It seems like life transitions such as moving to a new city, starting a new job or relationship are an existential part of most peoples 20’s and 30’s. Being new to a city can be an exciting time in our lives, a chance to make changes and start fresh. It can also be anxiety provoking, lonely and unsettling. We’re taken away from the comforts of a familiar place, and familiar people and left to our own devices. As a late 20 something professional adult with a lot on my plate I have found that building friendships and relationships in adulthood can actually be kind of difficult, especially with the added factor of being in a new environment.
My move to Victoria came with a bit of a rough adjustment. I didn’t really know where to go to make friends and my fiance was away for work the majority of the first six months we were here. I spent a lot of time by myself during that period of time. I was also transitioning into an intensive mentorship program at work, where I felt the need to prove my worth and make a good impression. When I came home after a days work - I missed the comforts of easy conversation, and I felt tapped out in terms of putting myself out there to meet new people and build my friend circle. My dog Digby was my rock for those first six months. Honestly, if you don’t have a furry best friend you are missing out. They are the biggest support and the best thing to come home to after a long day!
It took me a few too many lonely movie nights and bottles of wine to realize the importance of making new connections outside of work in a new city. I made a few small changes that really helped to make Victoria start to feel a bit more like home.
First of all, I joined Bumble BFF - which at the time, I thought was hilarious. It’s like a first date for friendships. Its a chance to find like minded people who are often also in a new environment looking to reach out and make new connections. I connected with a few different people and ended up grabbing a beverage on a few different occassions. It was a great way to get out of the house and to chat with someone in a similar position as I was. I actually ended up meeting one of my closest friends in the city to this day at Canoe BrewPub on a bumble BFF date. We totally hit it off and see each other pretty much on a weekly basis still!
The second thing I did was join SpinCo. I typically go about three to four times a week and consistently go at the same time. You end up a) feeling good about yourself by getting those endorphins flowing and b) start seeing familiar faces and get to know the other members. It’s a positive and welcoming environment, with a focus on health and fitness. This was a really positive change for me outside of my usual solo workouts.
Another thing that I haven’t done but would LOVE to do is join a book club. I was a member in another city and it’s such a great way to meet people. If you like to read it’s actually a great way to get together, converse about literature and enjoy some yummy snacks, beverages and company.
Through my own personal journey, I have become extremely aware of just how terrifying it can be putting yourself out there and trying to make new friends and connections. Building a group of people you connect with is a huge part of living a happy and well balanced life, especially if you’re the type of person who thrives on social interaction such as myself. I’ve talked to a lot of people about the struggles of moving to a new city - and I wanted to share some things that have worked for me to help with the adjustment process. If anyone else has went through this recently - please feel free to share your experience and suggestions!