Thursday, January 17, 2013

Settling Into a New City

Moving to a new city is never easy, especially if you don't know anyone in the area. Luckily, if you're a homeowner, you'll find that neighborhoods are great places to meet new people, make new friends, and get plugged in to a community. If you're a new homeowner, or if you've bought a home in a new city, or if you're thinking about making a change in location, consider these tips for getting more involved with your new community. 

Take Every Opportunity 

Many neighborhoods have regular events like block parties, family nights, or welcome parties. When you move into your new home, make sure open yourself to accepting invitations from your neighbors. It might mean stepping out of your comfort zone, but it is well worth it. By accepting invitations from your neighbors, you're opening yourself to new opportunities and experiences, which is the best way to make new friends and acquaintances. 
It's important to be willing to get involved. Even something that's not social, like a neighborhood watch, community food drive, or school carpool will help get you introduced to new people. Remember, you're never going to make new friends if you're never introduced to anyone new. Sometimes the first step is simply putting yourself into situations in which you have to interact with new people. 

Volunteer 

Maybe your new neighborhood doesn't do much by way of social gatherings, but that's ok! Try volunteering at local non profit organizations, like the local food bank or Habitat for Humanity. You'll be introduced to new people, which is important, but you'll also be giving back to the community in a very important way. Volunteering is a great way to implant yourself in a community. Not only will you be surrounded by new faces, you'll also be doing valuable work. 

Volunteering is easy, and no matter what your skill level, there's a job for you to do. If you're new to a community, volunteering at a local non profit is a great way to acclimate yourself. 

Be Assertive 

If all else fails, be assertive! If you can't find an acceptable opportunity in your community to meet new people, try creating the opportunity yourself. Try and be creative, maybe you could start a book club? A craft club? A film club? Pick something you're passionate about and work to make others in your community passionate about it too. 
While this may be an uncomfortable thing to do for many people, it's important to step outside of your comfort zone in order to become an active member of your community. Owning a home isn't as simple as paying money for a place to live, it also means being a part of a community and neighborhood. If you're new to a city, or if you're looking for a new way to assert yourself in your neighborhood, then these simple tips can help.