I didn’t know a single person when I moved to Chicago. I had done a crappy job of putting in the effort to make friends outside of my roommates in Louisville and now that I was in a new city, living alone I knew I had to do things differently this time around.
In the week leading up to my big move to the Windy City I scoured Facebook and LinkedIn for alumni groups for my sorority and posted messages that I was moving to Chicago and looking to make friends. I mean, I might as well have put a posting on Craigslist… but I wasn’t stooping that low yet.
My sorority’s page on LinkedIn proved to be a life saver! I ended up finding two other girls who had recently moved to Chicago and were in the same boat I was: desperate for new besties in a new city. I was obviously in. The three of us along with one of their roommates quickly forged strong friendships since we were all relatively new to the city and they are still, over a year later, some of my best friends. On top of that, it’s through them that I met my current roommate and partner-in-crime.
Hands down the best way I’ve made friends was by signing up for sport and social leagues! If you’re not familiar with sport and social leagues they basically consist of a bunch of twenty-somethings who want to make friends, play sports and drink beer together. Last summer I signed up to play soccer and then met the loves of my life playing kickball this fall. Almost everyone on my kickball team was relatively new to Chicago when the season started and looking for friends, and excuse me for getting sappy but over the past six months we’ve become more like a super dysfunctional family that have a great time every time we’re together.
Overall the process of making friends in a new city has been challenging and had its ups and downs. There were plenty of times I didn’t feel like putting in the effort to develop these friendships but forced myself to say, “yes,” to every opportunity to spend time with new people because I knew it would pay off. And what do you know?! The friends I’ve made here are some of the most incredible people and they’ve each played a huge part in making me fall that much more in love with Chicago.
If you missed the first Moving Away Post-Grad post for the series, “Taking the Leap,” be sure to get caught up here!