I was scrolling through the Waterloo Reddit page and came across a post about someone being new to the area and needing help making friends. I am also new to Waterloo/Cedar Falls and might be able to offer some help.

1. Volunteering

Volunteering is a perfect place to get started if you're trying to make friends in a new community. Not only can it make you feel good about helping your new home, but it's also a great place to meet people with similar interests. This website can help you get started. There was recently a "Back Packin' The Dome" event that had over 1,000 volunteers in attendance. You're bound to find someone to bond with, especially when there are that many people around.  You can also use the Waterloo Volunteers Facebook page for other volunteering opportunities to help you get out and meet new people.

2. Join a League 

Men's League Softball and joining a dart team was one of the easiest ways I was able to meet people in my previous residence. A lot of the guys I played with will be lifelong friends and one of my former teammates will even be in my wedding. If you're struggling to find friends, joining a league might work out perfectly for you. Maybe you can be the world's best rec league pickleball player. Sign up here.

3. Join a Gym

You probably won't run into me at one of these anytime soon... but the gym can be a great way to make new friends. You have the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone, get your workout in for the day, and then find a workout buddy. There's a full list of fitness classes on the Cedar Valley Sportsplex website. I'm not even sure I want to know what the Barre Fusion class with Robin is. It'd probably destroy me. If you want to check it out and report back to me it's on Wednesday at 8 a.m


4. Cedar Valley Beer Trail

Even if you don't want to make friends, this just sounds fun. According to cedarfallstourism.org you can go on a Beer Trail to eight different breweries/taproom locations and collect stamps every time you stop in. There are six stops in Cedar Falls and two locations in Waterloo. You can print your passport at cedarfallstourism.org and a map is provided on your passport if you need to know where to go next. If you're looking to start a conversation with someone, it could be as simple as asking them what beer you need to try, or how many stamps are in their passport.

Photo by Yutacar on Unsplash
Photo by Yutacar on Unsplash

5. Get to Know Your Co-Workers

Why not start with the people you will see the most often, your co-workers. Americans spend one-third of their life at work, according to reports. This means you'll be around co-workers a lot. If you're moving to Waterloo or the Cedar Valley area because of a job, make sure to give your co-workers a chance. They most likely already have some type of social connection, so why not try to join in. This doesn't mean you have to ask the entire office out to drink's your first Friday night in town, but you could start by asking if anyone has time to go to lunch.

If you're new to the Waterloo area or are simply just trying to make friends, this might be a great place to start. I'm also new to the area and hope to run into you as soon!

Our Freedom Story mural - downtown Waterloo

Take a walk along the Cedar River in downtown Waterloo to view this 3,000-square-foot mural of the city's civil rights history shown abstractly through lines, shapes, and colors. Located behind the Waterloo Center for the Arts (near the Highway 63 bridge). Created by the Waterloo Youth Art Team.

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