How to make friends in a new city

Moving to a new city is an exciting and scary experience. At some point we all end up doing it- whether it’s for work, school, or maybe you just need a change of scenery. Moving to a new city is rough on your social life. It’s stimulating experiencing new restaurants, museums, parks, stores, and unique offerings of your new area – but doing all of this by yourself eventually gets lonely.

A year ago I moved from California to Washington, DC. I’ve had varying success developing my social life. At the organization I work at my coworkers are either married or significantly older. I get along with them great in the office but we’re not exactly hanging out together after work. Coworkers can always be a source of new friends – I have varying opinions about letting some of my older coworkers in on my social life (I know it’s not very Gen-Y’ish to separate work and non-work life). These are my four tips for making new friends in a new place.

Meetup.com
A popular meeting site for people in the same situation as you. Here you find people willing to get together for anything and everything ranging from happy hours, museum visits, sports outings, day trips, outdoor events, and even wine and food groups. Their moto is “meeting everywhere about most everything.” I’ve had success on this site – especially meeting people around my age. Its easier since everyone is a little nervous. The groups I’m involved in range from 20’s & 30’s groups, young professionals, food and wine, volleyball and a few other niche groups. Wherever you are I definitely recommend joining this site. There’s always something going on any given day of the week. The best part? People just like you for you run the groups!

Sports Leagues
Whether you’re 18 or 80 there’s always a sports league you can find. Bowling, softball, tennis, volleyball, and what’s seems to be making a comeback – at least in my area, is kickball. There are at least a dozen different kickball leagues in my area ranging from super-competitive to social groups just looking for a reason to wear the same shirts to happy hour.

Volunteer
Great minds think alike, so do great souls and great hearts. Grouping yourself with other people who donate their time and energy for the betterment of others is a noble cause. Be but warned, do it only if you are truly willing to give it your all. People can tell when your willingness is not sincere, that’s my take anyway.

Say Yes to Invitations
When your neighbors, friends, acquaintances, coworkers, classmates or other people invite you to something, join them! It’s important and much easier to expand your network of friends through people who already know you. Work on those 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th degree of separation. It’s much easier to meet new people when you already know people there. Hopefully those who invited you will be good hosts and introduce you to people possessing similar interests as you.

Does Generation Y rush into things or is it just me?

One of my biggest complaints with being in today’s working world is that I want to be productive and accomplish projects/tasks/things to do on my list. I don’t want to spend months and months in committee meetings, conference calls, and what I feel is wasted time trying to come to a group consensus until finally moving forward. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that proper research and exploration down a variety of roads is absolutely necessary to achieve a good solution.

However, when I am working with older generations I feel as if they are simply happy with having countless meetings and exploring every option known to man before finally coming to the consensus that they need to meet longer and research more. For me, at some point I want to actually get to the project, complete it, have a end-result or product to show and move onto the next initiative. Sure, maybe I don’t have every possible vendor researched and displayed on four different Venn diagrams with proper cost-benefit-ratios, returns on investments, consumer reports, and other data to support the decision. I’ve researched the solution enough to the point where I am comfortable putting my name on it and have a handful of reasons as to why selected this solution over another. However, for many of the older generation workers this does not seem to be enough. They seem to have a need to document every phone call, summarize every conversation, create dozens of action items and spend all this effort in the pre-work stages rather than completing the project.

Is this just me? If it is then surely it will be my downfall. Do other members of my generation have an over-achieving desire to almost just do it themselves and skip all the committees and conference calls so they can complete the project while another committee is still researching and sending emails back and forth? Can someone please provide me with some feedback?