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Adam&Allison

Making friends in the USA

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So I think one of the common problems that inbound immigrants to the United States probably face is making friends - now my fiance and I have quite a lot of friends as couples, obviously met through her because she's the American and she knew them (mostly) before meeting me. But I was just wondering if anyone has got any tips for making friends outside of my fiances circle, I'm a pretty social guy so once I get talking to people I'm fairly confident in my ability to make friends and stuff - but I'm just wondering where or how you would go about starting a process like this? 

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I'm an American myself and I'm pretty bad at making friends. But I don't want to discourage you, there are options out there. I don't know how old you are, but let's assume you're beyond the "college age" party-going type. Even if you are a party goer, if there aren't a lot of parties around that you know about, it can be hard to know where to start. Or maybe you simply feel awkward at parties where you don't know anyone. If this is the case, here are some suggestions I have:

 

Most Americans make friends through their workplace. Do you have a job yet/are you planning to get one? This is probably the first place to start if not.

 

A lot of Americans make friends through sports, either playing or as a spectator. If there are any sports you like (even if they are obscure/seemingly unpopular, or "casual" sports like card games, billiards, even chess and computer gaming or "nerdy" games), try to find any local events in your city and get involved. Buy tickets or sign up for a game or look for events where it might be happening. If you're into comic books and that kind of thing, there are usually "Cons" in big cities where you'll easily meet people who also are into that stuff.

 

If you're not a sporty type, I honestly feel like it's harder. But I see you're in a big city (Philly?) and there are a lot of people there who are into the arts and more cultural stuff. Try to see what kind of local events are out there. Do you have a hobby or skill you want to perfect? Look into cheap courses at the local community college/activity centers that you can sign up for, there are a lot of options for "Continuing Education" classes at community colleges and universities alike where you'll meet other adults of all ages who have similar interests/goals as you. Example: I signed up for a French night class when I lived in Albuquerque briefly, and I made friends with the French teacher as well as another woman in the class. It definitely made my life in that city a lot more enjoyable. Before I did that, I didn't know anyone in the city at all.

 

Looking for other Brits or Europeans? It's best to do that online. You can use sites like Meetup.com or even VJ to try and find people in your area to meet up with in real life. Also, Couchsurfing usually has people looking for friends/activity partners; most of the time they are people just passing through, but sometimes there are some newly-moved people as well who are also looking for friends.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, millefleur said:

I'm an American myself and I'm pretty bad at making friends. But I don't want to discourage you, there are options out there. I don't know how old you are, but let's assume you're beyond the "college age" party-going type. Even if you are a party goer, if there aren't a lot of parties around that you know about, it can be hard to know where to start. Or maybe you simply feel awkward at parties where you don't know anyone. If this is the case, here are some suggestions I have:

 

Most Americans make friends through their workplace. Do you have a job yet/are you planning to get one? This is probably the first place to start if not.

 

A lot of Americans make friends through sports, either playing or as a spectator. If there are any sports you like (even if they are obscure/seemingly unpopular, or "casual" sports like card games, billiards, even chess and computer gaming or "nerdy" games), try to find any local events in your city and get involved. Buy tickets or sign up for a game or look for events where it might be happening. If you're into comic books and that kind of thing, there are usually "Cons" in big cities where you'll easily meet people who also are into that stuff.

 

If you're not a sporty type, I honestly feel like it's harder. But I see you're in a big city (Philly?) and there are a lot of people there who are into the arts and more cultural stuff. Try to see what kind of local events are out there. Do you have a hobby or skill you want to perfect? Look into cheap courses at the local community college/activity centers that you can sign up for, there are a lot of options for "Continuing Education" classes at community colleges and universities alike where you'll meet other adults of all ages who have similar interests/goals as you. Example: I signed up for a French night class when I lived in Albuquerque briefly, and I made friends with the French teacher as well as another woman in the class. It definitely made my life in that city a lot more enjoyable. Before I did that, I didn't know anyone in the city at all.

 

Looking for other Brits or Europeans? It's best to do that online. You can use sites like Meetup.com or even VJ to try and find people in your area to meet up with in real life. Also, Couchsurfing usually has people looking for friends/activity partners; most of the time they are people just passing through, but sometimes there are some newly-moved people as well who are also looking for friends.

 

 

 

Right, I'm in Philadelphia - which is a pretty big city, and a melting pot of cultures. I do enjoy sporting events, I'm a fan of all three of the main sports in America (NFL, NBA, MLB) - I'm 25, so beyond the college years.

I was also thinking of doing some form of classes, I've got a pretty big interest in US politics/history - so perhaps I'll look into doing that.  

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10 minutes ago, Adam&Allison said:

 

Right, I'm in Philadelphia - which is a pretty big city, and a melting pot of cultures. I do enjoy sporting events, I'm a fan of all three of the main sports in America (NFL, NBA, MLB) - I'm 25, so beyond the college years.

I was also thinking of doing some form of classes, I've got a pretty big interest in US politics/history - so perhaps I'll look into doing that.  

Yeah, definitely try your luck at everything! It's not guaranteed that you'll make friends right off the bat, but Americans are pretty friendly. You're bound to meet someone that you'll click with. And in the best case scenario, when you make one friend, hopefully they'll introduce you to their friends.

