When you move to a new city, the loneliness can make the place seem less welcoming, less like home. What you need are friends! But that can also be a challenge. Where should you go? Who should you approach?
How can you find people who share your values? Well we’re about to give you 10 suggestions on how to find new friends in Adelaide, Australia’s pretty ‘city of churches’.
When students arrive at a new University, the campus can feel overwhelming in size and in culture. You don’t know anyone, and you don’t know your way around. One of the best ways to get into the ‘feel’ of the Uni is to attend Orientation Week. There’ll be tons of events you can attend that match your interests and you can meet hosts and members of all kinds of societies and clubs.
When classes start, make a point of paying attention to who is in your lectures and try to make conversation with them. Suggest getting together for a drink, to share notes or for a cheap meal. Uni friends are usually lifelong friends so think of your campus as a pot of gold when it comes to meeting good new people. With five major campuses in Adelaide, you’re sure to encounter lots of likeminded guys and girls who are also looking for new friends.
Meetup.com is a great online portal where you can find a never-ending variety of things to do and people to do them with. Basically, groups are set up by hosts and events are geared towards specific interests such as reading, bushwalking, kayaking, cooking, meditation, card games, dining out, astronomy, yoga and so much more. If you want, you can set up a group yourself and plan an event for others to attend. Many of the activities are free and others attract an entry fee.
At first, this one may seem boring or time-consuming, but you know what? There are lots of people volunteering for a vast array of causes every day, and firm friendships are formed between those with common values. Volunteering in Adelaide could involve tutoring children or seniors in the use of computers, helping to put books back on the shelves in a library or chaperoning elderly or disabled citizens on group outings.
You might like to volunteer your time to teach the basics of your native language, wash cars on the weekend for a charity or do a rubbish collection on the beach (you get to work on your Aussie tan too!).
No matter where you’re from, it can be enlightening and lots of fun to attend events that celebrate other cultures. In Adelaide, it could be the Russian Pancake Festival, Indian Diwali or Holi, the Semaphore Greek Festival, the Carnevale Italian Festival, the Schützenfest German Festival or Chinese New Year.
Embracing a world of cultures is a wonderful way of meeting new people. There is always a range of smaller events within each festival that you can go along to, as well as joining in dancing, or making conversation in public eating areas.
The Adelaide Events Facebook group was created for promoters to talk about the events that they hold. You can find out where the latest food festivals are happening and discover educational events. You can even register your intention to attend and you’ll be kept up to date on news.
What’s great about this being a Facebook group is that you can make friends online with other members of the group and catch up with them at events you both attend. You can also search Facebook for ex-pat groups so you can meet up with people from your own country for socialising.
Genuine offers of assistance are not as common as they should be. Do you have skills you can share for free? Maybe you can help people understand complicated maths, or you can teach someone how to dance or show them how to cook a dish you can cook well. Post a notice on a noticeboard – online or offline – and you can meet new friends by being approachable and helpful.
Just be careful to hold these get-togethers in public places such as a library, shopping centre, Uni campus or a busy park or beach.
Working in a social environment can put you in front of friendly people. They could be work colleagues or customers. Get to know your workmates by taking an interest in them and being warm and approachable. See if they’d like to go out for drinks or a bite to eat after work. If you are serving regular customers in a café, bar or restaurant, ask them what they like to do when socialising and they may just invite you along!
Did you know that the Bumble app is not just for dating? It has a ‘BFF’ tab and you can set up your profile to show your interest in meeting new friends and it will show you search results based on your location. You can set your search parameters to only show you people who are currently located within a certain radius of where you are. Just keep in mind that they may not live in Adelaide. The locater function shows you where they are now.
The City of Adelaide has a ‘Your Community’ page on its website which shows you all kinds of social and interest groups. There’s a huge array of different activities! You can play indoor boccia, take a cooking workshop, learn to speak English by playing board games, play social table tennis, take Pilates or go bushwalking. Or, you could attend a multicultural shared meal where everyone takes along a plate of their own national cuisine to share with others.
You won’t meet friends if you stay home. You need to be out and about, exploring the city, talking to people and seeing what’s on offer. Adelaide has beautiful beaches, gorgeous day trips, interesting museums and art galleries and a warm and friendly population.
It may be uncomfortable at first but talking to strangers gets easier, the more you do it. Simply say hello, ask a basic question (such as “Where did you buy that sandwich? It looks delicious.”) or ask to sit with others at a communal table in a café.
Adelaide has lots to offer and it’s a pleasant, friendly city. Don’t be shy to put yourself in front of other people and tell them you’d like to be friends.