Meeting People and Making Friends in Austin
UT graduates and brand new transplants alike, listen up. I know you already have your set of best friends that you’d never replace, but they’re hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away. You need someone to hang out with, and it’s time you take advantage of everything around you.
I mean, just take a look at your city. It’s one of the most forward-thinking parts of the state, even the region in general, but it’s still southern enough to greet you with a cup of iced tea & a hug. Inclusivity? Kindness? That’s right, the two main ingredients for friendship!
Maybe don’t hit everyone at the bar with a “howdy partner,” and a slap on the shoulders, but being open & yourself is key if you’re going to connect with new people in adulthood.
You also have to know where the people that you want to be open with are hiding. We’ve got a list of some intriguing activities for locals, newcomers, and everyone in between to try out in the quest for friends.
So you just touched down at ABIA, drove in, or appeared in the city some other way, but you’re here nevertheless. Assuming you didn’t spend a decent length of time here beforehand, it wouldn’t be a far reach to call you a newcomer.
Your job doesn’t start till next week, and you need something to do. Hmm, imagine if there was a group for newcomers to get together & do stuff. Well, imagine new longer! The appropriately named Austin Newcomers are here to introduce you to the city.
Members of the club get together at all sorts of locations & venues across the city, and their goal is to foster a community amongst transplants to help them dip their toes into their new surroundings.
There’s benefits to seeing the city with locals, sure, but it can be hard to meet any unless you know someone here to begin with. If you’re new & want to bond with other people over the struggles of being new, check out the Austin Newcomers site for details on upcoming meetups!
Austin Nature & Science Center
For those amongst you that want to spend their time spreading knowledge of the world around us, the Nature & Science Center is always accepting volunteers to help them keep everything running & making sure attendees receive the best education possible.
Assuming you’re the sort of person who eats, breathes & sleeps science and nature, wouldn’t it make sense to join a group of people dedicating their time to those very topics?
Sure, volunteer opportunities take up a lot of time, but they’ve never made a resume look worse, and the potential to meet a new nerdy crew is very much present.
Looking for some different sets of nerds? Look no further than Weirdery Austin. Whether you’re a painter, musician, dancer, yogi, tarot card reader, tattoo enthusiast, or any other stripe of person, the Weirdery wants to get weird with you, and they have a lot of ways to do it.
As they describe themselves on their group page, “We are not just “outside the box” thinkers, we have grabbed the box, painted it, added a few feathers and turned it into a cool lamp.”
Reggae jam sessions, drum circles, massage parties, they’re hosting it all, and they’ve got a lot of members (over 5,600 to be exact). If you go to enough events & show off your weird well enough, you’re bound to find at least one or two people amongst them to call a true friend.
They have a page set up on Meetup.com, and you can check there to get all the details you need on upcoming events & anything else they decide to get up to.
Girls Empowerment Network & #BOSSBABES
Sometimes, men can be…you know…ugh. They’re fine, sometimes, I guess, but female/non binary spaces are vital institutions in an era where the social climate is shifting as fast as it’s ever been.
As luck would have it, there’s no shortage of these in ATX. One, for instance is called the Girls Empowerment Network. They work with parents, schools, and girls themselves to teach them the value of self-worth, education, & group empowerment.
To accomplish this, they’ve put on programs all across the city & stage and have even worked with the Dove Self-Esteem Project. Learn more about them here.
#BOSSBABES is a similar organization with a deeper focus on entrepreneurs, community organizers, and creative types across disciplines. They put on a myriad of programs, conferences, dialogues, and other events to bring female/NB power players together.
Even if it is one of the less traditionally “southern” parts of the South, the food in Austin can still go toe to toe with any other culinary hotspot in the region. Once you eat out, you’ll be hesitant to ever make your own food again for fear of self-inflicted poisoning. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Sharpen up your knives, and get ready to do the same with your cooking skills. All around Austin there are classes taught by distinguished chefs who can help you master any given local, national & international cuisine. You can find some classes here & here.
It might also be a good opportunity to compare recipies with your classmates & even set up impromptu cook-offs at one of your kitchens. Not only will you be able to keep your ground against the best of southern mothers, you’ll have a new possee too!
Kayak Polo Club
No, I didn’t mix up two sports suggestions into one title. Kayak polo is a beautiful, distinguished sport that some of the brightest minds in the city gather to play on a regular basis.
It’s basically what it sounds like. If a vivid mental picture hasn’t formed in your head already, it essentially involves you & a bunch of other people in kayaks, armed with paddles, riding with their team towards a goal on either side of the pool.
If you’re like me & can barely contain your excitement at the prospect of joining a game, head on over to their Meetup page! They’re already over 900 strong, and skill level isn’t a boundary!
Beginners classes are once-twice a month on Monday nights, and once you’re feeling confident you can join in on the games held on a regular basis. Frankly, we can’t think of a better icebreaker, and your teammates may become brochachos sooner than you realize.