If you have ever moved to a new place after finishing school, you know that it can be VERY difficult making new friends. A new place is much less fun when you don’t have partners in crime to explore with. Of course where you work may lead you to meet people, but that’s not the case for everyone. My parents always encouraged me to join a church and meet people that way. I agree wholeheartedly, and have made some of my closest friends through young-adult ministries…but I know going to church isn’t for everyone (even though I wish it was).
I was venting to my roommate after a tough break up about how I didn’t have a huge amount of people in my social circle just yet since I am relatively new to town. She told me about a local conservation group that she was a part of and suggested I go to an informational meeting. Worst case scenario, it would take up an hour of my life.
Turns out, it wasn’t a waste at all. I met some sweet people, got involved and am now busy planning events with them. I will be honest; I was scared I would have to fake excitement because I didn’t see myself as a conservationist, and I didn’t want to not fit with the group. What I didn’t expect was to develop that excitement through learning what the program was working towards.
I have since learned that you may have passions you aren’t even aware of, and just getting involved and trying something out may bring some new ones into your life. In my free time, I will scroll through the “Events Near You” section on Facebook, just to see what could be going on that has potential for me. Sometimes I see nothing but concerts, but other times I find acrobatic yoga classes, paint & wine nights, and artist speaker series. Since it could be something completely new and different for you, it’s exciting whether it turns into a hobby of yours or if it’s just a one-time thing.
Another way I’ve gotten involved is through volunteering at a therapeutic horseback riding organization that desperately needed extra hands. A girl I used to work with posted it online and I thought, “Hey I could do that, and I would love to do something selfless for a change!” I filled out an application and went to a one-hour training session and now I can volunteer my time and genuinely help in my community. It will bring so much joy just knowing it is helping an awesome place do some incredible things for people who truly need it.
All I am saying is take a chance and try something out. I have never been a big volunteer, but I am already so thrilled with the new opportunities and happenings in my life that I would regret if I hadn’t gotten involved at all. What’s the worst that could happen? I can’t answer that for you, but usually it’s minuscule compared to the benefits in getting involved. You’ll have a deeper connection, love and appreciation for the community you’re a part of and the people in it.
“Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin