January 2017: Building myself a community

I have lived in my new city for almost two years now; in in my home, over a year. Similar to many adults, my social circle is comprised mostly of work colleagues/friends and my husband’s work people. Two states ago, while in graduate school, I had friends and neighbors with whom I could study, have a glass of wine in the evenings, and make impromptu plans. I miss that sense of community and so have decided my January project will be to start engaging in my local community to expand my local social circle.

Step 1: Look into local free events:
As a millennial, I am a huge fan of finding information online. First, I subscribed to the town hall and library email notifications. I browsed my local civic center (park surrounded by museums, restaurants, etc) website, library website, meetups, and “events near me” on facebook. When looking at events, I found I was being too picky about topics, considering that my goal was to go out an interact with people in my neighborhood, so I began to add remotely interesting topics to my calendar to get started.

Step 2: Plan events with existing friends and groups.
To strengthen the group of friends I had, I made plans to get away at lunch with work friends, celebrate a housewarming, and reached out to other friends for a happy hour. As we had begun some optional team building activities at work, I suggested to my manager that we look into the local “escape room.

Step 3: Join a class/activity.
Joining a class or activity would not only introduce me to like minded individuals, but also had the potential to extend this initiative past the 30 day mark. I looked into the local fitness centers, but was put off by the price and long term contract. I then stumbled across a community supported rec center with pay as you go classes, local pools with pay as you go entry fees, and a community schedule of dance and art classes. Getting excited!

Step 4: Attend local performances.
Being lucky enough to live in a metropolitan area, I am surrounded by performance venues! I made sure to take note of upcoming shows with the hope of slowly meeting like minded art enthusiasts.