The thought of having to meet new people and establish a whole new group of friends can feel overwhelming in every sense. Having friends to socialize with is an important need in every human’s life. New friends mean new experiences, new adventures, and potentially meeting the love of your life. Okay, we’ll hold off on that last one for now.
Maybe you’re moving for work or just a change of scenery. Regardless of the reason you find yourself in Los Angeles, there are many ways for someone new in town to meet like-minded locals looking to expand their inner circles. So strap on your hiking boots, your dancing shoes, or your favorite pair of heels. Here are a few ways to meet people when you’re the “new blood” in the City of Angels.
Get a Job, Hippie
Having a job might seem like a given, but it can help tremendously. If you moved to Los Angeles for a job, you’re already meeting new people. If you’re like a lot of other people here, you probably escaped your small Midwest town to explore a new and exciting lifestyle.
Like many others do, try to find a job in the service industry. Be a bartender or a waitress. First off, these jobs make good money if you work at the right place. Second, most of your coworkers will likely be around your age. Who knows, you might even befriend a regular that prefers your service over others. While working this job, try a passion you’ve always wanted to explore. Maybe it’s acting, maybe it’s music, or maybe you want to be a writer.
Los Angeles is the center of creativity. Most people in the service industry are pursuing some sort of entertainment gig, so it’s a great way to meet people within your industry. You can find freelance work on websites such as Craigslist or Glassdoor. Don’t be afraid to ask people at work, they’re probably in the same boat. The service industry is a great way to network with not only co-workers but customers that come in. Tyler, the Creator frequents Toast Bakery almost every weekend. You never know who is going to stroll in.
Hit the Strip
Liquid courage can help you strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to you at a bar. Before I moved to LA in 2013, I came here for a weekend just to check things out. I went to a small bar near Dodger Stadium before heading over to the game. As I was sitting at the bar, the guy next to me began to talk to me about the Dodgers seeing we were both wearing jerseys. He’s still my friend to this day.
When people are drinking, they’re more relaxed and open to meeting new people. It can be less intimidating in a fun environment.
Try heading to West Hollywood or the Sunset Strip for a variety of people and bars/clubs. If you’re looking for craft beer and a hipster vibe, try checking out Sunset Junction in the Silver Lake area. Downtown has a wide variety of Irish pubs, clubs, and dive bars to suit everyone’s needs. If you’re into a young, entertainment, beach vibe, head towards Santa Monica.
Each neighborhood has a unique culture and atmosphere. Don’t worry, you’ll quickly find your sweet spot.
This is a great option that not many people know about. Meetup.com is designed as a platform to help people with similar interests connect and schedule meetups. When you sign up it will ask you a series of questions about your hobbies and interests. After learning a little about you, it will recommend groups that would fit your interests. You can sign up for these groups, get alerts about upcoming meetups, and also get alerts for when similar groups are formed. It’s a great way to get out of the house and meet people who you already know share your interests.
Give Back a Little
So you’re new to a big city and it’s scary. One way to find peace with yourself and meet people is to volunteer. It’s a great way to give back to the community and meet others who feel the same way. It is profoundly rewarding to spend your day changing someone else’s life. There are many websites you can visit to find opportunities to help near you. Volunteermatch.org is a great place to start.
Check Out a Gig
Music is the language of the universe. It creates bonds between people who wouldn’t normally interact. When you’re at a show listening to an artist who engages a crowd, it becomes a family gathering. You’re in luck. You moved to the entertainment capital of the United States. Los Angeles is home to millions of musicians who are always playing local shows. You might even catch a free show on the Venice Boardwalk. There are also big name shows going on almost every day if you’re willing to pay a little more. Check out websites like DoLA for a listing of events going on in the city.
We couldn’t skip the classics. As much as it might pain you to be “that person” on Tinder with the here-to-meet-friends bio, these apps can be a great way to meet people in your area. Most apps match you with people based on similar interests and mutual friends. You may have to sort through some unwanted pick-up lines and a few feeble attempts at one night stands, but you’ll find someone.
Knowledge is power, and learning a new skill can be exciting and adventurous. As mentioned above, bartending can be a useful skill in Los Angeles. There are many classes scattered across LA County with new ones starting all the time. Take a look at this website to search for classes you might find interesting. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, explore the internet. If you think it could be a class, it probably is.