Making Friends in a New City
Home is where your people are.
To make any place you move to feel more like home, you need to create a community for yourself. Friends help with homesickness, loneliness, and are great ways to discover your city from a locals point of view. They won't solve all of your problems, but they can meet you for wine, and wine is always a good idea, so there.
I'm a super social individual, I NEED people in my life. Coming from Tel Aviv, I'm used to spontaneous coffee dates, after work drinks, Friday night dinners, and weekend beach sessions. While the mentality here in the US is a little more 'scheduled', finding friends who are like-minded can make your transition into a new social ecosystem so much smoother.
Since arriving in San Diego in September 2017, I made a point of putting the 'make friends' task at the very top of my priority list. Here's how it all went down (actually, still going down):
Not all of us have the luxury of having co-workers around the same age, let alone ones we actually like on a personal level, but I'm lucky enough to have a few co-workers here at Holonis (download it, you'll thank me later) who have become my friends.
Work and school are known to be the two hubs of meeting new people, while that may be true, it's not the only way!
Facebook groups, yo.
When I moved here, I searched Facebook for groups of Israelis in San Diego, young Jewish professionals, newcomers to San Diego, and organizations I was connected to or was recommended to join. It was through a few Facebook groups that I found several new friends, as well as a few organizations whose modus operandi is to introduce you to the community and is there to invite you to community events that are not in the least bit lame.
I recently joined a group on Facebook that I was invited to via a mutual friend that has introduced me to yet another group of people that has expanded my social circle further and had me feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.
See below photo of our brunch munch from our introductory beach get together:
(we had all of the very important food groups - fruit and donuts)
Friends of friends are gold.
Once you know one person, you can easily be introduced to their friends and so on. New people multiply themselves when you make yourself available to meet ups and make an effort to join.
Meeting people through other people is the OG dating app, so if you're looking to meet possible significant others, this is also a way to go. Just putting that out there.
With all of the above being said, and having met a lot of great people and enjoying everything sunny San Diego has to offer, I am battling home sickness more than I care to admit. What really gets me through this bout of loneliness is knowing that it's temporary and that my future happiness here is dependent entirely on me and what I want to create for myself. Feeling comfortable in a place takes time, as well as acknowledging that these feelings are totally normal and will get better.
Someone wise once told me:
It takes one year to get used to a place and meet some new people, two years to gain a close knit crew (i.e. the regulars), and five years to be considered a true local.