How to make lasting connections in Birmingham—5 tips

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Have fun, build your network + make some new pals along the way. Photo via The Rotaract Club of Birmingham

Want to make more connections in Birmingham? Whether you’ve just moved to town for a job or you’ve been here since pre-K, there’s always room for new friends + expanding your network. So, Birmingham, where do you start? We have some great ideas…

1. Be a passionate volunteer

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Tank would be a pretty great addition to Hand in Paw. Photo via Hand in Paw

Birmingham has no shortage of excellent volunteer opportunities. Make some new friends while doing good in the community. It’s a win-win!

One of my personal favorites is Hand in Paw, an animal-assisted therapy nonprofit that my dog Tank needs to be signed up for immediately.

A few of the MANY Birmingham volunteer opportunities include:

There are even more volunteer opps to be found in our nonprofit guide.

2. Pick up a new activity

This video has me ready to dust off my old pedinis + come out of retirement. Video via Intercity Dance Collective

How fun does this look? You’re getting an inside peek at Intercity Dance Collective, a Bham-based studio for dancers over 18.

Groups like Intercity are the perfect way to make new friends in Birmingham while doing something you love. They offer affordable classes twice a week and see a wide range of Bham locals + newbies alike.

“We’re a community. Last night, we had a girl come in who hadn’t danced in five years. She was so glad she found a community like ours where she could feel comfortable and meet new people. It’s a refreshing feeling to come in and dance with people around your age with the same experiences, and that’s what Intercity is all about.”

—Brandon Barranco, Artistic Director, Intercity Dance Collective

3. Join a Junior Board for connections in Birmingham

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Junior board members for The Literacy Council. Photo via The Literacy Council Facebook Page

Another great way to make connections in Birmingham is by joining a junior board. Junior boards are affiliated with larger organizations or nonprofits, and give young professionals a chance to jump in.

I caught up with Liz Moore, who grew up in Birmingham but moved away for seven years to complete her undergraduate and law school studies. When she came back, she was eager to reconnect with her hometown, but didn’t know where to begin.

“When I moved back, I discovered Birmingham and Mountain Brook had grown so much. I didn’t know where to start when it came to meeting people and making an impact in the community. Luckily, a high school friend suggested the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce Junior Board. Being on a local junior board has been extremely fulfilling. I’ve met new people, patronized local businesses, and helped put on a fundraising event which provided financial aid to such local businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Junior boards can help young people not only do good for their community, but also allow them meet new, like-minded people.”

—Liz Moore, Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce Junior Board Member

More Bham Junior Boards to check out:

4. Join a Young Professional Organization

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Young professional orgs are a great way to meet people across a range of industries. Photo via The Rotaract Club of Birmingham

YoPro organizations are a great way to meet people across a wide range of industries and professions. I got the chance to speak with Cameron Shevlin, president of The Rotaract Club of Birmingham. Rotaract is for Bham professionals 35 and under, and their motto is learn, serve and socialize. They host a variety of events, like luncheons, mentor opportunities, service days, happy hours and more.

For Cameron, her years of involvement in Rotaract have been essential to her professional and social development in Birmingham. In fact, she’s grown close to quite a few of her Rotaract pals that she wouldn’t have crossed paths with otherwise.

5. Get fit + build connections in Birmingham

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Let’s get physical. Photo via F45 Downtown Birmingham Facebook Page

There are a wide array of fitness studios across Birmingham. We’ve got F45, Orangetheory, Crossfit, yoga, running clubs, barre, cycle studios and more. However you choose to get your sweat on, Bham’s got you covered.

Like lots of studios around town, F45 also incorporates a strong team element into their workouts, and hosts community events outside of class. You’re getting more than just a killer workout, you’ll also make some new friends along the way.

“Apart from the great workout and the ‘in and out’ timesaver of a 45 min HIIT class, I believe in the philosophy of working together not just to achieve physical fitness, but also to share common interest, meet new people and do life together. F45 provides an atmosphere to achieve all of these imperative aspects of life. Friends, fitness and fun. That is what F45 represents.”

—Coach Camari, F45

Looking for even more tips?

Birmingham is a flourishing city with a growing young adult population. We polled our team, and they also recommended checking out:

What’s your go-to strategy for meeting new people in town? Let us know @BhamNow.

Madison Croxson
Madison Croxson
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