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Let’s not beat around the bush – building community as a young adult is hard. Gone are the magical days of living down the hall from college friends. In its place are coworkers you may or may not vibe with – or even physically be with in these #workfromhome days. Maybe you got a plant to befriend. Your pal the sun certainly left you high and dry recently. While prospects may seem dismal, we have hope for you: You can totally make friends as an adult! We’re here to share how to make friends as a young adult in Knoxville, Tennessee.

1.) Bolting Besties

Okay, it may be more of a jog than a bolt, but either way we suggest trying out a local fun run! The concept is simple: Bars and breweries all over town (if you wanted, you could find one literally every day) host them. All you have to do is show up at the allotted time and run/walk about the length of a 5K. Best part? The community is truly awesome. We know because we (the original founders of New2Knox) actually met at a fun run at the Bearden Beer Market! 😍 You can find a bit of the story here. Second best part? Most runs involve a free or discounted beer at the end of your journey – the perfect opportunity to catch your breath, jump in on a conversation, and make a friend. Follow 865 Running to keep up with runs and other activities!

Bike Besties

If you’re more into bolting via biking, we gotchu! The guys behind Two Bikes host rides pretty frequently, usually ending with tacos or coffee or equally enjoyable things. For ladies specifically, Saturdays and Thursdays mean bike rides with Spokes Women Biking Club!

2.) Bar Besties

If running isn’t up your alley, we suggest trying your hand at trivia. Knox Trivia Guys give you the inside scoop on where to find Trivia/Singo almost every day of the week (giving you ample opportunity to make a new bestie!). Access your inner extrovert, show up to a location and see if you can jump in on a team. And while we did name this section “Bars Besties” because we’re obsessed with alliteration, they actually hang out at plenty of restaurants as well.

Pro-Tip: Knox Brew Hub has some type of activity every day of the week. Whether it’s trivia, Game Night, Music Bingo, or UT watch parties, these people will welcome you in with open arms and give you something to do with your hands.

3.) Ballin’ Besties

This may seem obvious, but sports are a tried and true way to make friends in adulthood! Here are a few fun options:

  • The ultimate frisbee scene in Knoxville is welcoming and awesome.
  • If you want a whole slew of options, Knox Sports & Social allows you to sign up as a single-player or with a group of friends for everything from kickball to bowling to volleyball.
  • If you want to stay toasty warm, reach out to Craft Axe Throwing about joining one of their leagues.
  • The East Knox Yacht Club is the opposite of what you’re imagining right now. Basically, find something that floats, put it in the water, and enjoy paddling in the East Tennessee sunshine with new pals.

Best part? All of the above encourage ending your evening with drinks and hangs!

4.) Business Besties

Okay, okay, I know we’ve thrown a lot of activities at you, but you can in fact make friends without being Sporty Spice. Young Professionals of Knoxville is a great way to make both business and bestie connections post-college. Professional development is great and monthly Happy Hours are even greater 😉

5.) Bible Belt Bestie

You don’t have to live here long to notice that Knoxville, Tennessee isn’t just the Bible Belt – it’s the gosh darn buckle. There is a church on every corner and usually one in between. If you’re not religious, this can be… a lot 😬 But if you’re down, take advantage of small groups. A few churches with a good chunk of young adults are The Point, City Church, All Souls, Heart & Soul, and Fellowship.

6.) New2Knox Small Groups

Speaking of Small Groups, some aren’t religious! 😂 (Yes, yes, we know we chose a confusing name for these groups.)

The goal behind every single New2Knox Small Group is the same: Make friends while exploring our city. We started New2Knox because making friends as an adult is hard. (I had start running to make friends when I first moved here, y’all. Running! Did it work? Yes. Did I ever enjoy running? Nope.) Whether you’re brand new to Knoxville or just find yourself in a season where you need more community, we so hope we can provide a space where you can get to know your city and get to know a new friend.

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