sense of companionship through your collective feeling of homesickness and being an immigrant.
6. Meeting people through social media.
When you move to a new city, you might find it difficult to talk to people face to face. If you are more comfortable texting than physically meeting, social media will come to your rescue!
You can join local Facebook groups of people who have also moved to the city. By connecting to people who are new to the city like you, you can explore the city together and make new friends in turn!
Apps like Meetup would help you find people who share your interests and build an online community. You can also start talking to mutual friends on Instagram and Facebook based in the same city as you are now.
Also, look for links to WhatsApp groups of people of your university/office or groups of people who have also newly moved to the town.
7. Connecting to people from your region or culture
Connecting with those who come from the same region and share the same culture as you would make you feel at home, at your new home. The community identity and identification would give a lovely feeling of oneness and brotherhood in the new place.
A great way to meet new people is by connecting to people from your hometown who have moved to the same city as you.
A great way to do this is by becoming a part of university and institution cells and clubs, which foster a cultural or regional community within the larger community.
This would be the best way to feel at home away from home and easily make friends in a new city!
8. Say yes to plans
Do not turn down invitations and try to go with people rather than staying in your comfort zone and saying no to plans. You can also invite your acquaintances to a gathering or a simple dinner!
Always say yes to plans- at least initially! This would help you get acquainted with the city and start feeling local.
9. Mirror Behavior
Mirror behavior means behaving like the other person. It is behaving and doing what they are doing. This technique is the best to be in sync with the person.
Try to be on the same level as them. If they are super nice to you, do not show them your attitude. If they have a drink, you should also order a drink for yourself.
10. Change acquaintances into friends.
You must know some long-lost people who live in the city. It would be great to connect with them!
Make friends and then befriend the friends of your friends too! Talk to acquaintances in the same city and make plans to meet them. You must also bond with your classmates or coworkers and make friends in university or office.
11. Explore your neighborhood
When you shift to a new place, you must know your neighborhood. So get out of your home and go for walks or jog around your locality, and in turn, get to know your neighbors and other people in your new city.
Talk to your neighbors and offer them little helps like walking their dog or getting groceries for them from the store.
12. Get a pet
To counter feelings of loneliness, you can consider adopting a pet! When you would take your dog out for a walk, you would encounter many people who would pet your cute little fluffy friend.
This would make you strike up conversations with them and expand your connections!
13. Enroll in hobby classes
Good friendships always have a common interest at the heart of the bond. So a great way to meet people and make strong bonds is by enrolling in hobbies like dance, art, photography.
Hobby classes like these would make you meet people who share your interests. These classes would help you do something productive in your free time, acquaint yourself with the city’s culture, get your mind off the homesickness, and make new buddies!
Artists moving to a new city can join art classes that would help them vent out their feelings and find peace and calmness. If you are a sports enthusiast, you must join a local team or club which would assist you in continuing playing your sport.
Those who love to read can join book clubs or get library memberships. You can also join a gym! You would eventually make a gym buddy, which would help you continue practicing your hobby and build friendships!
Going to all these places and being surrounded by people who also love to do what you would make you interact easily and build strong bonds!
14. Maintain a balance
Maintain a balance in your bonds. Don’t overshare and be too clingy or be very secretive and aloof in the beginning stages of your friendships.
15. Go to cafes and bars
One of the best ways to find new people is to go to cafes or bars where people are open to talking to each other and building connections.
Confidently go into the place and enjoy yourself! Make the first move and talk to other people you think would match your energy and vibe.
On moving into a new city, you must consider co-living. Living in the same house with another person would make you have someone by your side at all times. Having a flatmate would help you make deep bonds with them and create a lovely bond for life.
Living with the person would make you understand them and have a constant companion who would not make you feel homesick.
You can coordinate with your neighbors and plan a carpool to your university/workplace.
This would have saved energy, conserved the environment, and helped you become better friends with your neighbors as you would travel together every day!
18. Go for experiences
Once you start making friends, you must consider different experiences that excite you both. This would be a great way to make friends, as shared experiences make friends bond better!
You can plan to go on hikes, art exhibitions, city tours, or exciting workshops! These experiences would give you memories to recollect and cherish!
19. Conquer social anxiety
To make new friends in a city, you will have to conquer your social anxiety and fear of rejection. You have to remove the thought of not fitting in. Believe that people around you like you and that you’re likable.
If your social anxiety is severe, there is no harm in seeking psychological help. After all, fake it till you make it! Face your fears and go out into the world confidently.
20. Accept others for who they are
Going out into the world requires being open-minded, accepting, and non-judgemental.
Moving out to a new city makes you change your perceptions about people and the world. You would have to unlearn some ideas and beliefs to be a good friend.
21. Stay in touch
You must ensure to stay in touch with the new people you meet. Ghosting is a big no-no! Take time to meet the new friends you make and spend time with those you like!
22. Get out of your comfort zone
If you want to make friends, you will have to form bonds yourself. People will not come to you, and you will have to go to them instead.
It is important to get out of the comfort zone and go out to make friends.
23. Enjoy your company
Do what you love and enjoy your own company. Spend some time in solitude, meditate, and build your positive social energy.
Be comfortable with yourself in your skin, and you’ll not know how, but you’ll make friends!
24. Lastly, be yourself
Be proactive in making friends, but be yourself. Don’t try to pretend to be what you are not. Let everything fall into place naturally, and trust that you’ll make the best of friends in the new city.
Embrace who you are, love yourself and be proud of yourself for coming this far.
First-hand advice from people who have moved out of their city-
You must trust your capabilities and internal strengths to make it big in this new city. Longing for home is a permanent feeling in the initial days, but it goes away once you start getting comfortable, learn how to conquer it, and start making the city your own.
The most important aspect of living away from home is companions, relationships, bonds, and friends.
You should surely invest time in fostering and nurturing your bonds with your friends because they will always be your go-to people, whatever may happen.
In conclusion, bonding with people in a new setting can be hard, but you must push yourself to do it.
Please don’t be anxious that you’re not making friends. Understand that it will take a while to settle down, but you’ll look back to this time as one of the best experiences of your life.
Moving out of the home to a new city is a challenging yet enriching experience that must be experienced by everyone at least once in life.
P.S: Don’t forget to maintain good contact with your friends, family, and cousins back home!