Greetings. New to Iowa. Seeking friends and connections. Anyone in the area? 23 year old male, turn 24 next month. Currently working at a nonprofit. Having a hard time meeting folks in my small town.

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greetings yea decorah can be like that however its a great place when you really get to know the people i grew up in that area. 

I've lived in Decorah for the last 6 years. It's really important to get out there and participate in the community. TONS of stuff happens here, you just have to be game to pursue the opportunities. Check out decorahnow.com for a listing of lots of local events for varied interests. :)

Well, I really want to meet fellow 20-somethings, and that hasn't worked out. So far I have gone to five cooking classes at the co-op, film screenings & conversation hours at the NE IA Peace & Justice Center, Wednesday night community open sings at the acupuncture clinic, Wednesday night meditation at the Zen Center, I joined the Oneota Film Fest board and have been helping to curate films, I joined Anytime Fitness. But despite all that I continue to be the youngest person involved/attending in most of these places. Often the crowd is late 30s+. While I certainly have met a lot of wonderfully friendly folks, and think Decorah is a very welcoming comminity — I haven't met anyone in their 20's. I mostly have met parents or retirees who don't want to or even have time to go hiking with me, go to movies, go get coffee, smoke a joint, etc. At 23, my interests and my schedule is just very different from the typical Co-op cooking class or Peace & Justice Center event attendees.

Am I wrong in my assumption that Luther students don't mix/integrate with the community and instead are isolated? I never meet Luther students at any activity I go to. Are there any non-Luther 20-somethings in Decorah? My next idea is to start volunteering at Seed Savers. Does anyone have ideas what else I could do in Decorah? I watch Decorah Now like a hawk and go to as many classes/lectures/workshops as possible. I am mostly brave about going alone, but not always. Last night, for instance, was the contra dance and I really wanted to go, but going to a dance alone just didn't happen for me. Any ideas are appreciated. I have been trying! Thank you both for responding, I am grateful for your advice. Most folks tell me one of two things around here: the population of 20-somethings is nearly nonexistent outside of Luther College, and my best way to meet people is go to the bars. I don't go to bars... and I hope maybe they are wrong and there's people my age here outside of the college.

Volunteering at Seed Saver's is a great idea. They draw a lot of 20-ish folks to the area. Volunteering at the co-op might be another good opportunity. In my experience, I'd say to some degree, yes-- it is true that Luther student mingling tends to be limited. There are, of course, the occasional exceptions.

Side note, the 20-something popular aside from Luther really seems to be growing. I feel as if I'm always meeting new people to the area, and I'm sure we'll see another influx as spring approaches. We can be a bit of a seasonal town.

Sounds like you're really giving your experience some good effort. Keep it up!

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