I’m a military kid, I’ve moved over 14 times in my over 26 years (that’s an average of 1.8 years in one place and a lot of packing). There are lots of formulaic things you learn after moving a ton: 1. pack the essential items and send them to the movers first, so you get them first when you arrive. 2. Unpack all your cute things right away so you can start feeling at home 3. Go to the new public library- it’s the best way to get connected to your community and lastly 5. Make friends, and fast.
When I was a kid, making friends was relatively easy. I would just find the kid sitting alone on the swings (I also love the swings) and I’d ask them what they had for lunch or if they wanted to play horses or if they liked kickball.
In middle school, it gets a little bit more tough but same concept. You find a girl in a similar discount-rack Aeropostale tshirt and you offer to lend her your favorite gel pen.
High school, you force yourself to join clubs. You join band, show-choir, regular choir, filmmaking, recycling club, drama, dance team and student council. You find someone who also joined out of fear of being left (or who’s parents forced them to go) and you talk to them.
So why is it so damn hard to make friends in adult life? We forget this method. We get inside our dumb adult brains and we think everyone else in our very transient city has a bunch of friends and they are probably texting them right now!
I still (personally) struggle with this, even though I used to consider myself a pro. I spent a year in one transient city not making many friends at all and relying on my long-distance partner for all my emotional needs. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS.
So, do the thing that small me did in elementary school. Walk up to the random alone kid at the park eating lunch by herself. Join the club/group/org in your new city. Download a friend-finding app (and then actually meet up with someone). Put in the work. Go say hi. Setup that coffee date. There are a bunch of humans walking around in this world, just looking for a friend like you.