London can be a scary place. When I arrived, suitcase in hand, staying in student accommodation as I was basically homeless, I felt a mixture of ecstatic excitement and overwhelmed terror. I had a few Uni and online friends who lived in the city who did an amazing job of helping me settle in, but compared to my social circle back in Portsmouth, I didn’t feel like I *fit* anywhere.
A lot of people I’ve spoken to have said that they’ve struggled to meet people in London. If you don’t have the building blocks, nights quickly become a looming wasteland of Netflix and ready meals. So many of us have been there for sure, so here are some of the ways I (and others I’ve met) found fabulous people to hang with in the city.
(side note: I had MAJOR deja vu writing this post. Like, to the point where I had to go back and check that I hadn’t written it already. I haven’t. So it’s here.)
1 | Twitter
Twitter was probably one of the first ways I ended up chatting to fellow Londoners. Through some friends I already knew online, I ended up talking to other people and attending ‘Tweet-up’ meets. Anyone else still think about #moatup? Nah, me neither really. Now I’m living East, I don’t get involved as much in the West Hampstead scene that I found myself happily thrown into when I was out that way – but they were some brilliant times spent with people who shared a love for writing in less than 140 characters.
I definitely had my ups and downs when I first moved here, with Twitter drama and issues within groups. But eventually, I weeded out the rubbish Tweeps from the good (non-)eggs and found some great people I love nothing more than having a G&T with in the pub. Except, y’know, having four G&Ts with them in the pub. Find me and suggest gin haunts here.
2 | Yelp
As eagle-eyed (or nosy) readers might already know, recently I’ve been throwing myself into the world of Yelp – from toasties at Melt Room to brunch at the Hippodrome, I’ve had some amazing opportunities involving some pretty awesome food. But beyond just stuffing my face with tasty grub, I’ve also met some great people. Having a shared interest (in this case, food, which is a bloody great one to have) is one of the best ways to instantly bond with potential new pals – and Yelp is great for meeting people to eat and drink with.
4 | Develop your interests
One of the easiest way to get to know new people quickly is bonding over a shared interest, and London is teeming with groups and clubs for all kinds of things – from orchestras and theatre groups to knitting, book clubs and crafting meetups. Not sure what you’re interested in? Give Wonderush a try – for £29 a month, it gives you access to a world of different activities – no extra payment required!
3 | Meetup
This is another platform I haven’t actually used – I did sign up but never ACTUALLY got round to going to anything. Whoops. The whole concept of Meetup is based on shared interests/similarities – there are groups for women who code, young professionals, 45+, hikers…the list goes on.
5 | Blogging
Hands down, some of the most important and lasting friendships I’ve made in this city have been through a shared love of putting words and pictures on the internet. I’d be totally lost without the Bangarang girls – as an adult, I’d not really had a big group of female friends before – until one drunken night at the Boohoo Christmas party. From that night, I became part of a group of incredible, strong, hilarious and sassy women who brighten each other’s days and are there for the good, the bad and the ugly. And none of this would have happened without this blog.
So, if you’re new to the city – grab your laptop, sign up to WordPress/Blogger/whatever you fancy and get documenting adventures in your new home. Trust me – you’ll appreciate the city and all it has to do a million times more when you’re doing new things ‘for the content’.
How do you meet new people in your city?
P.S Erica says Tinder. Apparently there’s more to it than hookups and disappointments. Who knew?
Top photo courtesy of Katy <3