Every two weeks, we’ll feature an audience question and have all four of our editorial team members provide their answer. Want to submit a question? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I just moved to Charlotte from Chicago. Somebody told me to sign up for your newsletter and follow Agenda on Instagram. Thank you for all the info! Question: I’m looking to make friends and meet new people – do you have any recommendations?” – J
Thanks for the question. Yes, making friends and meeting new people is difficult post-college. Here are a few tips from our team.
#3 Go to #instabeerupCLT. It’s a casual, no-pressure monthly meet up at different watering holes around town where the sole objective is to hang out with new people. Follow @corriasmith and @remythurston for the event announcements.
#2 Join Pink Social Girl Tribe. The women’s networking group on Facebook (3,700+ members) is a great place to solicit personal and professional advice and feedback online but also often materializes into IRL meet ups and collaborations, either at their events or at unofficial hang outs organized by members.
#1 Hit the gym. Ideally this would be an activity you actually enjoy — be it CrossFit, barre, spin, yoga, etc. — and not just a ploy to meet people. Once you’re a regular attendee, you’ll start seeing familiar faces and getting to know like-minded people operating on a similar schedule. I moved to Charlotte alone not really knowing many people and made my first real connections at Y2 Yoga because that’s where I went every day. STAX Bootcamp, a free community workout every Tuesday and Thursday, is also a great place to meet people, especially if you go alone and get partnered up with someone you’ve never met.
Is this something that anybody ever really, truly figures out? Let me know.
#3 If you’re single, date around. No, you shouldn’t date just to network, because that’s selfish, but it does have its perks – while the relationships may not last forever (or even blossom), if you’re lucky, the friendships that you forge because of them may. Take it from me: I met my core group of Charlotte girlfriends, who I cherish more than anything and whose group chat never stops buzzing, through someone I dated. Worth it.
#2 Join an art or cultural organization. These are all over the place (start by looking into something like Young Affiliates of the Mint or Sustain Charlotte’s Community Corps) and give you the chance to meet people while you do some good.
#1 Take a SkillPop class or two (or three). Not only will you learn a new skill or hone one you’ve been chipping away at, but you’ll also meet people with similar interests in a low-key, no-pressure environment that’s a lot less awkward than a networking event. Classes include everything from cake decorating to terrarium design to basic wine knowledge – see them here.
#3 Attend Pitch Breakfast. If you’re at all interested in startups, this is a super welcoming, free breakfast event. It’s a like a low key Shark Tank. The event happens each month at Packard Place in Uptown.
#2. Show up for a brewery Run Club. NoDa Brewing has the OG run club, I’d probably start there. That said, a ton of breweries have run clubs — and for whatever reason, I feel like Charlotte runners are super friendly. If you’re looking to not run, but like drinking beer, check out Sycamore’s Mug Mondays.
#1 Join a church. I’m a member of Christ Church. They’ve got a great young adults group, that’s not super preachy and activities range from cookouts to small groups to Habitat for Humanity. Elevation is obviously the big player around town, but there’s a bunch of churches with young adult groups that are very welcoming. Don’t be afraid to church-shop.
#3 Go work at a coworking space. If you work remotely, these can easily make up for the cost in networking and relationship opportunities. If your job already has an office, you could try looking into some of the (usually free) events that coworking spaces host. Here’s our list.
#2 Hang out on your porch. People in the South are known for being friendly, and it’s (mostly) true in Charlotte as well. Spend some time on your front porch or on your street and chat with your neighbors. You might not have immediate success, but over time you very well could land a lasting friendship.
#1 Start working out with F3 or FiA. These free early-morning workout groups meet all around the city and are extremely welcoming of newcomers. Yes, they typically get together at 5:30 a.m., but you’ll at least be killing two birds with one stone.