Trying to make friends in DC can be a frustrating and disheartening venture, especially when everyone is telling you how easy it is because so many new people are always moving into the area. The important thing is not to give up! Making friends takes time. Below is a compiled list of suggestions I’ve written about in the past. And remember, it’s a numbers game! Keep putting yourself out there and sooner or later you’ll have success.
- Try an uncommon sport: The great thing about becoming involved in a less common sport is that the communities tend to be small and members are usually really happy to have new people join. A perfect recipe for new friends!
- Volunteer: This past spring I began volunteering as an English teacher for LETC. It’s been a fantastic experience and, on top of that, I’ve become friends with my co-teacher. I also met my boyfriend while volunteering at the Natural History Museum. I think in terms of meeting friends, a volunteer activity that allows you to regularly see the same people is ideal.
- Professionals in the City: This organization has loads of events including speed dating. A few months ago I went to an evening organized by Professionals in the City and the Japanese embassy, and it was just lovely. They also offer trips both locally and internationally.
- Ultimate Frisbee: My boyfriend has met virtually all of his friends over the last couple years playing Frisbee. And they are a great group of people. They’re the type of friends who throw surprise birthday parties for each other and go as a group to take someone to the airport. They’re super smart too. A lot of his teammates work in international development or are engineers. And you don’t have to be good or experienced to play (though it’s important to note that some teams are much more competitive than others).
- Kickball: One of my very first posts was encouraging people to check out joining a kickball team. It is one of the easiest ways to meet people and you by no means need to be particularly athletic. A big part of the culture is going to the team’s bar after games, so if that’s not your thing, it might not be a good fit.
- Take a class: Similarly to regular volunteer opportunities, classes are great because they allow you to get to know a group of people over a period of time. Plus, even if you don’t make new friends, you’ve at least learned something.
- Join a book club: Again, this is great because you generally see the same people on a regular basis. Sometimes it takes awhile to find a book club that’s the right fit, but don’t get discouraged, there are many in the DC area.
- Meetup.com: I’ve had a lot of success using Meetup.com. I became friends with a woman at a 20s and 30s ladies going out group, and we became so close I was in her wedding. I’m also involved with a weekly writing group through Meetup.com. It’s a great way to find people with similar interests.