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Joined: Aug 31, 2017

Making Friends in Rochester

Posted by @solucky, Tue, Jan 23 11:24am

I’ve lived in 7 states in the US. We moved to Rochester 2 years and 3 months ago and still have no one that we can really call friends. In the past we have had many people we’ve considered to be our friends and have socialized and traveled with many of them. My husband and I both work and come in contact with many people every day. We have become active in the community and have met many people. This move to Rochester has been an eye opener and very difficult for us. We have come to the conclusion that many of the folks we know here are natives and have a group of people they’ve known for their entire lives, going to school and working with many of them. Their friendships are long-established and they aren’t in “need” of any new friends. Luckily, we have family members here in town, so we stay busy with them, but it’s really not the same as having a group of friends with whom we could spent time.
I don’t expect any results from this post, but I did want the readers to realize how hard it can be for new people coming to this city. Interestingly, we have heard the same sentiments from other transplants who have come here. Please try to reach out to someone new on occasion.



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Posted by @danleedrenth, Tue, Jan 23 11:30am

As a fellow #transplant person to the Rochester/MN area in general I have seen this same thing. I also recognized it when I went to college in Iowa. However, my husband and I have found some amazing friendships through getting involved in our church and in our community with different activities. Our church welcomed us with open arms and we purposely got involved in small groups so we could meet people and start getting connected. It takes work, but it is nice once you are able to build those relationships. We are going to host a new comers dinner at our house in February to help newcomers to our church feel connected to others.

Treasure Ransom

Posts: 179
Joined: Oct 10, 2013
Posted by @transom, Wed, Jan 24 2:28pm

Thanks for your vulnerability and sharing your perspective, @solucky. I love the challenge you have given to all of us that have been in this area for a while. I accept your challenge. 🙂

Are any of your interests ones that may connect you with others that you can list here?

I would also challenge anyone that can tag someone that has moved to Rochester that may be able to provide some good tips. I will tag @roberttsp. He and his family have been here for a while, but it may be fresh enough he could provide some perspective?

Liked by solucky


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Posted by @roberttsp, Wed, Jan 24 4:35pm

Thanks for the mention, Treasure. Like @danleedrenth we found community in our church and with neighbors. We were fortunate in that during our house hunting visit (in the parking lot on the way into the building!), we bumped into one of my wife’s college roommates. We discovered the community had a vibrant young adults/new parent community, and we plugged right into that. Our best friends still were part of that community group. Would be happy to help plug you in there or give more details.

I might also suggest finding some activities where there is some affinity with other members, like perhaps the local community gardens, gyms, or even community classes. I know there is a local beekeeping ( association, etc.

One thing we have done is host a picnic or party at our house to get to know the neighbors. It’s much easier in the summer, but we have done cookouts and extended invitations to our street. Sometimes this works along with the national night out as well. We have discovered many commonalities just through getting to know those in our own neighborhood, and some of those folks have become friends as well.

Good luck in finding your community!


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Joined: Jan 03, 2018
Posted by @kiehlsa, Thu, Jan 25 9:03am

I too am a transplant to Rochester. I moved here in August and got a job here at Mayo shortly after. It is much harder to make friends out of college it seems. And yes, I would agree that everyone seems to already have their friends.

I have made a few friends by joining some activities, including volunteering with RideAbility (in Pine Island) and I have started fitness classes again.


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Posted by @kgammell, Fri, Jan 26 7:05am

I have been here a few years now but yes it seems a lot of people around here have their set friends because they grew up here, so I have a lot of work “friends” but not many outside…


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Joined: Nov 03, 2014
Posted by @mayandrifter, Mon, Jan 29 2:00pm

I felt the same way (and still do in some respects). My friends are friends I’ve made through work. Our neighbors at home do not socialize with anyone (we live in a small bedroom community outside of Rochester and we have the same feeling — if you didn’t go to school there, its hard to make new friends. All the friends my husband and I have made in our small community are through our church. Maybe we should start a board here with our interests . . .

Treasure Ransom

Posts: 179
Joined: Oct 10, 2013
Posted by @transom, Tue, Jan 30 2:25pm

@gretlcain, do you have any thoughts on this? You have relocated right? Maybe you have some tips for @solucky. 🙂


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Joined: Apr 04, 2013
Posted by @gretlcain, Tue, Jan 30 2:37pm

@solucky ,
I have been there. We have relocated two times and it does take a while to get settled in and engaged in the community. One way that you could get to know more people at work is by becoming a Well-Being Champion. This is a wonderful network of engaged Mayo Employees who get to lead fun activities within their work groups. It is an awesome way to get to know your colleagues and get to know other Mayo Employees outside of your work area. Some other things to try would be, volunteering, if you have a dog- going to the dog park or joining a church. I am curious, what do you wish there was in place to help you enhance your social bonds at work and within the community?


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Joined: Aug 31, 2017
Posted by @solucky, Wed, Jan 31 7:10am

Hi @gretlcain. Thanks so much for your very helpful response!
Actually, we did join a health club and we regularly take our pups to the dog park. I am also involved in a few groups through Mayo and my husband joined a hunting club. The point that I am trying to make is that, even with work and community involvement, the folks we meet don’t make any effort beyond those activities to include “new” people into their circle. Case in point, 6 years ago my job transferred me and my husband to The Woodlands, Texas. Within the first week of our being there we had been invited to people’s homes for drinks and/or cook-outs. That continued for the two years that we lived there. To this day, we travel to Texas to see those friends and have had them visit us.
I had mentioned in my message above that I have no expectations of results from my post, but I simply wanted to point out to people that it is very tough to make friends in this environment and hopefully, pointing that out will make people more aware of helping and including new folks to the community.
We absolutely love Rochester and have a very strong bond with the city. We make it a point to attend most of the wonderful events offered, such as Thursdays on 1st and 3rd, Social Ice, Farmer’s Markets, Concerts in the park, etc. to name just a few. We are always among the first to try the many new restaurants that have come to town since we moved here 2 years ago. We have found it incredibly exciting to watch this city grow. That growth will bring thousands of newbies and I’m hopeful that they will find our city warm and welcoming.

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