Yes, it’s true: people often feel lonelier in big cities than in small towns, despite the huge difference in population. This is probably because big cities are more hectic. People are always seem to be in a rush and busy all the time. It’s hard to build a community when there are so many people around you and you don’t know where to start, especially if you are new in town. However, locals can also feel lonely sometimes, even when they already have their own group of friends and acquaintances. People really need to be aware of this: almost anyone can feel alone in a crowd or surrounded by their love ones. Trust me, it happens! We all feel a bit lonely sometimes and even if we don’t, that doesn’t mean we’re not open to meeting new people.
So, the first rule is don’t be ashamed or afraid to be open to opportunities to help you feel less lonely. Every relationship starts with someone saying “hi” or something more fun. If you are shy and the thought of saying “hi” to someone you don’t know scares the hell out of you, you just need to remember this: SMILE! Even shy people can smile, whereas impolite or angry people don’t. If you feel a little bit braver, you can always start a conversation or come up with some excuse for talking, such as asking for help or information… You’ve just moved to a new city after all!
The best way to meet new people is to start at the beginning, which means getting to know people who are just like you and don’t have many people to rely on yet. Every city has its own Erasmus network or exchange program if you are a quieter sort of person. They are all there to speak another language and meet new people. You all have the same goal so there’s no reason to be ashamed of it! Locals are invited to attend this kind of event, too, to improve a language, meet new people (including exotic guys or girls with a fascinating accent!) and see their city from an outsider’s point of view in order to appreciate where they live. These are just some of the benefits!
Room4talk is not just a directory to help you find a housemate. Personal relationships matter to us, that’s why our aim is to combine practical needs (finding an apartment or a housemate) with improving your language skills and expanding your personal network. The only solution to loneliness is to get out there: this is actually harder for locals than foreign students because the latter group needs to create a community. Room4talk is an opportunity for those who rest on their laurels to challenge themselves when it comes to meeting new people and for future Erasmus students/workers abroad. Big cities can be lonely places, but this feeling can be overcome when you have someone to talk to and rely on at home.