Of all the uncomfortable tasks involved in moving to a new city, meeting new people might be the most terrifying. Most of us haven’t had to make new friends as an adult since college, and the older we get, the harder it may seem. If you are moving for a job or to study you will eventually meet people at the office or at school, but why not adopt a more proactive approach? Check out these ideas on how to meet new people in the area before you move.
Friends of friends
Reach out to your existing network of family, friends, and colleagues. Share your plans of moving to San Francisco and ask if they have friends or family there who might be willing to welcome you to the city. It is a small world after all, and the people you meet through your existing contacts can become great friends. To have even a few people in your new surroundings you can turn to can take the edge off relocation loneliness, and with some luck and chemistry, friendships might ensue.
Social media is a great tool for connecting with people of similar interests. Whether you’re into knitting, yoga or creating miniature models of famous rugby stadiums, you can probably find a Facebook group of like-minded enthusiasts in the San Francisco area before you move. Use the platform to share your knowledge and learn from others and soon you’ll find that you already know a number of people in the city who share your passion. If you already know which neighborhood you will be living in, you can look up a group of residents on and join the discussion. Introduce yourself and ask your soon-to-be-neighbors for tips and information- most people are happy to help and glad to meet friendly new people.
Donate and volunteer
As moving day approaches, boxes of stuff that you might wish to shed are probably starting to pile up in your hallway. Before you take these boxes to the nearest church or homeless shelter, consider taking some of them along and donating them to your new community. Contact one of the city’s many charities ahead of time and find a new home for the clothes or houseware you no longer need. Yes, it would involve some extra schlepping but it’s good for your karma and a great way to meet people in San Francisco. Do you know the old adage about giving and receiving? Worth a try.
Meetup is an international network of local groups, organizing social get-togethers in many cities around the world, including San Francisco. Meetups bring together neighbors with common interests to share experiences as varied as oil painting, mantra meditation, tech talk and home beer brewing. You won’t actually meet these new friends until you have made the move, but you can browse meetups and plan in advance so you can meet your first friends in San Francisco as soon as possible.