In 2012, I graduated from college and moved to an awesome New York City apartment. A dream I shared with many post-grads, I started an internship in the music industry and moved in with my childhood best friend.
I started at the new company and quickly discovered that I was the youngest person by about 10 years. I struggled to meet new people. My roommates both worked in sales at companies where everyone was a twenty-something, attractive, and always looking to party after work. I would tag along to their happy hours, but I always felt like I was hanging out with their friends, and never my own. In a city of millions, it is so easy to feel completely isolated—somehow, it seems, earbuds are a silent way of saying, “don’t talk to me”. Everyone is constantly texting, snapchatting or instagramming when out with friends, seemingly communicating with unseen masses of friends you don’t have. You’re not alone if you’re feeling like this, and it’s not the end of the world. Now, we have to actively make an effort to break through our phone screens and meet new people.
My mother lived in the city for over 20 years, so I would approach her regularly about my feelings of frustration. She would always say, “Just talk to people in the grocery store!” Maybe ideally, romantically, this could work. You know, you catch the eye of someone in the next aisle, flash a coy smile and then you’re on your first date! (Or is that just the movies?)
Let’s think about it realistically: imagine if I saw someone in the grocery store buying an avocado. What would my mother expect me to do? “Hey, you like avocados? I LOVE avocados, we should go out sometime!” This avocado-loving person would think that I was legitimately insane. I already get strange looks from people just for smiling when I walk past them (that or they think I’m hitting on them). I’m from the country! We smile at strangers! Weird right?
The biggest piece of advice I can offer anyone to meet new people in New York City is to not be consumed by your loneliness, and go explore. Foster your relationship with yourself—learn to genuinely love and enjoy your own company. Your own happiness will attract new friends and when you do, other people will be so attracted to your happiness you won’t be able to get them away from you.
Find reasons to get up and out of your NYC apartment. If you work remotely or are a student, find a cute coffee shop in which to study. Bond with someone through sarcasm and apathetic disinterest. Instead of ordering take-out, find a quiet restaurant and treat yourself to a meal. Hang out in a park. Take yourself shopping. Check out galleries in Chelsea or Brooklyn, maybe try the Brooklyn Flea or find Art Walks, where you can go look at galleries at night.
Expand your horizons and take a class. Whether it be a cooking class, an art class, a yoga class or lightsaber fighting class (yes, this is real) you’ll be around a group of potential new friends with a shared interest. And a shared interest is your first step to friendship. New York City has innumerable classes to offer—find some here.
MeetUp.com is another valuable online resource that can help you to find like-minded individuals! Maybe you’ve just moved to New York from another country and you’re looking for a little piece of home, maybe you love hiking, or perhaps you simply want to hit the best happy hours in the city with fun people! Everyone on MeetUp is looking to meet new people and make friends! Check it out here.
Another great way to make a connection is through a four-legged pal. Besides the fact that you’ll never be alone in your apartment again, having a dog in New York City makes it easier to meet people. Also, you’ve got your love for dogs in common with all those strangers! Luckily for you, NoFee Rentals are pet-friendly. If you’re looking for more information about our pet-policy and great things to do with your dog in New York City, click here.
The only way to make new friends is really just to start talking to people, and to keep an open mind. Don’t rule out your neighbors, either. Friends come in all shapes, sizes and ages. I have been going to a knitting class that my 84 year old neighbor has at her store, and I’ll tell you, old ladies? They’re hilarious… more on that later though.
So once you’ve settled into your new NoFee Rentals apartment in your hot new NYC neighborhood, get out and make some new friends to fill your living room! If you haven’t found an apartment yet, you can definitely find one here.
Until next time!