Moving, at the moment, is quite an important topic for me.
I have already moved various times during my life –
I moved from the apartment in one part of Linz to another. Finding new friends wasn’t particularly difficult. I went to school, I grew up with them, we had neighbours, and, of course, I also had my parents. Being lonely is never a question at that age.
I moved from Linz to Salzburg for studying. Going-out buddies and lovely acquaintances, new room mates and fellow students made this transition easy. We had courses together, we went to sportsclass, we discussed and hated on professors and assignments, we pushed each other through exams.
I moved from Salzburg to Bologna. Right, I didn’t know anyone there at first, but the point was – no one did. Erasmus Parties, trips, long nights and deep talks created a familiar feeling – we didn’t call it “Erasmus Family” by chance!
Now I moved again. I moved to Innsbruck, in together with my boyfriend and I don’t know anyone but him. Moving together was a great decision, relationshipwise, but, to be honest, I didn’t properly get what it would mean, not knowing anyone but that one person. I don’t like depending on someone and creating the feeling that he/she has to take up a bit of care for me, but essentially, being somewhere and knowing only one person leaves you at exactly this place. You’re not really lonely, but there are times when you feel like you were.
It’s high time to do something against that!
I puzzled my head over the best opportunities to find new friends if you a) don’t study, b) aren’t on Erasmus c) aren’t working in the area you moved to and came up with some useful ideas (which will be executed asap 😉 ).
- Sports class! I actually really enjoy doing my fitness alone – either running or at home or at the gym. But working out on my own won’t introduce me to a lot of people. If you feel lonely, grab your notebook and google the nearest sports activities or clubs. Maybe it is high time to engage into that one hobby that you’ve always wanted to try out anyways, but were too scared to try in front of your friends. It can be anything (as long as it involves other people) – rafting, kanu paddling or squash – inscribe to the nearest opportunity and prepare to make some friends along the way!
- Language tandems! Yes, I admit, it is another kind of hobby-thing that I will propose here to use for meeting new people. Nearly every university I know offers the opportunity of tandem partners or the so-called buddy system. If you’ve always wanted to improve your english or dedust your school-class french, why not do it with a native speaker! The big plus here is that they most likely are looking for someone to spend their time with too – explore the city together and it will be much more fun than doing it alone.
- Facebook groups! While this advice seems somewhat obvious, I am surprised how few people work with it. There are facebook groups for literally anything – book clubs, restaurant visits, pub crawls – as soon as you’ve found something to your liking, take up the initiative and introduce yourself or propose an idea. Nothing is lost with a post on facebook, but you don’t know yet what you can gain.
- Meet-ups! The website meetup.com offers you the opportunity to explore fields of your interest and gather around people who are interested in the same thing. If you want to start a meetup, you will have to pay a certain fee – however, you can also just browse through meetups in your area and see if you find anything of your liking. Essentially, it works very similar to the facebooks groups – from my experience the members are even more dedicated though and often it is more organized.
I am sure that you are not alone on your quest of meeting new people – you only have to take up the numerous opportunities the internet and other platforms offer instead of sitting at home and complaining about your situation.
- Throw yourself in fun sports activities
- Improve your language (and social) skills
- Use facebook for something useful
- Browse through meetups in your area and actually go to them
Soon you will make valuable friendships, experience exciting adventures in your new hometown and feeling lonely is a problem of the past.