Saturday, January 28, 2012

Fitting in and Finding Friends after a PCS

One of the hardest things about leaving a duty station is leaving behind all the friends that you have made.  Likewise, one of the hardest things about adapting to a new duty station is finding people that you click with and having others to interact with so you don't feel so isolated.  When overseas the feelings of isolation can be even greater.  We've been in Germany for a short time but I have made connections with several other women and have even found another dog that Mandi can play with frequently.  Here are a few tips with meeting and making friends when arriving somewhere new.

1.  Join the Facebook fan page/forum/website for those that are stationed at your new duty station before moving.  Not only are these facebook fan pages, etc., great tools to help you learn about your new home, but there are tons of great people that you can meet and help you adjust to your new home.
Life Lessons of a Military Wife just posted a compiled list of many facebook support groups that is a great resource for spouses moving overseas.  I was thinking of compiling one but she beat me to it! 

2.  Look into activities on post.  Through the Facebook fan page that I joined for our post I found that some ladies were just starting a Bunco League.  I have been to two Bunco games so far and have met around 20 women from it.  Check the MWR and ACS and see if there is anything going on.  Our MWR frequently holds Bingo night at the entertainment center as well as many other events.  Getting out of your house is the first step in making friends.

3.  Volunteer or Work.  Volunteering makes you feel good about yourself and gives you a sense of well-being when you help others.  Working a paid job brings in extra income, and gratification that you are providing for your family over and beyond what is expected.  In addition, both these options puts you in a position where you must interact with others and if you are in a volunteer or work position that you enjoy, you will likely find many others that have similar interests as you that you can click with.

4.  Leave the house.  Sitting on your butt and watching television isn't doing anything for your social life.  If your post has a dog park and Fido needs a little exercise, then do it.  If you are interested in running or exercising, join an exercise or boot camp group.  If you want to get involved in your FRG, contact the FRG leader and get meeting times.  Find something that interests you and join others that feel the same way.  You will walk away with new friends everytime.

Be open to opportunities!  Don't shut yourself off from the world because you think you wont fit in.  Having a support group is essential with military life so don't try to put it off like it isn't important, do something about it!

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