By Kendra Hughes
Facebook: Kendra Hughes
When you’re a millennial living on Long Island, finding a group of fellow millennials to connect with may seem like a difficult task. Millennials account for a decent chunk of the population on Long Island however, baby boomers still outnumber us by a longshot. Growing up in this environment can be quite tough.
Millennials inherently want to connect with like-minded people who know their same struggles. The challenges millennials face on Long Island include access to affordable housing, lack of job opportunities, the high cost of living and lack of a true social scene for young people. We also hope to build a sense of community and share our concerns about the future. Despite the ever-changing demographics of Long Island, there are many ways we can connect with others that share our same interests and values.
Here are five ways that you can connect with millennials on Long Island:
1. Go on Social Media
We all know that social media is a powerful tool. It essentially connects us with the entire world. Social media can be used to connect you with locals in your area as well. You might be surprised to discover that a fellow influencer lives right down the street from you. One of the best ways to meet new people on Long Island is through Facebook groups. Facebook has hundreds of groups with various subcategories of interest. Simply search for the subcategory you’re looking for in your area. Many groups do require approval before you start posting. Once you’re in, strike up a conversation on the message thread and see who responds. The goal is to put information on there to attract like-minded people to your post. Other social media tools such as Tumblr, Instagram and Twitter are helpful tools too. It doesn’t hurt to even add friends of your friends.
2. Do Some Charitable Work
Millennials have a reputation for being self-centered and lazy, but that isn’t true. There are some amazing millennials on Long Island doing life-changing work in their communities. Lending a helping hand is a great way to connect with fellow millennials. Long Island has wonderful charities and nonprofits where millennials help out. These organizations include: The National Urban League, Habitat for Humanity, Big Brothers Big Sisters, YMCA and Catholic Charities. You never know who you may meet while helping to build a home for a family in need. Likewise, while organizing a toy drive you may just meet a fellow millennial that wants to start their own nonprofit. The possibilities are endless when you put yourself out there.
3. Join Meetup Groups
Meetup is an app and website that allows you to connect with people who have similar interests. The Meetup app is free to download and is available for iPhone and Android users. There are a number of groups geared towards millennials. If you’re a book lover, fancy yourself by joining the Millennial Book Club in Huntington. There are also a number of groups geared towards millennial singles and women of color. Meetup groups usually meet at public places such as movie theaters, cafés, restaurants or parks. Can’t find anything you like or care to join? Your solution may be to create your own Meetup group. You can create your own group however, keep in mind this is not free. As a Meetup creator, you will need to pay a yearly membership fee. Meetup wants to ensure that their groups are a legit social hub for residents of the community.
4. Research Nightlife and Local Events
Simply put, go where the young people are. One place where you’ll have no issue finding millennials, is the nightlife scene. Long Island does have its fair share of clubs and bars that are geared towards the younger population. Hitting up a neighborhood main street is also a great way to meet other millennials. In recent years, south shore town, Patchogue, has revitalized its main street into a bustling and hip scene. With trendy new cafés, restaurants and bars, it’s hard not to see millennials frolicking on the streets. Hotspots include: Public House, Del Fuego, The Tap Room, Rhum and Hoptron Brewtique. Many of these local businesses regularly host events, especially during major holidays. Another tip is to check out events.longisland.com/nightlife to see what events pop up in your area.
5. Get Creative
If you care to think outside the box, there are certainly even more creative ways to connect with millennials. It may sound extreme, but there are websites such as Rent a Friend that cater to meeting friends in your area. Yes, you can literally pay for someone to befriend you for the day and attend an event with you. Rent a Friend allows you to select the age range of the friend you’re looking for. You may just happen to find a lifelong friend if you sign up for this type of service. Another tip is to hit up your local library and check for any offerings geared towards millennials. The library has excellent resources to take advantage of, so don’t be shy! Additionally, you could also look into taking a new painting, cooking or language class in your area. Check out Course Horse for hobby classes and Sur la Table for some excellent cooking class options.
Millennials may seem far and few in between on Long Island, but using social media, giving back, joining a Meetup group, researching nightlife or even renting a friend can be a good way to connect. So try out some of these tips and see what happens.
About Kendra Hughes
Kendra Hughes is an educator, lifelong learner, Yelp elite, avid reader and natural wanderlust with a passion for all things creative. In her spare time, she enjoys reading personal development books, learning foreign languages and learning to cook with the help of meal kit subscription services.