1. Try everything, then make a routine out of the things you enjoyed most. A new city is the perfect opportunity to try things you haven’t done before, or things you once enjoyed. The local beach volleyball league, underwater hockey team, book club, jam session. There are SO many things to do in every city, and so many things you haven’t tried before. Each one of those things have their own community of people who could become your new friends, or your family.
Try different watering holes, hear a variety of live music. Then make a habit out of the ones you enjoyed the most.
2. Do not make a name for yourself. Being “that person” is not important. What’s important is that everyone remembers you for the things they value most. When you first move and you’re lonely, it’s easy to fall in bed with every guy who buys you a drink on Thirsty Thursday, or to say yes to the “movie date” that is being suggested. But keep in mind that every town is small, no matter how big. The last thing you want is for your new community to see you as someone who sleeps with many partners, or the girl/guy who is “easy”
3. Walk. Run. Bike. Skate. I can’t tell you how many people I have seen repetitively on my skates or my runs. Those people will all agree that we are a part of a small, silent community of connected individuals. When you’re in your car, you don’t connect with people in the same way.
4. Be alert. Tune into the babble. Check the flyers on your way out of Starbucks. See who the popular bands are in town, or what bar is the best bang for your buck. Music and good drinks are always two things that connect people.
5. In the beginning, keep everyone you meet at an arm’s length, no more and no less. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve met a guy or girl, stored their number, and forgot about them, only to recall the moment years later over a tequila drink at Hog Heaven. Or how many girls or guys have seemed truly genuine and interested in your friendship in the beginning, only to drop you off of their radar later when they learn you unknowingly went on a date with the guy they’re hot for, or they came to the realization that you’re not going to sleep with them.
Save yourself the heartache, don’t trust too fast. And don’t write anyone off, you never now when one of you will have something great to offer the other.
6. Stop thinking about your past life. It’s in the past for a reason. You’re meant to grow, to explore, to move. If you aren’t experiencing new places, you’re not growing to your full potential.
7. Lastly, and most importantly, if you’re unhappy, don’t stay. No degree, amount of money, or promise is worth months or years of your happiness. If you hate the new job, or the city, leave it. Just make sure you gave it a chance.