When my husband accepted a job in New Jersey, I knew no one!
Whether you are newly married or you just PCSed, you may feel like the new kid on post. We’ve all been there before and it can feel a bit awkward and lonely.
Here are 5 ways to dive right in and shake off that new kid feeling like a pro!
Research everything! If you’re a new military spouse it is a good idea to find websites (just like this one!) and learn all you can about military spouse life.
If you have just PCSed to a new duty station you should research everything from the best places to live, to things to do, to local customs. The more informed you are, the better you’ll feel.
Once I learned how close we were to NYC, the beach and tons of historical monuments and parks I was excited to get here!
Find A Way To Feel At Home
Decorate your new home and figure out what local stores you want to shop at regularly. Find a local coffee shop and a favorite movie theater. These little comforts will help shake off that awkward newness.
I tried out several libraries, pizza places, 2 different commissaries and 5 different beaches before finding the ones that were right for us. Also, once I figured out how to get everywhere by myself it began to feel like home.
Get Involved On Base
Nothing will make you feel like you belong like being involved in the local and military communities. Get involved with the FRG, the craft shop or hobby shop and events on post to get to know other military spouses in your area.
They will be your support system during deployments and you will be thankful for them.
Military balls and family days are some of my favorite places to meet new military spouses and make friends! Also, “like” the military base Facebook page in your area to stay up-to-date with things that are going on.
Get Involved Locally
Go to the local library and get the events schedule. Volunteer at your kid’s new school and go to city council meetings. Join parent and hobby groups in your area, and before you know it – you’ll feel like a local.
Military spouses have a great opportunity to improve every new community they move to. Even if you’re only there for 2 years, your mental health and your community will benefit from your involvement.
Whether it’s a barbecue invite from a coworker or a playdate invite, you should go! It can seem awkward at first, but once you get past the small talk you begin to find things in common and make fast friends.
Make sure you give your new friends a way to contact you and maintain the friendship! It’s also a good idea to have a house-warming party and invite your spouse’s coworkers and their families. These are people who will be experiencing every deployment with you – so get to know them!
Whether your new friends are military or not doesn’t really matter, but having a mixture of both can be greatly helpful. Putting yourself out there can be hard, but it will be worth it when you have someone to hang out with, talk to and call for help when you need it.
All of this can seem really overwhelming especially if you’re an introvert like me! But sometimes, you just have to make yourself do it.
The faster you feel at home, the easier it will be when your spouse is TDY or deployed.