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We’ve all been the new kid on the block at some point. Making connections and being part of a community will help you settle in and love where you are.

It’s so tempting to stay in your comfort zone on the sofa with a box set to keep you company. But when you’re in a new place – be it a school, job or city – a bit more effort will help you find your new crew. First things first: say yes to every invitation. Book club? Yep. Study group this Wednesday? You’re there. You never know where it will lead.

Want to meet new people who share your interests? Follow your nose and take up a new hobby, or return to an old one. There’s nothing like fun activities to bring people together. Always fancied learning how to make pottery? Attend a local workshop and, voila, you’ll be grouped with others that have the same idea. Exploring your passions is a great way to meet new people, and serving Lipton Green Ice is the best accompaniment.

One of the most gratifying feelings in the world is using your skills for good. Why not contact local charities and see if they need an extra pair of hands? If you’re a wedding planner, help to organise next year’s fundraiser. If you’re a journalist, offer to take over the online newsletter. Accountant? Help to streamline spreadsheets. You get the idea. There are so many tasks to deal with for charities and small non-profits, your skills could really make a difference.

Can’t find the vegan baking club you’re looking for? Running club doesn’t happen on your preferred morning? Don’t wait around for it to happen, be the one who initiates it. Find others on social media who share your passion and start your own thing. Be the master of your own destiny. Invite colleagues, neighbours and new friends to take part and don’t forget the Lipton Ice Tea!

Carving out a place in a new environment can be tricky and it’s natural to feel intimidated at first. But if you’re genuine and open, you can’t go wrong. Be proactive but, most importantly, be yourself. You’ll make the best, most lasting connections if you stay true to yourself from the start.