You’ve finally done it: you moved from your hometown to a big city. Everything feels so glamorous and new and exciting … at least, you think. It’s hard to judge just how great it is if you’re at home on the weekends dusting your tchotchkes and watching Netflix.

The truth is a new city can prove to be a lonely place if you move on your own. Even when thousands or millions of people surround you, you might find it difficult to meet them. Making connections doesn’t have to be as difficult as, say, making connections on your new metropolis’s public transit system. Below, you’ll find six ways to start forming friendships, no matter where you’ve moved your roots.

  1. Start at the Beginning
    There are millions of people living in major cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Chances are, there’s someone there from your hometown — you might even know him or her.If you’re looking to connect with people, try reconnecting with old friends first. Scroll through your Facebook friends to see who is living in your current city. Then, reach out: a Facebook message can turn into coffee, which can turn into a regular outing, which can turn into a real-life friendship, complete with half-heart BFF necklaces. Who knows?!
  1. Look Around
    We’re not asking you to gaze at skyscrapers like a tourist or to stare too long at that street performer … what is he doing?! Instead, you should look in your immediate vicinity for someone who seems like he or she could be a good friendship fit. We’re talking about co-workers at your new job, neighbors in your new building, or even fellow gym-goers who are huffing and puffing through a crazy spin class. Open your eyes and also your mouth — say hello!
  2. Relive Your College Days
    Cheap beer served ice-cold from a trashcan? No thanks. Fortunately, you don’t have to relive your college days that closely in order to make new friends. All you have to do is a simple Internet search to find out if your university has a local alumni chapter. These organizations often host mixers, volunteer outings, and viewings of big games, among other activities. No need to cram to be successful here!
  3. Find a New Hobby…
    … A group hobby, more specifically — will knitting by a blazing fire make you any friends this weekend? Again, a quick Internet search will help you find local churches, sports groups, and meet-ups for people with similar interests as yours. Remember how after-school clubs and activities helped you find all of your best buddies in high school and beyond? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
  4. Just Say “Yes”
    When put together, the words “blind” and “date” might send a shiver down your spine. A blind friend date should feel much less foreboding. Ask around and find out if any of your best friends who live in other cities have any connections with people in your new home. Say “yes” to any opportunity to meet up with these connections — friends of friends often share similar qualities and interests. All of that blind-date weirdness will be worth it.
  5. Know When to Invest
    Someone, somewhere has certainly told you that you should follow your gut. This overarching life philosophy applies to the art of making friends, too. Perhaps someone you met just gave you really great vibes. Should you waste your time having a drink with five other so-so acquaintances, or focus on a single friend date with the one with whom you really clicked? These high-quality connections will be what fulfill you the most and have you feeling at home in your new city.

Now, time to go out and find them!

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Sarah Landrum is the founder of Punched Clocks.

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