 

Also, it's slightly easier to make friends in the summer when there are more outdoor activities going on. If things seem a little less social now, it's just because of the season/weather. Americans generally love the summer and are always out and about during that time, so I'm sure it'll get better just by that fact alone when the weather improves.

 

If you're into politics, Philly is a great place for that. There are a lot of historical museums there, you can even look into lectures and events going on at museums and historical sights. Sometimes they are even free. There are also town hall meetings and debate clubs, try looking out for those as well. Look for "(Insert Event Here) Night" at local bars, they sometimes have various games and activities on a weekly basis with varying activities, from board games to more intellectual discussions, to simply just watching sports.

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8 minutes ago, millefleur said:

Yeah, definitely try your luck at everything! It's not guaranteed that you'll make friends right off the bat, but Americans are pretty friendly. You're bound to meet someone that you'll click with. And in the best case scenario, when you make one friend, hopefully they'll introduce you to their friends.

 

Also, it's slightly easier to make friends in the summer when there are more outdoor activities going on. If things seem a little less social now, it's just because of the season/weather. Americans generally love the summer and are always out and about during that time, so I'm sure it'll get better just by that fact alone when the weather improves.

 

If you're into politics, Philly is a great place for that. There are a lot of historical museums there, you can even look into lectures and events going on at museums and historical sights. Sometimes they are even free. There are also town hall meetings and debate clubs, try looking out for those as well. Look for "(Insert Event Here) Night" at local bars, they sometimes have various games and activities on a weekly basis with varying activities, from board games to more intellectual discussions, to simply just watching sports.

 

Sounds like I'm in a pretty good spot for my interests, I can always get some of my fiances and my friends to introduce me to their friends, I'm pretty close to a couple of them :)

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2 minutes ago, Adam&Allison said:

 

Sounds like I'm in a pretty good spot for my interests, I can always get some of my fiances and my friends to introduce me to their friends, I'm pretty close to a couple of them :)

Yeah, you can consider having a party or a get-together where you ask your wife's friends to invite there friends. That also might be a good idea to expand your social circle. It doesn't have to be a house party or a dinner party, you guys could organize doing some kind of activity in the city together when the weather is good as well. But Americans really like potlucks and house parties so that's always a welcome option!

 

You've got a lot of options in Philly! It's definitely much harder to make friends in a smaller town that doesn't have an active city center.

 

Oh I forgot to mention: music festivals/concerts. If that's your thing, Philly most likely has a range of options, from smaller more close-knit venues to larger scale shows.

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On January 4, 2017 at 5:12 AM, Adam&Allison said:

 

 

I was also thinking of doing some form of classes, I've got a pretty big interest in US politics/history - so perhaps I'll look into doing that.  

 

There are a lot of adults on some college campuses in America, myself included.  I'm about to hit 30 and still in college and I'm not the only one.

 

Get involved in local politics, you might not be able to vote yet, but you can volunteer.  It is a good way to meet like minded individuals.  

 

If you aren't religious, some bigger cities even have get togethers for the non-religious.   

 

Like people have said work is a good place and so is volunteering.  My husband has made some friends through being a volunteer firefighter.

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Oddly enough I met my closest friends through work. We just clicked while on a  project and started hanging out outside work. It was difficult initially (I've got 20 yrs on you) since my age group generally has established close friends and people aren't exactly 'looking' but kindred spirits are out there, I assure you. Mind you - nothing beats my lifelong best friend back home, not sure I'll find that again.

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My spouse suffered from the same issues.  He was always a social butterfly, and the central American Latin cultural is very different than the middle of the USA culture, and also there was a big culture shock going from living in the city, to living out in the country.   He was starting to suffer from a form of home sickness/ cabin fever, until he got his EAD and was able to get full time employment in the city.  He is working for a company that hires many Spanish speaking people from Mexico, and now he is getting his daily dose of socializing, and speaking in his native tongue, and it has certainly helped his state of mind.  Now he has his own friends that he can visit with and he is much happier now.    It does take time, but then again, anything worth while does take time.

 

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On January 4, 2017 at 3:09 AM, millefleur said:

I'm an American myself ...You can use sites like Meetup.com 

 

 

I'm American too, and I second the idea to check out Meetup.com to find other people who share your interests or hobbies. They also have socialization meetups to just hang out. You can set it to search by miles of radius from your home. I have made a number of new friends this way. 

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On 1/4/2017 at 1:31 AM, Adam&Allison said:

So I think one of the common problems that inbound immigrants to the United States probably face is making friends - now my fiance and I have quite a lot of friends as couples, obviously met through her because she's the American and she knew them (mostly) before meeting me. But I was just wondering if anyone has got any tips for making friends outside of my fiances circle, I'm a pretty social guy so once I get talking to people I'm fairly confident in my ability to make friends and stuff - but I'm just wondering where or how you would go about starting a process like this? 

Join a club or group that is a part of your hobbies or interests.  There are many options out there:

  • Church Group
  • Ski/Snowboard Club
  • Salsa Dancing Group
  • Runners Club
  • Book Club
  • Wine Club
  • Join A Gym: Yoga, Spin Classes, Martial Arts
  • Cooking Club

There are tons of options! Good luck!

 

 

 

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