Going it alone: Experiences of a solo First Friday attendee
Good times at a Fresh Light event in Bristol
As the weather improves, we will all be venturing out more but if you have never attended a Fresh Light in person event before, we get the dilemma! You want to make new friends, which is a hard task for adults at the best of times, but you need existing friends to go with you. Or do you?
What do you do if the very reason you want to meet new people (perhaps a new life of nappies means old friends are no longer free on a Friday night) is the very same reason you can’t find someone to bring with you?
When Adele moved back to her hometown in south-west England and heard about new social events run by a group of friends from different churches, she decided to brave it alone. That decision was made four years ago, but she can still vividly recall the build-up to attending:
ADELE: “I’ve previously gone travelling on my own so am much more inclined to do things by myself now. But I still had butterflies that day. I was wondering what to expect: how many people might be there? I was even just worried about whether I’d manage to find the right venue.”
So, why push through the nerves and not postpone going?
ADELE: “I’d recently moved back to Weston-super-Mare and while I still had lots of friends in the area, many had gotten married or had children. We’re of course still friends but those friendships suddenly had a different dynamic. So I wanted to meet other Christians at a similar life stage to me. I heard about some monthly social events coming to Bristol [First Friday] from a church friend who’d been to the ones in London. Unfortunately she wasn’t available to come with me so, rather than wait, I decided to try it alone.
What was it like to walk into First Friday solo?
ADELE: “The first event I went to was afterwork drinks in a private area of a pub. There was a ‘host’ right near the door so I felt welcome straight away. The chat, thankfully, felt natural and he helped me get settled and involved in conversations around the room. There were about 30 people mingling and others had also come by themselves so I didn’t feel as if I stuck out. That first night went really quickly and there are very few I’ve not been to since.
What advice would you give to anyone unsure about going solo to a social event?
ADELE: “Don’t wait until you’ve got friends to come with you: First Friday is absolutely the kind of place you can come on your own so please don’t be afraid to. Yes, it’s nerve-wracking to make that first step but there are loads of people in the same position.”
4 years on from her first bold venture, Adele now has a wider circle of friends and is one of the event hosts trying to make sure others have the same positive and life-enhancing experience she did:
Adele: “My hope is to grow this community of people from churches across my region. Through it, I want to allow people to develop meaningful friendships and networks in social spaces where anyone can feel at home.”
Fresh Light Events host regular informal socials, in person and online, for Christians and their networks. Frist Friday takes place on the first Friday of every month at bars in Bristol and London, UK. Find upcoming events here.
The Lovely Adele hosting First Friday, Bristol