How to be the New Girl (or Guy)

Maxie is back today with some great advice about new situations. I’ve been finding myself in more and more situations where I don’t know anyone (on trips, at the yoga studio) and, while it used to be one of my greatest fears, I’ve been embracing it with an open mind. Maxie provides some great, tangible advice on how to make the most of being the new girl (or guy) around.
How to be the New Girl (or Guy)
Guest post by Maxie McCoy
Walking around on campus knowing everyone at the library feels great. Heading to your local corner store in the city where the man behind the counter asks how your new puppy is doing feels awesome. Eating dinner with 20 of your closest friends is a total blast. You’re in a place where everybody knows your name and you’re loving it.
But there are many times in your life when you’ve moved to a new city, started at a new school, or switched jobs and you don’t know a soul. It can be lonely. It can be isolating. And scary. But more than anything it’s just wildly uncomfortable.
If I’ve learned anything from living in two different countries twice in the past year, it’s that this chapter in your life can also be quite a gift. If you embrace the right mindset, you’ll start to view this new, unchartered time as one that is exciting and energizing. So here’s to flipping the script on being the new person in any situation. Follow these tips and you’ll be building the community that you’re comfortable with in no time.
Use the alone time for good
Some people are better at being alone than others. However, no matter who you are, having time with much fewer distractions can be a great thing. If there’s a bunch of books that have been on your list but you haven’t had time to read them – now’s your chance. Bring it to your solo dinner or curl up on the couch on Friday night when no one’s guilt tripping you to come out. If you’ve been wanting to write more or maybe just Skype with your long-distance friends more frequently, your alone time will be more frequent when you’re the new person. So use it!

Be in the business of making friends 
Our relationships make our world even more beautiful. When you’re the new person, you have to be on a friend-making mission. Is there a girl you met at yoga that seemed cool? Ask her to coffee. Did your classmate invite you to join his study group? Go. Say YES more than you ever have before and you’ll be meeting people in no time.
Relish in the fresh start
Here’s probably the coolest thing about being the new person: you get to decide who you want to be. You’re making new friends. You’re meeting new people. You’re finding new routines. Build the activities and habits that are exactly the person you want to be. It’s not that you need to be someone new, but be someone you love. Surround yourself with the best. Engage in the best. And you’ll be the best. When you’re new it’s so much easier to do that.
Try new things
There’s no better time than when you’re new, to try new things. Maybe you want to get your booty to a new workout class. Or maybe you just want to learn how to decorate cakes. Or perhaps you’ll get involved in the leadership training offered at work. Not only will you have something else to fill your time with, you’re likely to meet really cool people who could become friends.
Embrace being outside the zone
It’s OK to feel weird. You may have moments of scrolling through your newsfeed and see everyone hanging out with all their friends while you just feel lonely. Or you may head to lunch at your new job and realize you don’t have anyone to grab a sandwich with. These moments will be teachers for you. You’ll put yourself out there, both with the people you meet and the activities that you try. And it will all be because you were in a place where no one knew your name.
Whatever you do when you’re the new person, remember that all of your discomfort will pass. Work to shift your perspective to see this as a great thing, and you’ll be getting into your groove in no time.

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Southwestern Prepster

I always love Maxie's guest posts, and this one is no exception! Since coming to university, I've had to quickly re-learn how to make new friends. I aim to meet someone new everyday (or at least every week) and try to get involved in new things for new experiences 🙂
xx, Mikkaela
The Southwestern Prepster


I think it's always hard to be in new situations, no matter how many times you've been through it. But with the time one knows that it will all workout in the end. I've been in a lot of situations when I did not know anyone and was completely by myself. I think it's important not to be shy, to make the first step and talk to people and also to take a step out of the comfort zone at times. It can be hard, but it's totally worth it. It's a very nice post! I haven't seen this topic being discussed on any blog yet, though it's super important and we all have to deal with this situation at one point or another. The tips are great and I especially like the "Relish in the new start" paragraph.

The Rachael Way

I love Maxie's posts… I always look forward to them. I think she's my kindred spirit.. her posts always hit on things I'm feeling when dealing with living abroad!


Great tips Maxie! I moved across the country about two years ago and even in my 30s, tips like these were exactly what helped me establish a new life and try a lot of new things!

Surf & Hydrangeas

White Cabana

I appreciate this list of thoughtful advice. I love my alone time, and going places alone completely forces me to talk to people. It can be intimidating at first, but then it's sort of just liberating.

Cville to DC

I moved to washington dc a year ago and have loved making new friends/acclimating to more alone time! You are so right about using "alone time" wisely. 🙂


Kerri Koen

Ahhh I hate to walk into a room where I do not know anyone. Blogging actually has been my best tool for overcoming that because I've thrown myself into unknown situations and met so many amazing people. These tips are excellent – thank you!

Champagne Star

Great advice! I just moved to a new city myself and I actually love being the new person. It's like starting off with a clean slate in life, and now I can make my life over completely and do things completely my way!

Brazen Brunette

I absolutely loved reading this post, thanks Maxie! I recently moved to Tampa from NY, leaving all of my friends and family behind and it has definitely been hard being the "new" person on my own. But I thought you offered some great tips and as you said it's important to shift your perspective and look at it as a growing experience. And I'm definitely trying to say yes more!

xoxo Nicole

SommerAnn McCullough

It can be hard when you're new to really get into the swing of things and feel comfortable. Trying new activities, whether it is joining a running club, connecting with an alumni group, or volunteering in your neighborhood, are a great way to meet likeminded people. Don't be afraid of stepping outside of your comfort zone and embracing new possibilities!