Making friends isn’t always easy, especially as an adult. As children, or even in college, we’re put in environments that are conducive to making friends; but when we grow up, most times we have to actively seek out opportunities to make new connections and expand our social circles.
So how does an adult make new friends in the Bluff City? We asked a few Memphis transplants how they developed new friendships upon moving to Memphis. Here’s what they had to say.
“I had a mini cheat when moving here four years ago. I’m a Junior League Louisville (KY) transplant to the Junior League in Memphis. I would advise anyone moving to a new city to plug into the things that interest you. Also, when you are navigating a new city, I think the sweet spot is, a mixture of personality and an equal amount of effort. Don’t focus on networking but building relationships. It may seem trivial, but the slight shift between networking and building gives you a layer of authenticity you will certainly need to plug into the right people who are then the catalyst for memorable experiences.”
-Tahiarah Maj Gettis, Product Manager
“It’s definitely easier at first when you’re excited and eager to make a new place feel more like home, but over time it’s proven challenging. Balancing work and a social life and also stepping out of your comfort zone with new people who are different from long time friends can be difficult. I moved to Memphis in 2014. I met most of the people through Teach For America (TFA), the organization that helped me with my teaching licensure process. From there I met friends of friends at various social gatherings. Coworkers have also made good friends because of the shared experiences.”
-Aaron Burke, School Administrator
“I knew one person when I moved to Memphis almost three years ago. Transitioning from a close-knit college community in Texas to the working world in Tennessee was not a fearless one. Today, through involvement in innovative organizations such as Memphis Teacher Residency, Embark Memphis, and Fellowship Memphis, I have grown to love the 901 and am proud to call it home. Putting down roots in a new place was challenging at first, but opening myself up to new experiences and having a willingness to get uncomfortable was key to growing in this city. That one relationship I had when I first moved to Memphis has grown into a community of mentors, friends, and coworkers who I wouldn’t trade for the world.”
-Savannah Estes, Teacher
” I have a passion for volunteering. I knew that seeking out volunteer opportunities would allow me to connect with a different group of people. I’m a Memphis native but I wanted to get out and meet some new folks. And not only did I meet a few friends, I also met my girlfriend. If you want to meet new people as an adult, you have to actively seek opportunities to meet them and that’s what I did.”
-Ben Hanks, Finance Manager
“Meeting new people was easy for me because I immediately joined a church when I moved to Memphis in 2016. I recommend that anyone who has any type of spiritual affiliation to join a church. That way you can connect with like-minded people and immediately meet a group of friends. Some of my closest friends I’ve met through the young adult’s ministry at my church. And we do other things besides going to church, of course!”
-Julia Walton, Marketing Associate