Moving to a new city can be both exciting and scary. Whether it’s for school, a new job, or because that’s where your spouse lives, it can be quite daunting. Leaving behind everything you know and are comfortable with can be difficult, regardless of whether you’re moving a few hours away or across the world.
If you move with family or live with family, it can be hard leaving behind your circle of friends. They can be friends that you’ve had since you were young or that your family is also friends with. Learning to make friends as an adult can be quite challenging for many people because it’s a skill that sometimes stays in the school world. People tend to hang out with the people they know from school, whether it’s elementary school or university, and so can have a tough time meeting new people in their adult life.
This is why moving to a new city can be scary. You don’t know anyone and have no idea how to go about changing that! But it doesn’t have to be. Here’s how to make friends in a new city in a painless way.
AT SCHOOL OR WORK
If you move to a new city because of school or work, the best place to make friends is there. You already have something in common with the people around you: the class or in or the company you’re working for. But that’s not often enough! Outside of the school and work environment, there’s lots of events and social gatherings that usually happen. Whether it’s joining a club or studying outside of class, there’s lots of opportunities to make friends with people. Similarly, many companies have social events outside of work hours. Granted, many of these events often involve alcohol so try to pick the events that aren’t in those type of environments. If that’s all the type of events there are, try to start your own! Whether it’s a book club or just going out for a coffee with someone who watches the TV show as you, it doesn’t have to be complicated.
AT THE MASJID
If you’re looking for like-minded friends who share the same beliefs as you, the masjid can be a great place to do that. Many masjids serve as community centres and have amazing events happening year round. Whether it’s sports tournaments or Halaqas or Eid fairs or even just Jummah prayers. The masjid hosts a large amount of people many times in a week so there’s lots of opportunities to meet people. Especially if you’re the type of person that likes to discuss things and have lively conversations, lectures and visiting speakers from out of town can help you meet people with similar interests.
Lots of people think that once you’re done with school, there’s no opportunity to join clubs or the like, but that couldn’t be wrong! Lots of cities have community centres and other businesses that host classes. So if you’re interested in something, whether it’s cooking or tennis or books or knitting, etc., there’s a high chance there’s a club or organization that does it professionally in the city you’re moving to. Granted you’ll probably have to pay, but it’s another great opportunity to learn a new skill (or practice an old one) and make new friends.
FRIENDS OF FRIENDS
We live in a super connected world now and there are chances that someone you know has friends or family in the new city you’re moving to. Reach out to all your contacts and ask them. There’s nothing wrong with it. It can be quite lonely moving to a new place, so ask people before you move. Ask your friends and acquaintances if they can ‘introduce’ you before you actually move; with social media, this is even easier now. You can get to know people even before you move, so that when you actually move, you’ve already got some potential friends.
BE OPEN AND FRIENDLY
This is more of an attitude rather than a place where you can make friends. But when wanting to make friends, it’s really all about the attitude. Of course it can be tough to go out and start all over again in terms of making friends and establishing a new network of friends. Especially if you’re shy, it can be downright challenging. But force yourself out of your bubble if you’re really serious about making friends. Instead of sitting on the couch with Netflix on all the time, go out and explore your new city! There’s bound to be things you want to do and try, and keep an open mind and attitude when you’re out and about. You never know when you could meet people.
Whether it’s at the coffee shop where you go or to the library or to the gym, be friendly with everyone you meet. Try to have a positive outlook, and inshAllah you’ll meet like-minded people!
When you move to a city, it can be so challenging to adjust to a new environment and new people. This especially includes leaving behind your circle of friends and making a set of new ones. But remember it’s not about the number of friends you make, but about the close relationships you have. So even if you end up becoming friends with one or two people who understand you and who you have fun with, it’s better than a huge group of people who you only know a bit.
Hope you found this useful!