Do you ever feel like you’re just living your life between your home and the office? Does it get crowded feeling like home is completely your responsibility, and the office is only for work? If so, you might need to find what is often referred to as a “third place.” A third place is somewhere that allows for freedom of expression and exploration without the constraints of either your home or work environment. In this post, we’re discussing the top 15 ways in which you can discover how to create long-lasting moments in this particular spot.
1. High-School Gym
One user shared, “My high-school gym was like a third place. I originally went there because I had nowhere to go for lunch and a break. Didn’t want to become a target for bullying by looking lonely. Made some friends in the gym and got pretty strong in the process. After school, I joined a gym, which was the opposite experience. There’s no sense of community. Awkwardness and silent judgment fill the air. It’s more like the atmosphere of waiting at a bus stop.”
Another user responded, “I don’t really know if the gym counts as a third place anymore. Everyone’s on their air pods and not wanting to bother others or talk.”
2. City-Organized Adult Sports
Community sports are a good option, if there’s a thriving community already in place in your area. Sure, it’ll take some work at first. It might take time for your fitness level to reach the average on the sports team or group you join, and it almost always takes a while to really hit it off with new friends. But once you’re invested, the payoff can be really worthwhile. Imagine if you could count on meeting friends at least once a week, maybe more, to have a good workout, good conversation, and maybe even hang out afterwards?
Another user shared, “Depends a bit on the size of town/city you live in. In my city, there’s a group of runners that do like a Saturday morning group/ open to anyone running. Everyone is pretty friendly. Folks gather and chat for 30 minutes before the run.
“We also have adult sports throughout the city, so stuff like softball, soccer, and basketball, where they’ll paste together a team from singles or place you on a team that’s one person short. I also once took a class at REI in bike maintenance and met a couple of nice folks. REI also organizes events that I think probably draw in folks looking for an interaction (day hikes, trail runs, kayak trips).”
Admittedly, libraries are probably not top-of-mind for most of us. But all the same, libraries have a lot more classes than just toddler story time. There’s often classes for things like poetry, story-writing, computer programming, art, and more. And while your skill might eventually outgrow the free library class, you could come away with a new hobby and new friends!
One user shared, “Hit the library friend. There’s all sorts of programming, and it’s free!”
4. Something We Have to Create
One observation of third places is that sometimes, we just have to create them. But honestly, it could be anywhere. Maybe you like hiking at a local park, or there’s a quiet coffee shop near your home. Maybe you have the space to create a special nook in your home with a bookshelf and twinkle lights, or the ability to build a shed in the backyard you can develop into your own special space. Maybe it’s as simple as sitting in your car for half an hour after you get home and playing some quiet music while you read a book for a few minutes.
“I’m glad finally someone brought it up. It’s something we have to create, and it could be anywhere. I sometimes chill in my car with the radio playing softly. Normally I am alone, but once I had a friend join me, surprisingly they said it was enjoyable,” one commenter chimed in.
Once upon a time, a local bar or pub made for a great third space. In some places they still do, but you may need to do some hunting. Look for a coffee shop that’s open late and maybe serves wine and bear. Maybe there’s a small diner with options affordable enough that you can become a regular. Whatever it is, a bar, coffee shop or restaurant can make an excellent third space.
One user commented, “That’s what bars used to be for.”
Another Redditor replied, “Too expensive nowadays …”
6. Suburban Strip Malls
One online Redditor commented, “I’m 24, and I’m in the same boat. I live at home in the suburbs, so I typically go to suburban strip malls or the gym, but I also don’t have much to do otherwise (other than work and occasional chores).”
“Do you have any state parks or trails nearby? Arboretum? Rock climbing gym? What about exploring an apparatus like the Lyra or silks? Jogging outdoors?
“Do you have any lakes nearby? Paddleboarding can be an excellent meditative core workout.”, one user suggested.
8. A Tree Fort
One Redditor posted, “Build a tree fort near your house.”
Honestly, tree houses would probably still appeal to a lot of us. But even if not, why not build one for your kids? They’d probably love it, and you can instill in them the ability to curate their own special area.
9. Meetup Dot Com
“meetup dot com … Search for your interests. Rock climbing, CrossFit, doggie playdates, adult sports leagues through the park district, fibre arts, ultimate, pottery, etc.,” one user suggested.
The OP replied, “I’ve tried that, but it always seems geared towards an older demographic.”
10. A Local Recreation Center
If everyone in gyms is getting to focused on getting through their own workout without talking to anyone, try a community center. They’re usually already full of people who are looking for friendships and teammates!
One Redditor posted, “Try your local recreation center. They have classes, sports event sign-ups, sometimes pools depending on area, other resources and group gatherings.”
11. Athletic Courts
One user said, “If you’re specifically looking for fitness and activity, I would check out nearby athletic courts or social media for exercise groups.”
12. Discord Servers
“It sounds like what you need to do is meet other people as opposed to finding a new space. Are there any local Discord servers for your area for young adults? I found this very helpful for meeting more people and keeping in touch,” one Redditor stated.
13. A Community Center
Another commenter asked, “Do you have a community center? Like a YMCA or a community fieldhouse? My local ones usually have adult sports/activities going on, like basketball training, judo, etc. You can also pay to go for the day and just do whatever you want, like at the fieldhouse, people are using the different fields for basketball, soccer, football, baseball, etc.”
14. Disc Golf Place
One Redditor posted, “Disc Golf! Easier than golf, cheaper than golf, more laid back than golf. If you enjoy IPAs, jam band music, weed and dogs, then that’s a bonus.”
Another user added, “Disk golf seems a pretty social outdoor activity. Adult league sports teams. Kickball, softball, things like that. You can get a part-time serving job, decent extra money and servers like to get together after work. Maybe a local game shop has picked up games for D&D or some other tabletop game. There are local meetup apps and groups on social media.”
15. A Dance Studio
“I take weekly classes at a dance studio with all the same students for a full school year. There’s a large adult dance class offered at this studio. Many other places might not have as many options, but it’s nice to get to know the same people over the course of several months,” commented one user.
Which one have you tried already and want to try next? Share your thoughts with us below!
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