It can be quite difficult to socialize as you get older. After school and the mutually shared interests that come with it, meeting new people that you get along with can be a challenging task. Long-term isolation and lockdowns exacerbate the feeling of being cut off. Luckily there are still easy ways to find those with which you can form a bond.
1. Play in a Sports League
There are so many different sports leagues that are available for you to join and for varying levels of skill. If you are more into drinking rather than actually playing a sport consider softball, kickball, or a pool league. While you are still expected to play the sport and try, the stakes are low. These types of groups serve as more social clubs where many go get dinner after practices and games. You can also find leagues and teams that take the sport a little more seriously and are more competitive. Other sports to consider are beach volleyball and tennis. Honestly, there are leagues for almost any sport or activity you can play. There are also varying levels of commitment concerning equipment: kickball would only require clothes and some tennis shoes and many softball leagues provide the softball bats and balls and you are only responsible for the glove whereas billiards could be an investment depending on how much you spend on your cue.
2. Learn a New Language in a Conversation Group
Now, while the mental investment is large, learning a language is definitely a useful skill as well as a great way to meet new people. Typically these clubs and groups function as a time to practice the language you are trying to learn. Because it is important to learn how to speak a language in many different settings, there are typically also outings to different environments to practice your language. Examples are restaurants, businesses that offer specific services, and stores. Considering you are there to talk with other people in order to learn a language, it also offers a great opportunity to get to know those people and form friendships.
3. Bond Over a Shared Interest in a Workout Class
Similar to joining a sports league, there are so many options when joining a workout class in order to meet new people. If you are an avid athlete, you can look into gyms or classes that specialize in higher-intensity workouts. There is nothing quite like bonding with someone while you are flipping a tire. If something a little less structured is more to your taste, you can look into free-form dance classes where it is all about following basic movements and enjoying yourself with your classmates. You can also learn a new skill by joining a dance class where you learn more concrete moves and styles. Other possibilities include yoga classes, hiking groups, and pilates classes.
4. Volunteer or Join a Charity
You can meet new people and contribute to your community by volunteering at a local organization or joining a charity. Look at what skills you have to offer like the ability to cook or a passion for writing and utilize those to help others. You can volunteer at a soup kitchen making the dishes or even teach classes for free to help lower-income communities cook healthy on a budget. If you are a writer, you can offer to help people beef up their resumes or teach creative writing classes at a local YMCA or prison. If you want, you can dedicate all your time to one specific charity that is close to your heart.
5. Take a Class Offered by the Local Arts Guild
One way to get creative and meet new people is to take a class with a local arts organization. You can learn to throw pottery or oil paint with others that share your passion or curiosity. Even if you are learning for the first time, this can be a great way to make friends while doing something interesting.
Even though it can be scary, branching out of your comfort zone and meeting new people can be a great opportunity to get involved in your community or learn a new skill.