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Survival Guide: Starting Your Friend List Over After a Major Move

By: Ashley Jackson 

What it’s Like When You Move Away from All of Your Friends

Did you attend a carnival when you were a child?  It was a time when excitement of cotton candy, bumper cars, and winning a giant stuffed unicorn filled your entire being.  As a child it was basically cats meow of thrills. Well, you get the exact opposite feeling when you move away from all of your friends. It’s scary, lonely and hard work.

I think that paragraph completes my Debbie Downer outlook. I spent my first month of my move focusing on everything I lost by moving to a new state. Now I’m determined to look onward to what there is to gain and how to go about doing so.

Learn to become your own BFF for a while

As I’ve written in past blogs. I’m the type of girl who has always been surrounded by lovely ladies or gaybies to do everything with but it’s not the case now that I’m in Mississippi. After enrolling in a crash course of learning to be my own BFF I learned a thing or two. It’s okay to have lunch, hang out at the coffee shop, and go to the mall, and even the bar alone.  Actually, the more I’ve done things by myself the more self empowered I’ve become. I had to realize just because I haven’t made a core group of girl friends I’m not a loser. It takes time. So in the mean time become your own BFF and learn to venture out solo.

Make Yourself Available

Look for young professional groups, meet ups, small church groups, volunteer groups and/or any other kind of group you might be interested in within your new city. There is no more university to rely on. You can’t gravitate to the girl with the cool shoes in your communication theory class anymore. This is the real deal. If you want friends, you must work for them. This is the stage I’m in right now. I’m looking for meeting times of groups and joining. Once I do I’ll attend every event possible until I’ve made some mates. With the goal of making some new friends it’s key to be available. I’ve always been one to skip icebreakers and get-togethers. In the past they’ve been a waste of time for me. However, that’s not the case now. These meetings are my new priorities.

Forget Your Comfort Zone

Throughout my experience of moving away, as a post-college woman for a new career and chapter in life I’ve learned that comfort zones only hold you back. I suppose I started peeling away comfort zone layers the second I accepted the position. Since then they’ve continued to shed. Each day I try to meet challenges head on and put myself in uncomfortable situations. Within my comfort zone the only things I would accomplish would be learning a new recipe, lots of bonding time with my dog and finishing countless television series on Netflix. Yeah, those things are not exactly the cool things to do at 23.

I’ve realized it’s a time in life for me to pick up new hobbies and learn some new interests. I’ve been on the search for sewing lessons, graphic design classes and Community Theater. I can’t wait to find a good fit and enroll. The great thing about classes…other people take them too. I’m certain it will be a great way to meet people and pick up some new skills.

While I will always miss my friends I left behind I know it’s time to find some new ones. As the saying goes, “make new friends but keep the old”. So far these are my 3 tips on surviving without the old and how to take steps in the right direction to finding the new.

Stay tuned for my follow up, Survival Guide: How to Build Your Friend List after a Major Move.