Making friends is one of the most rewarding aspects of joining an independent living community.
If you’re not sure how to take the first step to form new friendships in independent living, we’ve put together some do’s and don’ts for getting started. It won’t take much time to connect with your new neighbors and feel like part of the greater community.
Want even more tips to design your ideal independent living experience? Check out our Independent Living Guide here.
Do’s for Making Friends in Independent Living
1. Greet everyone you meet
Sometimes all it takes is a smile. When you first arrive, try to greet everyone you meet, including new neighbors and The Buckingham’s team members. Simply saying hello can be the first step to receiving a lunch invitation or forming a deeper relationship.
2. Join various clubs and classes
The best way to meet new friends is to bond over shared interests. Sign up for clubs and classes in your community. At The Buckingham, for example, we have lifelong learning classes, games and clubs, a creative arts studio, a putting green, discussion groups, volunteer opportunities and more for residents to enjoy right on campus.
3. Seek out other new residents
Chances are you’re not the only new arrival. Seek out other newbies by asking team members or looking for new faces even after you’re settled into your new apartment. In this way, you can have a friend to share your experience during the first few transition months. If you notice new residents arriving after you, you can take the opportunity to make them feel welcome, too.
4. Get to know community team members
Friendly and helpful team members are one of the trademarks of The Buckingham. Team members at The Buckingham are very helpful and know residents well. They can often help suggest potential friends who share your hobbies or background.
Don’ts for Making Friends in Independent Living
1. Don’t miss out on community events
It’s easy to miss out on events and opportunities to connect if you don’t feel plugged into the community yet. Don’t let this happen! Get a hold of your community’s social calendar, so you can find events that you’re interested in attending.
When in doubt, go to a variety of events! You may be surprised how fun a game night or dance class can be. Don’t cross off any activities from the get-go. Instead, try new things ー there is an array of clubs, activities and events to experience. You just may meet a great friend along the way.
2. Don’t miss out on dining with others
It’s nerve-racking to enter the dining room and not know who to eat with but residents at The Buckingham love meeting new people. Try eating with somebody different every day, so that you get to meet a variety of folks. Or sit down next to somebody and start up a conversation. Take advantage of dining times to meet new faces and deepen connections with your fellow residents.
3. Don’t skip exploring the community
It’s impossible to make friends if you stay in your apartment all day. Though everybody needs some downtime alone at home, be sure you make the most of your community’s common areas. Don’t wait for a formal event or opportunity to go down to common areas and connect with others.
For example, watch a movie in the TV lounge, play a game of pool in the recreation room or stroll through the gardens. You can also simply bring down whatever activity you’d be doing in your apartment, such as knitting, having a coffee or reading a book. Find a nice spot in one of the common areas, so that you’re open to meeting others when the opportunity comes along.
4. Don’t rush building new friendships
Building meaningful friendships doesn’t happen overnight. During the first few months in your community, you are sure to find others with similar histories, backgrounds and interests. Try to meet a wide range of neighbors and stay active in the community. Over time, you’ll click with new friends and deepen these relationships.
Connect With Your Fellow Residents at The Buckingham
This is a fantastic new adventure for you! In addition to the exceptional new amenities, meeting new people is part of the experience of moving to a community and soon these new friendships will help you to feel right at home at The Buckingham.
Find out more about how The Buckingham creates a strong community and promotes the social well-being of every resident. Contact us on our online form or by calling (713) 730-2633.