making friends in austin

My husband just sent me this blog post on making friends in Austin.  It's got some really great points to it.  I've often felt envious of people who grew up and/or when to college here - or at least envious of their social networks.  Let's face it, it's harder to make friends after you get out of high school and college.

I've paraphrased the author's points here (in bold), and added my own experience with them.


1. Join an organization.  So true, this helps on a friend level and also on a job level. My husband and I are both active with our professional organizations, AIGA (for graphic designers) and AIA (for architects). He's a board member, and I'm getting suckered into becoming one as well, but at the bare minimum you can just go to the social functions.

On the parent side, I joined two mom groups when I had my first child, and they were invaluable in making connections.  Technically I helped create the groups - one was women from my birthing class, and another was formed from prenatal yoga class regulars. You can also look for groups on meetup.com, or start your own. You could also put churches in this category if you are so inclined.

2. Find “friends of friends”. This advice never really panned out for me, but now that everyone is on Facebook it might be a little easier to find these connections.

3. Discover your college alumni association. Also good advice, though I have never gone to one of my university's meetups because they seem to be centered around watching USC games at a bar. Not that it's a bad thing, GO TROJANS and all that stuff, but not really my cup of tea. Perhaps it's yours though.

4. Get a hobby. I've taken art classes through UT extension courses, and now I've joined the roller derby rec league. I know several single guys who are having a blast now that they've joined the Austin Swing Syndicate (Swing dancing, that is.  Get your mind out of the gutter).  I also know friends who are on the rec league for rugby, hockey, kickball and softball. We have several cooking schools in town as well.

5. Learn to cook. The author suggests inviting friends over for dinner, which is great advice.  I'd like to add to it, learn to grill.  This is Texas, after all.

6. Be more outgoing than usual.  You've got to take the lead in initiating friendships, period.  This may mean being the person that calls or emails to make plans more than you are comfortable with.  Or be the person that starts up a group. 
 
7. Have a good attitude about your new town. Word. Nothing makes an Austinite think "Go back home!" more than a newcomer who complains about Austin. This is especially true for Californians and New Yorkers.

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