Leaving old friends and surroundings can be difficult; and the thought of being the new kid on the block in your new apartment can be a little intimidating too. It helps to focus on the excitement of starting fresh in a new apartment and to think of moving as a new adventurous opportunity to make more friends and experience new opportunities. Try making these few, easy tips part of your process of getting settled in. In no time you’ll find that you have new friends and acquaintances to anchor you to your new community and make it feel like home!
Take a walk. Scope out all that’s around you within walking distance and just get familiar with your new surroundings. If you’re near shops and stores, stop in and introduce yourself to the managers and cashiers … let them know you’re new in the neighborhood and getting to know what’s available around you. Ask them for recommendations about what makes your neighborhood special—where to eat, shop, play, exercise and be entertained. If you’re lucky enough to have a neighborhood farmer’s market, don’t miss it! Talk to the vendors about their produce and products and let them know that you’re new—don’t be surprised if you’re offered a little discount, sample or something special to incentivize you to come back!
Eat at neighborhood restaurants. Skip the chain restaurants and look for the unique, privately owned “Mom & Pop” places from fine restaurants to diners and dives. Each time a server introduces him or herself, introduce yourself right back! Let them know that you’re new and looking for places to frequent regularly now that you’re a member of the neighborhood. Ask what’s unique and great on the menu, and when you’re done ask what you should try the next time around. If the meal is great, use that as a reason to ask for the chef or manager and introduce yourself to them, too! You know those people who always seem to get great tables and special service at awesome little neighborhood joints? This is how those kinds of relationships often begin!
Volunteer or join a community organization. Do a little digging around online for opportunities to volunteer your time; or join a civic association that will connect you with other members of the community. Lending your time and talents will give you a fantastic opportunity to give back while meeting people in your new neighborhood. If you’re a church-goer, that can be another excellent opportunity to plug into what’s happening in your neighborhood. If you have school-aged children or are a student yourself, get as involved in school events as your schedule will allow. Is there a community food pantry, soup kitchen or community center? Get out there and get involved!
Last but absolutely not least, use your Apartment Community’s Amenities! Apartment communities are little neighborhoods within neighborhoods, full of perfect opportunities to socialize in big and small ways. While it might feel awkward to knock on doors and introduce yourself to the people next door; striking up a conversation by the pool, in the bark park or with the person on the next treadmill in the fitness center will feel more natural. You’ll already have something in common—you live in the same great Apartment Community and you enjoy a common activity! Check the schedule for community events and make it a point to attend, even if it’s only for your first few months there. Before long you’ll find that you can put names to faces and others will begin to recognize you too.
Make the most of your new apartment and enjoy your community to the fullest—become an active part of your neighborhood and experience one of the things that make apartment life great!