Making friends and meeting people in Washington DC can have some twists and turns. Many people are career-focused & have their eyes on ever-expanding political goals, and you can’t really blame them.
You’ve got the political staffers convinced they’re going to be the the 50th President of the United States, the politicians who would be genuinely qualified for the role, lobbyists who’ll influence their careers, and other roles we can think of.
There are still people who aren’t just focused on their careers; they want an active social life & new friends to share it with. You just have to know where to look.
Many in this town are prone to finding themselves all but glued to their desk. It’s a dangerous cycle, but it turns out that another type of cycle can help break that one & get you some new BFFs on the way.
“What kind of cycle,” you ask? A bicycle! Thank you, I’ll be here all week. Thankfully, so will the Potomac Pedalers. They’re one of the largest biking clubs in the country, and they welcome riders across skill levels to join journeys that last from anywhere between 10 and 75 miles.
You might not be able to go every week, but whenever you can find the time you’ll have plenty of ride partners to chat it up with. Be sure to check their website for detailed ride schedules!
If you see a tree on one of those bike rides & are consumed with the thought of chopping it down and turning it into a tasteful nightstand, there’s a place in Washington made just for you.
Whatever type of wood you’re looking for, whatever idea you’re trying to bring to fruition, the good people at The Woodworker’s Club in Rockville, Maryland are excited to go on the journey of carpentry right by your side.
They offer classes if you want to have more of a hand in bringing your creations to life, and membership gets you the opportunity to work in their facilities on whatever your beautiful mind wants to form. It’s open to non-members too, so anyone can feel free to try things out.
Bright & early in the morning, every Monday, Wednesday & Friday, something amazing happens. Seemingly out of nowhere, a mass of people awaken & begin to move with a single goal in mind: getting fit.
They’re part of what’s known as the November Project. It originally started in Boston, and over the years it’s ended up spreading to 49 cities around the world, including Washington DC back in 2013.
Since then, they’ve been dedicating themselves to getting this city fit, no matter how in or out of shape each participant might be. Many of the exercises are formed around introducing people to each other, so it can be quite the benefit to your health & social life in turn.
No, really. That site you use to look at cat pictures & debate about Star Wars can be a legitimately great way to make friends. We know what your mom told you about meeting strangers on the internet, but you’re an adult & public places exist so that’s a non-issue.
If you don’t know, Reddit is a giant forum site with mini-forums (called subreddits) focused on almost every conceivable topic, one of which is Washington DC.
Look at this thread, for example. One person posted that they were having issues finding friends in the area, and dozens of people gathered in the comments to give them suggestions & connect with them directly, even connecting with one another in the process.
We can’t say how any of these potential interactions played out, but you can make an account for free & take things at your own pace, hiding as much of your identity as you’d like, so we’d say it’s worth a shot!
There’s enough postcard subject matter spread around this place to fill up every one of the (many) souvenir shops for life. What if you wanted to contribute one to the pile, though? What if your creative aspirations expand even further?
You might be a photographic natural for all we know, but it wouldn’t hurt to take a class, and you’ve got quite a few to choose from. Capital Photography Center and Sam D’Amico Photography, to name a couple, offer all sorts of classes taught by professional instructors.
Photographers, like many creatives, become especially close with their own kind, and having cool artsy friends is one of the best parts of being young in a big city, isn’t it? Go capture your world & make a tribe of your own!
A lot of what we’ve suggested in this list is mainly directed at personal benefit or growth, but not every path to friendship has to be purely self-serving. In fact, one of the best ways you can connect with people here is working towards the good of the community.
Food & Friends is a particular organization that serves to bring people together under a charitable umbrella. Starting back in 1988, their mission was rooted in helping people that were falling victim to the AIDS epidemic, providing food to those that needed it most.
Since then, they’ve expanded their mission to serving people with many different chronic & serious illnesses. By creating a collaborative community amongst themselves, Food & Friends has been able to maximize their efforts & help more with every passing year.
If you want to really show your love for DC, care for it with your time and effort. Meet some great people while you do it, too.