鈥淩iding Solo鈥聽is a multimedia guide about how to live fearlessly in your own company.聽Whether you鈥檙e at a small event or traveling the globe, this series聽shares honest stories from real women learning to explore the world as their own plus-one.聽Experience the full package聽here.聽

You鈥檙e in one of the most exciting phases of life 鈥 you鈥檝e just found a job as a new grad聽in a new city with great opportunities, and you鈥檙e slowly but surely decorating your new apartment to look like an adult lives there. Congratulations! It鈥檚 all super exciting, but if you鈥檙e coming from a small college town or the suburbs back home, easing into big-city life can be a challenge and a little bit overwhelming. We totally get it, so we talked to career and life coach Jenn DeWall to get some tips for figuring out how to make new friends, find your way around, and feel like a local in no time.

1. Bend your ties, but don鈥檛 cut them. When it comes to integrating into a new city, DeWall says one of the biggest mistakes she sees millennials making is 鈥渞elying too heavily on friends and family from home.聽The more you do this, the more dissatisfaction you can have with your new city and slow your chances of not meeting new people.鈥 Instead of staying glued to your phone all weekend keeping up with everyone back home, set up specific phone dates (and weekend trips!) with your close friends and family. Otherwise, try to disconnect from their digital presence when you find yourself with free time.

2. Know thy neighbors. Instant best friends!!! Okay, maybe that鈥檚 a little extreme, but we do highly suggest introducing yourself to your neighbors and inviting them to hang out once you get settled in your new place. Living in a big city often translates into transportation woes, and even when you do make new friends, time and distance will prove to be a formidable foe when it comes to making plans. Sure, you may not be besties with your neighbors, but the proximity allows for spontaneous stoop hangs and Bachelorette viewing parties that鈥檒l make you feel that sense of community you鈥檙e jonesing for.

3. Stay true to you. 鈥淎nother mistake I see people making is that they change their attitude or self to fit in,鈥 DeWall says. She reminds us that聽鈥測ou鈥檙e not desperate for friends, you just want to make some new ones.鈥 Don鈥檛 force relationships that don鈥檛 feel genuine or reciprocal 鈥 鈥渢he friends will come!鈥 Continue to do things you love and explore areas of interest to you on your own 鈥 just because you鈥檙e alone doesn鈥檛 mean you can鈥檛 have fun.

4. Blossom into a social butterfly.聽You鈥檝e got to put yourself out there to meet new people. DeWall suggests planning 鈥渁t least one social event a week where you鈥檒l have the opportunity to meet new people. She encourages her clients to 鈥渢ry networking groups, meetup groups, volunteering, classes at the gym, rec sport leagues, or any other personal development class you can think of.鈥 She acknowledges that it can feel unnatural and a little intimidating, but reminds us聽to 鈥渟tep into the discomfort 鈥 you never know who you could meet.鈥

5. Schedule in that self-care. Moving from the suburbs (or country!) to a city can be a jarring, overwhelming experience and聽leave you feeling exhausted. Even when you鈥檙e excited about all the new things there are to do, don鈥檛 forget to check in with yourself and give yourself a breather. Schedule an evening in, hit the gym, or find some green space near your apartment to reconnect with nature. As DeWall says, it鈥檚 important to 鈥減lan a day each week that鈥檚 just devoted to the activities that bring you happiness.鈥

6. Your worth is not your work. When you鈥檙e new to a city with no social plans to balance your calendar, it鈥檚 super easy to become a workaholic, which is not necessarily the best way to start new habits. To ensure this doesn鈥檛 happen, DeWall suggests you 鈥渄etermine what time you want to start and finish work. For example, if you choose to work nine-to-five, hold yourself accountable to that schedule. Plan events that start promptly after work so you are forced to get out the door.鈥 She says she sees this come up as an issue with clients frequently and says, 鈥淭he biggest cause I see for this is a lack of self-confidence, feeling that if you鈥檙e not at work all the time you鈥檙e failing or behind.鈥 By committing to social events that bring you happiness and bolster your confidence, you鈥檒l forget those work fears in no time.

7. Get lost. Use your free time to wander away from your immediate neighborhood and learn how to navigate your new city. Figure out the cool coffee shops in other areas of the city and work your way over to one on foot 鈥 chances are, you鈥檒l stumble across other spots you鈥檒l want to check out (no one can resist the allure of a surprise farmers鈥 market!). It鈥檒l make you feel more connected to your new surroundings and more confident in finally feeling like a local.

8. Use your network. Sure, you may not have any close friends in your new city, but we鈥檇 wager to bet you鈥檝e got some friends of friends just waiting for a happy hour invitation. Do some Facebook 鈥渞esearch鈥 and see if you鈥檝e got any connections in your new city. Your close friends will be more than happy to connect you to their wider circle (plus, it鈥檚 already been established they鈥檝e got great taste in friends, right?). Similarly, see if your alumni association has a chapter in your new city 鈥 often, they鈥檒l get together for baseball games, drinks,聽and other after-work events that鈥檒l introduce you to new areas of the city and connect you with people who you instantly have something in common with. Go Eagles (or whatever)!

Want to learn more about doing things solo? Explore our new multimedia package聽鈥淩iding聽Solo鈥. And remember to share any solo adventures with us using the hashtag聽#RidingSolo!

(Photos via Getty)