Everyday Akron Stories

How to Make Friends in a New City as an Adult… During a Pandemic

two friends walking with their bikes

Why is making friends so hard, especially as an adult? Layer on moving to a new city, as well as a pandemic that forces you to stay at home, and it’s nearly impossible to meet people. These days we have to get creative or try virtual methods to learn about our fellow Akronites.

I love meeting people through social media. As an introvert, it removes that panicky layer of talking to people in person… which is great when you can’t really hang out face-to-face. But you also get to know someone a little bit through their Instagram account before you send them a direct message or start commenting on their posts. Nowadays, if I don’t work with someone who becomes a friend, I’ve probably met the friend through social media first.

But that’s just my take. While hosting the Everyday Akron Instagram account this week, someone shared with me they had moved to Akron shortly before the pandemic started, and they wanted to know how to make friends. So I asked the Everyday Akron community what tips they have. Here’s what they said.

  • Get involved—even virtually—in something you’re passionate about
  • Join Torchbearers or Rotary
  • Sign up for any of the programs through Akron-Summit County Public Library or Summit Metro Parks
  • Volunteer with Summit Metro Parks or Cuyahoga Valley National Park
  • Make friends with your local librarian—great reads always recommended
  • Facebook groups are a good way to scope out the area
  • Create a group chat of Akronites
  • Join a book club or start one of your own via Zoom
  • Meetup.com has groups and events for people who share similar interests
  • Take daily walks in your neighborhood
  • Go to the dog park or meet neighbors while walking your dog
  • Join a gym or Yoga Squared
  • Check out online networking groups and passion projects
  • Don’t be afraid to start a conversation with someone who you think is neat
  • The Nextdoor app, where you can connect with those located near you
  • Use the BFF feature on Bumble

Making friends as an adult is weird. You can’t just run up to someone, compliment their jelly sandals, hand them a ring pop and start talking about Britney’s new album “…Baby One More Time”. Well I guess you could do that in 2021—just make sure you’re wearing a face mask. So get creative, slide in the DMs, and meet some new people.

Good luck making friends, my friends! And if you’re not already following @EverydayAkron on Instagram, you should be. That’s 50+ people a year you get to meet!