I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a hermit, although I do work from home and I am sort of attached to my couch and Netflix. However, before you label me a complete loser, let me explain my lonely status.
I’m not a complete nerd with a lack of social skills, but I don’t engage in many activities where I can meet new people. College and grad school were the perfect settings to be introduced to new faces. Whether it was classes, student government, or meeting friends of friends, it never seemed to be a problem to find people to hang with. But after graduation, you just don’t have the same built-in supply of homies.
I don’t like the party or club scene, and since I don’t work in a traditional office setting, I definitely don’t get the opportunity to meet a lot of new people. Since it’s Make a Friend Day on February 11th, I’ve been thinking: are there some reliable ways to make friends without being on a campus? Here are some ideas.
Join a class.
This is probably one of the easiest suggestions to tackle. Most communities offer classes through their parks and recreation department, or you can check out courses provided by any local colleges. You can take anything from cooking and painting to yoga and kickboxing. The main goal is just to find something that interests you, and you’ll get to meet others with a love for Tai Chi or a passion for playing guitar.
Meetup.com is a great option if you’re looking for a group to join that shares your interests. I actually connected with a local writer’s group after finding them on the site. I found that Meetup.com was a really easy way to find established groups in my area. You just enter your zip code or search for a specific topic, and you’ll discover a huge variety of organizations that are nearby.
Create profiles on social network sites.
Since this is the 21st century, the most common way to meet people is by using the Internet. Besides traditional sites like Facebook, there are a lot of sites specifically designed for people looking to make new friends. Sites like BigFriendo, MeetForCoffee, and Friendsies are all free to use. Please remember to use good judgement though – no giving out your credit card info to help your new ‘friend’ or meeting up unless you’re in a public place. Also, if you’re going to be using social networks, I’d advise using Norton’s Internet Security software. That way you can have peace of mind when you’re online. To keep your costs to a minimum, you can use a Norton coupon code for extra savings.
Get out into the world.
This is kinda common sense, but it’s hard to remember for a lot of people. The more you put yourself out there, the more experiences you’ll have. Any time you can place yourself in a new setting, you’ll meet new people. Chances are, the more people you interact with, the quicker you’ll be able to find a kindred spirit.
So, I’ll be trying some of these tricks now that my college days are behind me. Perhaps I’ll celebrate Make a Friend Day by doing just that.