Joining the military means making new friends. Luckily that initial training forces you to meet new people and doesn’t give you much time for anything else. But as you start moving around, you start developing techniques to meet people.
You may have a standard way of greeting the neighbors or inviting the new person from work over for dinner. Some people view TDY as a chance to escape the stress of their regular lives or relax in their downtime like a vacation. But after a few days, you probably realize you need people in your life. TDY can get lonely, so here are a few ways to get out there and meet people.
I’m not sure when it happened, but trivia at bars has become all the rage. It is so popular, among so many groups, that my mom goes every week! It’s something you can do with a group or solo. It’s perfect for meeting people or hanging out with people you just met. No one has to clean, or cook, or host. Check out your local restaurants and see who has the best trivia night.
Are you going to be around for a while? Maybe TDY for a school? Then join a sports team. Hop on the company soccer team, look for a local flag football league, or use meetup.com to find out when the next pickup basketball game is at the park. You could also sign up to coach a sport through Child & Youth Services, the local high school, or the town’s sports programs.
Local volunteer opportunities are a great way to meet like-minded individuals while providing a service to the community. Check out the opportunities through your family community service, your current work organization, or through a website like VolunteerMatch. Volunteering is also a great way to gain experience and learn a new skill.
Join a Gym or Workout Group
Each time I travel I look for a CrossFit gym to drop in to. I love the community and want to keep my workouts going. If you have a gym membership outside the installation, look for local branches of that gym and exercise there. Check out the installation gym as well, and you may find a team to join or some classes that interest you. Team RWB and Wear Blue have lots of local chapters, and they “get” that you are only around for a little while. These would be great organizations to join while TDY.
Play the Host
Since you have an awesome place to crash, invite some new friends over to your crash pad for dinner. You could do a potluck, grill out back, or order in pizza. Play some card games, have a video game tournament, or watch a movie. The possibilities are endless, and the memories will last forever.
It’s a small military world and the more friends you have, the smaller it becomes. Take time on this next TDY to meet some new people. You never know, they could be your neighbor down the line.
Ready to explore your temporary hometown? Check out these 5 Ways to Find Hidden Gems in Your New City.
Written by Rebecca Alwine for Military Crashpad.