Whenever I engage with members of the French Library, particularly during our "Alors Conversation Club," my first question is often about their reasons for joining our community. Aside from our shared passion for the French language, another recurring theme emerges: the desire to meet new people. This recurring sentiment has inspired me to write this article.

I've personally forged meaningful friendships through FL events and with fellow members. Many of us have experienced the challenges of making new connections when relocating to a new city or when college days are long behind us, and our friends are scattered across the globe. To compound matters, the pandemic and the rise of remote work have made it even more difficult to meet people in a traditional workplace setting.

To assist you in navigating these challenges, I'd like to share four strategies that can help you expand your social circle:

1. Be Courageous

Let me share a little secret: even extroverts can find it awkward to venture into unfamiliar territory and strike up conversations out of thin air. However, the key is to step out of your comfort zone. You might be pleasantly surprised by how friendly people can be. I vividly remember my first FL event, when I first hesitated to initiate conversations. But once I took that leap, I met incredible individuals who shared similar experiences and the same goal: making new connections. I learned that even a simple "bonjour" can open a lot of doors, be it in Paris or at any of our conversation groups.

2. Compile a List of Your Hobbies and Interests

Amid the hustle and bustle of work and daily life, we often neglect our hobbies, promising ourselves that we'll revisit them when we have more time or when we find like-minded company. In reality, the first step is to indulge in activities you genuinely enjoy. By doing so, you're more likely to encounter individuals who share your interests, providing an immediate conversation starter.

Additionally, depending on your interests, you can consider joining clubs or groups, such as a running club or a French conversation club. Investing in a membership can be a wise decision, ensuring you make the most of these opportunities. If you've been contemplating joining the French Library as a member, now is the perfect time to take the plunge. See where OUI can take you!

3. Volunteer

Volunteering isn't just a noble endeavor to support your favorite cause or organization; it's also an excellent way to expand your social circle. Depending on the nature of your volunteer work, you may spend extended periods of time with individuals who share your passions. Don't hesitate to initiate conversations like, "How long have you been volunteering with them?" or "What drew you to this cause?" If you're interested in volunteering at the French Library, we frequently post opportunities here.

4. Start Conversations

Uncertain about where to begin? Is the idea of taking that first step too daunting? Why not break the ice with a casual conversation about the weather or simply by saying "good morning" to your neighbor? Having lived in Boston for nearly five years, I've learned that people may initially seem reserved, but once you initiate a conversation, they often open up and prove to be quite friendly. It's essential to remember that many others share your desire to meet new people. When you're at the French Library, please don't hesitate to say bonjour; our staff is exceptionally welcoming and eager to get to know you better. Even if you don't speak French yet, don't worry; we are open to conversing in English, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Italian, and more. Our team is culturally diverse, and we celebrate that diversity.

Meeting new people requires time and effort, but the rewards are incredibly fulfilling. Stay open-minded, be authentic, and relish the journey!

Bruna Franco

Membership Manager

Bruna first joined the Center as a member, looking for an opportunity to practice French and to be around French culture. She is now thrilled to be the Membership Manager and to provide members with the amazing experience she was previously able to enjoy herself. She is a native Portuguese speaker who, by the age of eight, knew she wanted to be multilingual someday. Working at the French Library now seems like a dream come true.

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