Get out. Make friends. Meet people in NJ.
Ok, so I am a little late posting here, but better late than never, right?! I’ve been a part of NJYP for 6+ years or so. My 1st event was a happy hour. I went by myself. I can still remember how apprehensive I was going alone. I was soooo scared and sooo nervous. But then I remember saying “honestly, what is the WORST that can happen, this IS a networking group?”. Laura hosted and she knew how nervous I was, she introduced me to a group of people and that was that. Within minutes I was “myself” and the mingling started.
I think a happy hour or a speed friendling is the best event to attend by yourself. A happy hour is very social, everyone is there for the same reason to “get out and make friends”. Make sure you introduce yourself to the host and let them know its your 1st event. The host will be sure to make your first introduction to help take the edge off YOU introducing yourself. While the different “clutches” of people can look intimidating, don’t be intimidated! Feel free to walk up to everyone and join in the conversation and introduce yourself. Everyone is there for the same purpose and most people are very welcoming to their conversations. Speed friendling is also another great 1st event!
My advice is to step out of your comfort zone and just do it – attend an event. You have nothing to lose, only something to gain! If your 1st event is a Bergen County event please look for me I would love to meet you!
So I consider myself a "veteran" in that I've been a part of NJYP since back in the Yahoo group days but I haven't been to a ton of events in the past 2 years. I'm back in the swing of things now so hopefully see and meet a whole new crowd of you in 2011!
The very first event I think I ever went to was either a hike or a happy hour. I totally echo the comments about a "common purpose" being a bonding experience. The happy hours were a little odd at first if you fly solo, so it's good to bring a friend from home if you're nervous. It REALLY is about just walking up to a group and politely joining the conversation. Someone mentioned earlier that everyone else there IS just like you-there to meet new people so it's never like you're a lone gun or anything,
Highly recommend the happy hours, hikes, game nights, Spring Fling, Stupid Cupid AND the Networking/Mixer events. They are probably the BEST networking you can do in NJ currently. Relax and be yourself and keep an open mind and ANY NJYP event can be a ton of fun.
I have to say I think Jessica's response is the most help. I totally chickened out tonight on "Spring Fling." I talked it over with a bunch of people and the issue was that I couldn't find anyone to come with me. This would have been my first NJYP event but I know nobody there. Most of my friends were telling me it would be weird for me to go and not know anybody. I think Jessica's response about doing something that you are really interested in like hiking or game night makes a lot of sense. On that note, I'm going to NYC for some karaoke with a buddy, so hopefully all is not lost.
I joined NJYP back in June 2005, so i think i qualify :)
My very first event was a Game Night and I came by myself. I think it's an awesome way to meet people because there's something to do/talk about immediately once you start playing games! My second event was a Happy Hour which i didn't like as much because I didn't know anyone there, and I hate going up to groups of people I don't know because I feel like i'm butting in. People who know me refuse to believe that i'm shy, but when I don't know a single person in the entire room, I don't know where to begin! Now i'm an "oldbie" so Happy Hours are fun because the more events you attend, the more people you get to know!
Single Mingles are great too. My husband and I met at an NJYP Single Mingle (although we technically met at 2 other NJYP events before that, but he asked for my number at the Single Mingle), so we're proof they do work :)
I also think the hikes are awesome, even though i haven't been able to go to any of them recently.
My advice is just to find things that interest you on the event schedule, and you'll find like-minded people at them. Good luck! :)
This is great Laura,I just joined and I can't wait. taking in all the advice. Keep it coming in guys.
I met my husband in NJYP...you could find your husband too ladies! ;)