- At a social event or networking event. The one where you get free food, name tags and questions like “where are you from?”, “what’s your major?”. Pros: You can friend them on facebook afterwards. They typically won’t mind. In a big school, there are no free food for everyone, but social service club meetings were basically the same – you get tons of names, and you can add them on facebook. In my case, in ucsb, it was circle K. When the food is involved, the above is not time-consuming at all. You do need to get your meals somewhere. Cons: It may be a little bit frustrating – nobody really tries to be original while getting to know you. I never got one interesting question for all these years. Also, the people of younger age group (students) may very well friend you, but they actually have zero interest in anything you can tell them, and will react with surprised silence if you ask them to meet with you for lunch. Not that I tried too many times, but I can tell that it feels so out of line. Just keep that in mind.
- At a non-networking event: in a class, on a public lecture or panel, on a tour, in a gym. The criterion is: no name tags, and it’s not about having fun. You typically have a few minutes before, at intermission or after the event – and then everybody leaves. Pros: this is where most of the new people we see during the day would be. I can’t overestimate how many people one would meet if one just puts a little bit of effort here every day. Cons: There’s nothing to say. And here, you’re the one who’ll have to initiate the conversation. Ideally, the event itself can be a topic of the conversation. Like asking for help in the homework. But it’s not something you’ll do often. So you can get contacts from some people, but then only if they’re into chatting in fb you have any chance of getting to know them. And, believe me, there are not too many people who are into fb chats with strangers, and your top choice certainly isn’t.
- Dating websites – these ones are for meeting the opposite gender. Pros: you get a priceless experience of what the typical “lots of fish” are like. Sometimes, you even get a response. Sometimes, you get a date. It’s a best place to practice buddhist mindset for such things. Cons: Other times, you just waste time. You may as well practice your pickup lines with the wall.
- Through friends – now that you’ve met some people who consistently hangs out with you, there’s a chance that an extrovert, a very social person will be among them. Pros: Then you’ll end up spending time with that person’s friends Cons: whoever they are.
- At a dance class – you don’t need to come with a partner, there will be a rotation so you’ll hear the names of all partners present in the room. Good luck remembering them! Pros: you may meet people who are there for the same reason as you 😉 Cons: you have to waste an hour feeling like you’re a beta male/ <whatever women feel> while the most attractive and popular dance class regulars are dancing in the middle of the room with all the moves you’ll never learn.
- At the bar. Or other “fun” place. A party, a dance club, an open-air. Pros: that’s where we should meet people, the mass media says. Cons: it involves drinking, and the communication in the noisy environment may be hard for non-native speakers. Also, most of the people come there to hang out with their own friends. So be prepared to just stand there. For hours.
We omitted the hikes, which are healthy and much alike #1 – the nametag events. The only problem being, people who go on hikes will never do anything except hikes in their life.