So recently after settling into a new place I’ve been thinking about getting out and meeting some of the locals (whom I don’t already know through work). After uni I only really had my previous partner and her family to converse with locally with my other lifelong friends being in my hometown back in the East Midlands and my uni friends spread all across the country and internationally. Once we went our separate ways and I moved out I needed to find other people to talk to. Sadly in my temporary housing this wasn’t the most successful endeavour (although that said I got on with my housemate really well when we did see each other.
After being where I’m now based for a couple of months I’ve met a few people here and there and got to see a few of my colleagues from work let their hair down and it’s been good fun and the social circle of the outside world slowly continues to grow (it grew today in fact when I was drafting this post in The Ferret just outside of Preston City Centre and got to chat to the bar staff for a bit – seriously, if you’re ever in the area and you want a really good burger or sandwich and/or you like an unapologetically good gig night, give them a go!).
Whilst I was worrying previously after nearly 11 month whether I was being too introverted, I’ve come to realise the community I have both online with old friends and family coupled with the amazing people I know both in Blended Learning and the wider Health Academy and the few people I’m getting to know here and there are my little community.
So, for those who are feeling lonely or feel thrown into the lurch of not knowing anybody (be you a student starting in University, somebody that’s just moved to the UK or just people starting out somewhere else in general), don’t panic about meeting hundreds of people at once. Even at university it took time for me to meet the large circle of friends I had in halls and over the year that only grew and grew.
If you feel you’re not meeting the people in your local proximity, the Internet also provides a wealth of different places to meet new people and build your own circle of friends. You could sign up to a set of forums where people share common interests, or maybe start playing your favourite game online to meet like-minded players. This option often opens up the whole world to you, allowing you to meet people everywhere.
If you fancy getting to know these people further there are both dating based sites out there and well as the idea of Pen-friends in both the traditional and newer electronic form that allow you to talk to people all over the world either by email or, as you get to know them, sending letters through ‘snail mail’. Two I have discovered are PenPal World and Interpals, but I’d do your homework on search engines to find the right site for you.
Whatever path you’re coming from and whatever you choose to go forward, take time to find your community and don’t force it! You never know who you’ll meet around the corner. But equally don’t let the opportunity pass when it comes to say hello (Unless it’s night time and they’re dressed in something a little clown like – in which case you may want to walk in the other direction!) or you may wind up wondering if it ever could have been.
Take Care and Be Safe.