When you move to or visit a new place, it can be very disconcerting to not know anyone there. Perth is no different to London, Shanghai, Cape Town or Hong Kong.
Inevitably, you’ll want to make new friends in Perth which will help you put down roots, familiarise you with the area and open your world to entertainment, support and fun. We’ve come up with these 10 suggestions to make finding friends easy.
Going to school or university means meeting up on a daily basis with people your own age and with similar interests (especially at university). And there are numerous opportunities in a day to socialise; morning tea and lunch breaks, before and after school, and at Uni, there’s always time between lectures to grab a bite to eat or a coffee.
Hanging out in the library or the dining areas is where you’ll likely meet people who are up for a chat. Perth’s six universities and a range of vocational colleges all have social clubs, on-campus eateries and all kinds of diverse clubs such as those for political interests, sports, poetry, reading, volunteering and art.
Meetup.com is a website where you can find new friends based on the things you like to do or the kinds of people you want to meet. Get together for a book club, join a cycling group, try your hand at drumming, discover the art of macramé or join a spiritual conversations group.
The variety seems endless and you could find something new and exciting to explore, or meet new friends doing the things you already love doing.
Joining a club is a fantastic idea because you would obviously choose one which indulges your interests. Do you like playing board games? The West Australian Boardgaming Association is dedicated to tabletop gaming.
What’s your favourite sport to play? Or what about sports you haven’t tried yet but are curious about? Joining a team is a great way to make friends in Perth. Sign up for soccer, hockey, netball, rugby league or even croquet!
Learn something new such as billiards, table tennis or roller skating. When you go for lessons, there are usually other beginners there and you can take comfort in each other’s lack of skill.
Volunteering is a useful way of making friends in Perth. Your time is spent productively for the benefit of others and in the meantime, you’ll meet others who care about the same causes.
You can volunteer to look after rescue animals, collect money for fundraisers, cook for the homeless, help stage music events or even provide translation and interpreting in your own language. Organisations that require volunteers are grateful for a day a week or even one day a month. The people you meet there could turn out to be friends for life.
Whatever your religion, you’ll find a place of worship in Perth. But even if you are not religious, or don’t observe a particular faith, you can still find a warm welcome at a Perth church, synagogue, temple or mosque. Meeting people in church or other religious institutions can help you feel a part of a bigger community.
Introduce yourself to one of the elders or the minister, rabbi or other leader and let them know you’d like to make new friends. Ask about events you can attend and make a point of going along so you become a familiar face.
There are bound to be places in your local area where there are noticeboards advertising events. Try the supermarket, post office, cafes, newsagent or shopping centre. You could try Carols by Candlelight at Christmas, a salsa dancing class or educational sessions on composting and gardening.
Often, these events are free to attend, and there is usually a wide age range among attendees. The great thing is, they’re happening in your neighbourhood so it’s not far to travel.
Libraries aren’t just for book lovers. They are busy hubs of information and entertainment, from public book readings to talks and classes on photography, writing, cartooning and origami. Art galleries and museums offer events such as these too.
There could be a talk by a local artist, a film night, a behind-the-scenes tour or any number of other fun events. Meet new friends doing interesting things and you’ll be learning in the process.
How would you like to belt out a song or two in a pub? Show off your singing chops at places like Ferrara Bar or Utopia; the party really starts when others join in to compete. Trivia is hugely popular in Perth and you can turn up and ask to join a team. If your trivia smarts are good enough, you could be asked to come back every week to help the team win!
You may have noticed a couple of cool people in your classes and thought: “Hmm, I’d like to be friends with them.” Well now’s your chance to invite them over and get to know them. Tell them you’re making a dish that everyone loves – like your famous guacamole or your popular chicken satays – and get their mouths watering.
If they ask what they can bring, suggest they bring their favourite drinks which will take the pressure off you having to know what to buy, and it’ll save money too. Make your home or dorm room welcoming and have plenty of food on hand. Put some music on and provide comfy seating. Get to know your new friends in a casual environment where you are most comfortable.
Making friends in Perth is the same as making friends anywhere in the world. You have to put yourself out there and be welcoming to others in return. Smiling is important and having a generous spirit is also helpful. Always be ready to give of yourself and you’ll find that others will be willing to be generous in return.