Whether you’ve lived in Austin your whole life or moved here last week, you know that this city has been growing like crazy. According to The Austin Business Journal, an average of 184 people move here every day. Texas is appealing to east and west coasters because residents pay no state income tax, properties are much more affordable and Austin has become the obvious choice for many new Texans because of the job opportunities, access to live music, delicious food options, and outdoor activities that surround the city. Whether you are new to the city or have been here for a while, you might want to take advantage of the booming growth and look for ways to make new friends in Austin.
There is certainly no shortage of people, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to make friends or find those you connect with. So if you are new to Austin and looking for your tribe look or just interested in how to make friends after a year of being inside, look no further.
- Join a Sports League
Showing up on the field/court every week is a fun way to make new friends in Austin. You don’t have to be a serious athlete to play either. There are activities like kickball, cornhole, and pickleball (an Austin favorite) that you can do casually with your new team. Or if you are looking to sweat and be more competitive, there are volleyball, soccer, and flag football teams. Austin Sports & Social Club and Sportskind are two popular leagues in town.
- Meetup Groups
It may feel weird showing up to a group where you don’t know anybody, but you can end up making friends with similar interests who meet often. Meetup is a great way to find groups who are already doing the things you enjoy. Whether you are Interested in learning more about technology, looking for someone to hike with, or just need some company at new bars and restaurants, there is probably already a Meetup for it.
- Bumble BFF
Bumble BFF is another great way to make friends in Austin online. This may seem strange if you’ve used the app for dating before, but it works well because everyone else using it is just as motivated to make friends. You can see other users’ interests, intentions, and photos before matching with them – so there is no pressure. This is also a great way to connect with someone 1 on 1 if you are intimidated by larger group settings.
- Young Professionals Organizations
There are several organizations for young professionals in Austin. Networking with like minded people is a great way to make friends with similar ambitions as you. The Austin Young Chamber, Young Women’s Alliance, and Young Men’s Business League are three examples of organizations designed to promote community, personal growth, and philanthropy. These groups have social events like happy hours and golf outings as well as provide education and leadership opportunities.
- Co-working Spaces
If you are working from home, you probably aren’t really connecting with your co-workers. See if your company will allow you to work from co-working spaces. Deskpass is an affordable way to co-work at dozens of different spaces in Austin. They also offer a free trial so you can test out some spots before paying anything. You can also just work at coffee shops to make friends in your neighborhood. Invite some coworkers to a space to work together or go alone and chat with some entrepreneurs.
- Starting conversations, Following Up, Always Say Yes
You may have to be the one to ‘make the first move’ when establishing new friendships. If you’re in a workout class, at your apartment pool, or at the dog park you can meet people. You would be surprised at how many more people you will meet when you are intentional about it. People are usually more interested in talking than you might think. Start by asking easy questions like: “How long have you lived in Austin?”, “What is your favorite part of (this apartment, dog park, fitness studio)?”, Or “What are your plans for the rest of the week?”
Once you get someone’s information you may have to be the one to follow up. Everyone is busy and if you are trying to make new friends you should make it a priority to plan outings with the people you want to connect with. If they invite you to an event or outing – say yes! Make time, not excuses. You will be so happy you did.
Are you a young professional woman in Austin looking to network and make new friends? Young Women’s Alliance is accepting new member in the month of October! A few benefits of becoming a YWA member are: access to professional development workshops and monthly speaker series events, subsidized golf lessons, happy hours, book club, dinner parties, and opportunities to volunteer with other members. Learn more about joining YWA. We would love to have you!