5 top places to meet new people

Feeling a bit stale and looking to change things up in your life? Then why not take a little step out of your everyday routine and try some fresh ideas to make some new friends. With very little effort you can expand your circles of contact with a variety of people in a casual environment. Here are 5 ideas to help break the ice.

1. Take a class
It’s never too late to learn something new, so why not take a class to learn a new skill or develop a special interest you already have? This is an ideal way to meet new people who will be of a like mind or share the same passions as you. A music appreciation class, for example, will attract those with a similar interest in music to you. This gives a common base to spark discussions with classmates and develop friendships outside the class itself.

Look up your local technical college to see what is on offer, or look online to see if your local area has an active U3A (University of the 3rd Age) association.
Here is an example: Sydneyu3a.

2. Join a club
Think of your top three hobbies or interests and chances are there will be a club in your area that matches up with those interests. When we think “clubs” in Australia we often think of the local RSL or leagues club, but there is a rich variety of clubs that are not so visible.

Quilt making, ten pin bowling, model trains, dancing, book clubs, bushwalking . . . the list is infinite and they are full of people who like what you like, whether it be quirky or mainstream. Even pastimes that you might have enjoyed by yourself at home for years may be even more enjoyable when you hook up with fellow soulmates at a club centred on that interest.

To get you started, here are some online sources to help you find a club:
If you have a sporting interest: Aus Sport
Some localities will have a broader club searching site, such as Only Melbourne.

3. Churches and places of worship
Churches and other places of worship were traditionally the centre of social life and are still today a great place to make new connections. If finding new friends is your sole motivation then it may not be the best choice, but if you have a spiritual side that you want to develop or rekindle then Churches can offer a warm and inviting environment to meet others and share things at a deeper level. All the major faiths and denominations have online resources to find a church near you.

4. Volunteering
Winston Churchill once said that “we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”. All of us have some skill, passion or inclination that could be valuable to a community or charitable organisation. So why not make that the basis for seeking new friends via volunteering? In general terms, people who volunteer are likely to have a more open and warm personality, which means you are more likely to meet a friendly bunch when you volunteer your time and talent.
Want some inspiration? Start here Volunteering Australia

Read more on volunteering in: Voluteering holds the keys to self-fulfillment

5. Use technology
While most of us are familiar with the online dating concept, finding friends online does not need to be centred on finding a partner! There are apps available that can help put you in contact with casual groups and organised clubs in your vicinity.

Meet up is one such app available for android and iphone users, or on your home computer. It advertises an incredible variety of opportunities to get together around a range of interests – anything from languages and music, to exercise and food. Take a browse and be surprised at the eclectic collection of pursuits on offer.

Here’s a video to explain how it all works: