Smart Living Tip: How to Make Friends as an Adult

Monday, May 16, 2016

When you are in a new country, new city or just a new surrounding in general, it's important to have a few people to connect with, who can help you ease into the unfamiliar territory.

How do you meet people and make new friends?

As we get older and start working, this seems harder and harder to achieve. W was worried that she didn't have any close friends in her new city, forcing her to always hang out with her flatmate - with whom she got along with, but W was craving diversity. As I start my last week at my current workplace and facing a new chapter in my life soon, I started to think over how I had made friends in the past in the numerous places I had called home.

Some ways you could make new friends as adults:

  • InterNations
In Bordeaux, I was part of an expat community called InterNations. While it was a small community, it was an active one. We would explore the Bordeaux food scene, trying out different restaurants every month for dinners. Most of the time, half the members would be regulars, and the other half new faces. There was also a monthly after work drinks at a pub somewhere, where more people turned up. These monthly dinners and drinks were great for meeting new people from all over the world, as well as new French people. 

  • Meetup groups

I don't go to these very often, but my sister used to be part of several tramping Meetup groups, and she loved it. Each weekend, they would go walking in one of the many tracks around Auckland. They were big groups, too, around 70-90, so very popular. She had invited me along, but I'm nowhere as fit as she is! Perhaps when she gets back into it, I'll start tagging along more.

  • Franglish/Language tandem

If you want to meet lots of people and learn a language at the same time, groups like Franglish are great. Franglish is speed dating for Francophone/Anglophones. You get assigned a table with a stranger. The rules are: French only for seven minutes then English only for seven minutes. At the end of the 14 minutes, you face another person, and repeat the process.

  • Volunteering

One of my goals for this year was to volunteer more. Volunteering is something I used to do in high school but not much since. I feel that it's started off great, but has dwindled into a corner fast. So far I've done volunteering at a music festival and a pop up theatre. Both were great experiences and you do meet many people you would not normally mingle with.

  • Sports

Join a sports team! It's good for your body as well as your soul. Indoor soccer and netball are popular options, and you can also team up with your colleagues. Some companies offer yoga classes - I'm hoping my new work will have something similar!

  • Your mates' mates

There are also evening classes or other afterwork drinks/networking events that you could attend. If all else fails, though, try asking your friends to introduce their mates to you. Chances are, you like your friends, so you'll like their friends, too.

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