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How to Create Your Own Little Community While Living in a Big City

How to Create Your Own Little Community While Living in a Big City

How to Create Your Own Little Community While Living in a Big City

Moving to a big city is hard no matter if you are old or young and whether you are alone or not. The biggest hack that I have learned to living in a city after 4 years of doing so is the importance of building a community for yourself. Here is how I did it, and some ways that will help you do the same.

 

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When I hear the word community my mind immediately goes to childhood. I am sure many of you can relate, but my childhood revolved much around the community I lived in. My neighborhood, neighbors, coffee shops, friends, ect. When I moved away, I knew that a sense of community was something that I needed in my life. Living in a big city has lots of opportunities and advantages, but can be challenging to find your personal place. Focusing on the people in daily life, places that you go, and the people at the places that you go are how I created a great community while living in Chicago. I can sit here today and tell you from experience that it worked, so here is how I did it.

Meet Everyone

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The best place to start while creating a community in a big city is with the people that make up your day to day life and routine. Meet everyone, introduce yourself to everyone, and get to know everyone! Get to know your Starbucks barista on a first name basis. Introduce yourself to your favorite bartenders and bouncers at bars. Say hi to the waiters and waitresses at your favorite cafe in your neighborhood. Get to know your neighbors so that you are able to say hi during passing. Knowing the people around me gave me a sense of security and a sense of belonging at a young age. After a long night working at a restaurant 10 min from my apartment, I walk home and say hi to the bouncers at one of my favorite pubs. Then I pass a taco shop and wave to the staff as I have gotten to know the cooks and cashiers. I do not know much about them besides small talk, but the fact that we are able to ask how our nights have been and address each other by name personally makes me feel like I belong despite all the craziness that the city has to offer. 

Get a Local Job

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Getting a job within your community is a great way to get involved and build your community. Odds are if you are living in a big city you are either going to school or have a job there already, so this is more targeted towards students. A local job around your neighborhood within the city will unite with fellow locals, introduce you to new friends, and teach you more about your surroundings. Specifically I would suggest a restaurant or service industry job. You will find the most interesting people in the service industry and make a great amount of money. I have done this throughout college. I work at a local family owned restaurant in Chicago. It is connected to a bar, and through this experience I have been able to meet so many people from all over, all with different stories to listen to and learn from. I have also been able to meet a lot of bar and restaurant regulars that own other businesses in the area, live around the corner, and even some who have been coming to the restaurant for decades.  The more people that you know, the more connections you are able to make. And I always say that it is all about who you know if life. 

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Find Your Spot

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Another great way to establish a community is finding your “spot”. Your coffee shop, your bar, your store, your park, whatever it is that you love, find your spot and go often. Meet the people working there or other people in the facility and get to know them on more than a first name basis. Think of it as if you now have another home base. Bring your friends, make it a meeting spot, or a going out spot, or a homework spot. Find some place where you feel comfortable, welcomed, and you can have fun. Make as many memories as possible. Meet as many people as possible. I promise you that having your spot in a big city will slowly but surely make it feel like home. 

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I have a spot. For homework I have my favorite Starbucks on the corner. It is remodeled, has a bathroom, and located in between mine and my best friends apartment. It is far enough away to make a nice walk out of the commute, but not far enough where it is hard to access. I recognize the baristas, they know me, and I overall just feel very comfortable there. It is my spot where I can guarantee to get work done and I love going there. 

I have another spot too. My favorite bar in the city. It is a 10 min walk from my apartment and connected to the restaurant i work at making it a a super convenient place to hang out at. The bartenders are my coworkers and my friends hang there while I work, When the clock strikes 10 I am done at the restaurant and go over to the bar to meet up with everyone. Over the past couple years of being there I have gotten to know the people who work there from the door guy, the bartenders, and managers. They also happen to be my coworkers. The family owned pub has been around for 85 years, bringing in locals and those who have moved away but grew up nearby. The amount of people I have met there just by simply being there often is incredible. And the crazy memories I have gotten to make here with my friends I will cherish forever. 

 

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