I had a very hard time to make new friends or find someone who share the same interests when I moved to new location after MS. Often, most of us are in the same situation when you relocate to a new location in America for either job or education. If you are a consultant on H1B visa, then it is even worse as you are always on the go. Over the years, I have learnt some ways to meet people other than just going to Bars and Salsa dancing for Social life. Let me share some few thoughts on this.
How to find people with common interests in US ?
It is amazing to see how many websites are out there to meet people with common interests. Some of them are good, some are terrible . Based on my experience, couple of websites that I have used have worked fairly well for me. Here are those:
Meetup.com : This website is amazing, I have seen this evolve over years. You can find people with common interests in a location trying to either search on the interest or search by location. Me and my friend, when I moved to a new location as we did not had any friends, we found an outdoor group and went Hiking, Kayaking, etc. It was so much fun to meet people with common interests. There are meetup groups for people with common interests like cultures, learning a language, dancing, cooking, running, tennis, etc…I can keep on going. If you do not have an account, go to Meetup.com and register for an account. It is awesome. You do not need to host anything in the beginning, just attend something that are already hosted by someone. Pick the ones that are active and have more people in it…
Craigslist.org: This website is kind of used very well and abused too. You have to be careful. If you go to Craigslist.org and look under the community section right on the top and look for activities, you will find a variety of people trying to look for activity partners like Running, playing Volleyaball, Gym partner, etc. You can also post an Ad too if you are looking for someone to do activity. You have to be a little careful here and do not just give out your number to random people, just act with caution and meet the people in public area. My roomie found all this tennis partners with through craigstlist.
Professional or Social Organizations : Another quick way is to just search on Google for Professional or social organizations in that area. You will get some websites of that area and attend an event, you will meet new people.
It is always the starting point that is tough to get to meet new people. Once you have few friends, the network multiplies…Once I made some friends, it was quite easy to add more friends to my network…
What’s the Goal of meeting new people? How does it work ?
The goal of trying all the above stuff is to meet new people. It could be even just one person for playing tennis, as you meet one person you get connected to that person’s network and then slowly that person’s friends become friends to you…your network expands, over time you will have so many people to hang out with and have a social life. It can take anywhere from 2 to 6 months to build a good decent friends circle…but, it can be quick too if you are extrovert and open to meeting people. Make sure you exchange numbers or email to keep connected and ask them whats up for weekend and ask them to tell about city and may be show around the town as you are new… The point is, you have to ASK people !