You’ve made it to New York!! Tall buildings, bright lights, how exciting! …Now what? All your friends and family are back home. Your roommate is kinda cool, but you two don’t exactly “click”. Despite New York’s reputation as one of the loneliest cities there are many ways to meet cool people!
If you are missing being an athlete and bonding with a team, you can look for inter-city sports teams. If venturing off-campus is a little too daunting for you, FIT also has classes anyone can attend including yoga, spin, kickboxing and open gyms for basketball.
A fantastic way to meet people and give back to your new home is by volunteering. Believe it or not, this megalithic city doesn’t just run itself. The City has a program set up to match volunteers with types of organizations they are interested in working with, like the environment, community/neighborhoods, health, education, etc. Volunteer Match is another organization that finds opportunities close to you (but you can also sort based on your interests).
New York is a city full of artists. If you want to expand your creativity or be inspired by others there are ample opportunities to see artists at work. A fun and safe environment to overcome stage fright is The Open Mic Downstairs – a great place to meet other actors, comedians, singers, etc. It is also only $3 if you want to just see talented people letting themselves go. If spoken word (with some comedy) is more your style “Bareburger Unplugged” is a place also meant to be a safe environment for artists to experiment, and they have some of the best organic burgers on the island. Another fun way to meet people is to go to a paint night. Located all over the city, and almost every day, this is no pressure studio time (the paintings they give as the sample are more like guidelines I say).
It can be kind of awkward to start a conversation with a random person out of the blue, so the easiest way to do it is to have something to talk about right away, like something you have in common. The best way to have this is to attend events that are centered around shared interests. New York Comic Con is one of the biggest and most famous example, although tickets can cost hundreds of dollars and sell out within minutes. Meetup facilitates meetings of people with similar interests, and extend all through New York City, not just Manhattan. These groups are incredibly diverse with runners, a Capella singers, “foodie couples”, and Jewish parents of Astoria (I don’t know if that last one would apply to anyone reading this, but hey, FIT has an incredibly diverse student body!). The coolest “meetup” idea I’ve seen, which I totally want to try ASAP, is meal sharing. Eat With puts up times that chefs in your area are hosting dinner parties or cooking classes. Not only is it a great way to have a fantastic, authentic meal, but it is an awesome resource for students who cannot get home for the holidays, but still want to have a group meal.
For even more ideas try Time Out NY. Do any of you have suggestions?