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Tips for Making Friends in Rural Areas

Living in remote and rural areas can be great, but it can also bring some extra challenges, especially when trying to make new friends. If you’re struggling, then Meic can help. Read on.

If you live in a remote or rural place, you might be used to small villages, limited access to schools and youth clubs, dodgy internet connection and unreliable public transport. All these things can mean it’s hard to meet and maintain friendships sometimes. Here’s our top tips to make friends.

Cartoon of girl on her phone surrounded by social media icons like youtube button, wifi symbol and various emojis for making friends in rural areas blog

Use social media

If you have a digital device like a phone, iPad or laptop, signing up to social media platforms can be a great option to make friends. You can keep in touch with people who live a little further away, like your school pals, and also connect with people who like similar things to you who you may not already know (check out our safety tips when speaking to people online). Search for and join local community groups, forums, or social media pages that are specific to young people in your area. This can be a great way to find out about local events, share common interests, and have conversations with peers without needing to be next to them. 

white and grey console controller on yellow background for making friends in rural areas blog

Embrace online gaming

If you like gaming, you can use your phone, laptop, PC, or console to play games with people all over the world. Playing multiplayer games is a great way to a great way to connect if you live in a rural area, you get to do something you love, cooperate with others, and tackle loneliness all at the same time. There are plenty of free or cheap multiplayer games that you can play online with your pals, like Fortnite, Among Us and Fall Guys. 

Join your local youth group 

If you’d like to meet more young people and make friends, joining your local youth group is a fantastic option! Don’t be put off if you live too far away from the centre and can’t get there. Sometimes, youth workers put on outreach sessions in the community. They might also be able to help you with ideas about how to meet other young people in a similar situation to you. 

cartoon of people stood around booths at an event

Go to local events

Have a look at your local community’s notice boards for upcoming events in your area and surrounding areas. Even if you’re not that interested in what’s going on, it might be a good opportunity to meet new people. You could invite your friends over to join you, especially if it’s on an evening or a weekend. 

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Volunteer in the community

Volunteering not only benefits the community but also provides an excellent chance to meet new people. Whether it’s helping out at a local charity or participating in community clean-up events, volunteering can be a fulfilling way to connect with others. It also gives you something productive to do in your spare time, so it’s the perfect way to tackle loneliness. 

Share your hobbies with others

Identify your interests and try to find those who share them. Whether it’s a love for sports, art, music, or any other hobby, finding people who enjoy the same things as you can be the key to lasting friendships. Check for local clubs, workshops, or online communities dedicated to your specific interests and join them. 

Friends resting in cafe and taking selfie on phone

Ask people to hang out

It can be scary to ask people if they’d like to hang out with you, but sometimes you have to make the first move. Maybe ask if you can sit with someone who looks lonely at lunch, or ask to join in their game of football.

Create Study Groups

If you’re still in school and finding it hard to connect with people in your class, consider creating study groups. This can be a great way to get to know your peers better as well as help each other with your classwork. 

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Focus on yourself

Know that it’s okay to be alone sometimes and focus on your personal development and self-improvement. Join online courses or workshops that match up to your interests. It can help you to expand your knowledge and skills, and also offer opportunities to connect with other people who share similar interests and ambitions. It’s also a great conversation piece to have with new people you meet. 

Talk to Meic

Making friends can be hard, especially if you live in a remote or rural area and you don’t see many young people outside of school or feel that you don’t fit in. Check out Meic’s Friends information page.

If you’d like to talk to someone more about the tips in this blog, you can talk to a trained Meic advisor for free by contacting the Meic helpline. It’s open from 8am to midnight every day!