Moving to a city where you don’t know anyone can be incredibly challenging! It’s hard to get to know people when you’re working full time and trying to get acclimated to a new environment.
Here are a few things I learned that helped me adjust when I moved to Atlanta:
Decorate your space. I found that investing in decorating my apartment made living alone in a big city, especially when I didn’t know anyone, so much better. On evenings after work when I came home to a brightly decorated apartment with fresh flowers and some candles, I felt at home.
Explore. When I first moved to Atlanta, I picked a different neighborhood to explore every Saturday. It gave me something to do before I had made friends, and it got me out of my apartment (or, more accurately, away from constantly laying by the pool). It was fun to see different parts of the city at my own pace, and then I had something to connect on when I did make friends, because I had been to a few of the places they mentioned! Plus, it was fun to be a tourist in my new home.
Find a church or group. For me, church is the center of my identity and community. Finding a church helped me feel grounded every Sunday and connected me to volunteer and social activities in Atlanta. I made some great friends outside of work, and felt like I was instantly a part of a bigger community in the city.
Introduce yourself! It’s hard to make friends when you are an adult- people are busy, and it can be awkward when you feel like everyone already has a group. I found that walking right up to people and saying, “Hi! I’m Hannah! I just moved here!” helped, because it’s considered normal to not have friends you when just moved! Everyone in Atlanta is very friendly, and people instantly made me feel welcome as a recent transplant.
Give it time. It takes time to adjust to a big change. Give yourself some grace- moving is a big life change that takes some adjusting. It’s not easy to start over, and friendships will happen naturally in their own time.
Lastly, pay it forward. The next time you discover that someone just moved to your city, welcome them! Invite them to coffee or lunch and tell them about their new hometown.