Moving to a new city can be an exciting adventure, but it can also be a lonely and isolating experience. One of the biggest challenges of moving is making new friends in an unfamiliar environment. Whether you’re relocating for work, school, or just a change of scenery, it’s important to take steps to build a social network in your new city. Here are some tips for making new friends in NYC after moving.
Join Local Clubs Or Groups
One of the easiest ways to meet new people is to join a club or group that interests you. Whether you enjoy sports, reading, or gardening, there are likely groups in your new city that share your interests. You can check websites like Meetup.com or Facebook groups to find local groups or clubs that match your interests. You don’t need to be good at something to join a club/group so don’t be afraid to try something you might not be good at.
By joining a group or club, you’ll automatically have something in common with the other members. This can make it easier to strike up a conversation and start building relationships with new people. Plus, by regularly attending meetings or events, you’ll have a chance to see the same people over and over, which can help you build deeper connections. And if you find that you don’t mesh with the people in this particular group, that’s okay! There are likely dozens of other groups you can join until you find one that you do like.
Attend Local Events
Another way to meet new people in NYC is to attend local events. Look for events like festivals, concerts, or art shows. There are plenty of free or low-cost events in NYC almost every day of the month. With a city of almost 8.5 million people, you’re bound to run into someone at one of these events that you get along with. To see what’s going on, you can check sites like Eventbrite, NYC Parks, and Time Out.
When you attend an event, try to strike up a conversation with the people around you. Ask them what they’re enjoying about the event or if they’ve attended any other local events recently. It might be a bit awkward in the beginning, but most people are more than happy to talk and chat about the things they like. If you hit it off with someone, suggest exchanging contact information or meeting up for coffee or a drink later. If they refuse, just say no problem and try again next time. The important part here is to get in the habit of striking up conversations with strangers.
Volunteering is a great way to give back to your new community while also meeting new people. Look for local organizations or charities that align with your interests and sign up to volunteer your time. You’ll meet other people who are passionate about the same cause, which can help you build a sense of camaraderie and shared purpose. In NYC there are plenty of places that are in dire need of volunteers so you shouldn’t have a problem finding a place. With that said, be cognizant of how much time you can actually spend volunteering. Don’t overextend yourself as you’ll quickly burn out. Try to find a task that you know you can commit to consistently. Even if it’s only 1 or 2 hours a week, most places prefer someone who can consistently provide volunteer support versus someone who only shows up once or twice a year for 5 hours.
In addition to meeting other volunteers, you may also have a chance to interact with people in the community who benefit from the organization’s work. This can be a great way to learn more about your new city and the issues that matter to its residents.
Take Classes Or Workshops
Taking classes or workshops is another way to meet new people while learning a new skill or hobby. Look for classes or workshops in your new city that interest you. You can try anything from painting to cooking to martial arts. Of course, only choose this option if you have the budget for it. NYC is an expensive place and as such, classes and workshops tend to be pricey.
Depending on your needs, some classes and workshops might waive the fee so long as you actually commit to attending. If you’re not sure you want to spend a lot of money on a class, many places offer one free visit/class so you can see if you will like it or not.
By taking a class or workshop, you’ll have a chance to interact with other students and build relationships over a shared interest. Additionally, if you find that you really enjoy a particular class or activity, you can consider joining a club or group related to that activity.
Use Social Media
Don’t underestimate the power of social media when it comes to making new friends in a new city. There are hundreds of groups focused on meeting new friends in New York City on Facebook alone. You can narrow it down to people who have just moved to the city!
While Facebook tends to be the most straightforward to use for friends, you can also leverage the power of Twitter and Instagram. For example, why not follow some NYC influencers to keep up-to-date on the latest cool things that are happening including store openings, sample sales, art installations, museum exhibits, whatever interests you. You can then check these out during your own time and try to chat with some people who are there at the same time. Even if you don’t make any new friends, you will at least have gotten to do something cool.
Besides that, look up some hashtags that people use related to your interests and ask for recommendations or tips from NYC locals. People LOVE to give suggestions so you’ll be inundated with advice in no time. Depending on how the conversation goes, you could even make an online friend. And hopefully from there you could transition to real life friends.
Enjoy Your New City
Making new friends in a new city can be a daunting task, but it’s an important part of settling into your new home. There’s nothing worse than living in a city of millions of people and feeling like you’re all alone. Luckily, it’s easy to find people who share similar interests in such a large city. While it does take some work to make friends, the effort is worth it in the end.
Ready to move to a new city? Make sure to use trusted NYC movers like us! We’ve got you covered and can make your move as stress-free as possible.
What is the best neighborhood in NYC to make friends?
There’s no bad neighborhood for friends, but different areas will attract different people. If you’re more of an artistic person, places like Bushwick, Williamsburg, and SoHo. If you’re part of the LGBTQIA+ then Chelsea or the West Village are great places to hang out! Do some research for all the neighborhoods to see what they have to offer.
I’m broke. How can I make friends without spending money?
As expensive as NYC is, there are a ton of free things to do! You can watch Shakespeare in the Park for free, there are a lot of free pop up art galleries, and many museums have a monthly free night.
How long after a move should I start making friends?
Start once you’ve settled down into your new apartment and job. You want to know how much time you can actually commit to going out and making friends. Don’t be overly ambitious. Aim for an hour or two a week in the beginning and then increase it if you think you have the time and energy!