New Surroundings
Published: November 3, 2009 | | Submit An Inquiry

Dear Chivalry,

     I recently took an internship in a small town in upstate NY. The internship is amazing, but the town is a terrible hippy graveyard (near the Woodstock) where 50 year-olds with tattoos and hippy names like "Flower" jump around embarrassing their hipster teenage kids.  I am 23, I would like to make friends, but I haven't found a single place I would really like to hang out yet.  I recently graduated from college.  I am realizing that meeting people is so hard outside of collegiate walls. 

     Do you have any advice?  I've only been here for three weeks, but I am desperately missing my boyfriend and all my best friends.  I feel utterly stranded in the world with no grounding or motivation to get out and make it happen.  I have never been alone like this before and am someone who hates being by themselves... Have any advice?


Dear Reader,

     When I finished college I moved away from home and found myself in a similar situation.  I was in a somewhat different environment than the one you currently find yourself in, but I remember having a lot of the same problems.  I wasn't sure if I was ever going to meet new friends or develop any sense of belonging where I was.

     I brought up my troubles to the people around me who had also relocated from somewhere else, and they all gave the same advice:  "Give it 3 months, if you still don't like it, then maybe you shouldn't be here."  I decided to test this theory out and 3 months in - I did in fact feel a new attachment to where I was.  I ended up staying for over 2 years and I look back on that time in my life very fondly.  I bring this up just to highlight the fact that first impressions of new surroundings can be somewhat deceiving.  You should give things a little bit more time and try to make the best of your situation.  Who knows, it may get better, it may get worse.  But giving it a fair shot is important. 

     As far as different ways to meet new people where you live, I really can't provide you with anything past the obvious.  Concerts, lectures, book stores, volunteering, there are a million chances out there.  But you could also try to see this time you spend there as an opportunity to become more comfortable with being alone.  There's nothing wrong with missing the company of your loved ones, but learning how to deal with their absence and developing a strong sense of self will help you for the rest of your life.

     Stick it out.




Blackblack - Emerald Forest
Dear Nora - I'm An Outcast
Cairo Gang, The - Bones In The Ground
Kickball - Imaginary People
Love of Everything - Living Life Too
Au - Boute
Sholi - All That We Can See
Tara Jane O'Neil - A Vertiginous One
Trouble Books - Personal Tornadoes
Harpo Marx - Alone