There is no denying that military life presents a unique set of challenges from civilian life. Many families either just went through, are currently going through, or will soon be going through a PCS move. During this time there is a lot to stress about: Deciding between having movers move your household goods, or completing a do-it-yourself move. Packing your home, or supervising the moving company’s pack out. Worrying about your prized possessions getting damaged or going missing. Finding a new home at your next station. Traveling to your next station. Unpacking and settling into your new home.
I just went through all of this twice in the last six months, so I definitely understand the trauma that comes with this wonderful life we lead. One thing we don’t immediately think about though, is what happens after we’ve settled in. And this is something that can make or break your next (insert estimated amount of time here, until the military tells you it’s time to move on again). Friends.
Have you watched children make friends with complete strangers in the matter of seconds? It comes so easily to them! It is not so easy for some reason once you have some wrinkles on your face and gray in your hair. And even though technology has made it much easier to stay in contact with friends and family back home, or from your last station, you will still benefit from connecting with new faces in your new home. Read on for some helpful tips on how to make friends as a new milspouse:
- Spouse Groups. This can be through the Family Readiness Group (FRG), your spouse’s unit, or maybe a group on Facebook. This is a great way to connect with local spouses and find out about events, opportunities to meet up, and sub-groups such as book clubs or workout buddies.
- Did someone say book clubs? If you enjoy reading, look into book clubs through your local library. They could also host other group meetings you might be interested in learning more about.
- Work friends. If you plan on finding work at your new location, this is a great way to make new friends, and meet local people.
- Volunteer. There are always tons of opportunities to volunteer at your new station, which you can find out from a Fleet and Family Support Center, Family Readiness Group, Family Readiness Officer, or Airman and Family Readiness Center. you can always volunteer in your community as well. Try reaching out to animal shelters, schools, and your local public library.
- Neighbors. You have to leave your house. Say hello to your neighbors, take them some cookies, or maybe throw a little block party. It sounds uncomfortable, or maybe too simple, but it works!
Zig Ziglar’s quote, “If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re very scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.” is very well put. The best way to make a friend, is to be a friend in return. Best wishes milspouses!