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5 Ways to Make Friends Post-College

During my senior year of college I had a four-hour class one night a week, where we talked explicitly about conflict. “Communication and Conflict” on Wednesday nights, in the West Building.

My professor, an expert in communication with a doctorate’s degree in counseling and 30 years of marriage mediation experience, had recently gotten a divorce. He told us this within 15 minutes of our first class. He wore the irony less like a disclaimer and more as a lesson. Even when you pretty much know everything, you don’t.

During one class, he gave everyone a little dose of reality. “Who here has a partner,” he asked. Everyone else, he said, better get busy and take advantage of being a college student. “This is most likely the last time in your life that you will be surrounded by a concentration of people with so much in common with you—you are students, undergoing the same level of education, living in nearly the same place, all around the same age. Additionally, you have opportunities every single day to interact and see one another. This is the best chance at a dating pool that you will ever have.”

Dating as you get older, it appears, is not quite as easy as sitting next to someone in class or bumping into them at the campus coffee shop and later asking for their Instagram handle.

Making friends, too, is not quite as easy.

Built-In Bestie

I have a best friend with me every day. I’m married to him. And our connection is easy, effortless. When you add in my status as an introvert, you get a recipe for friend-making apathy.

We moved to a new city after graduating college, and I’m going to be honest: we have not made a ton of new friends. Like my professor said, it’s hard. It’s difficult to put yourself out there, and it can be tricky to start over fresh. Every few months we are able to travel a few hundred miles or host our buddies in our new home, but as far as day-to-day friendships, we are still making strides to get out of our comfort zone and connect with new faces.

Rest assured, there are ways to make friend-making as an adult a little easier.

How to Make Adult Friends

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Photo by Belle Co on Pexels.com

1. Join Meet Up

Meet Up is an excellent resource for friend-making. It’s a website and app that allows you to join groups with people that have similar interests, and then meet up in real life.

The catch: it all depends on your location. If you’re in a smaller town or rural area, this might not be as effective. When I first joined Meet Up, there were several hiking groups (not my favorite activity, at all) and not very many groups that reflected my interests or hobbies. This led me to creating my own group, which requires a monthly payment.

The other tricky variable is involvement. A Meet Up group is only as good as its events. If no one is scheduling—which was my case, I’ll admit—and there aren’t opportunities to get together, you won’t meet anyone. Sometimes events are planned and no one shows up. Mostly, I recommend either choosing a Meet Up that has a full calendar or being an active member that brings ideas and suggestions to the table to ensure that the group always has opportunities to connect.

2. Volunteer

Volunteering is good on so many levels: for others, for yourself, for connection, for the betterment of the world.

Whether you pick up trash or decide to sign up for a community event, you have opportunities to meet others that are also there to do a little good. Meeting those kinds of people is never a bad thing. Plus, you already have a common interest. I’d recommend scanning the newspaper, local Facebook communities, and using the good ‘ol Google machine to find options near you.

3. Join a Rec League

Even if sports and athleticism aren’t quite your thing, joining a recreational team is a surefire way to get in some social bonding.

This last fall, Chad and I joined a volleyball team through his work. Comprised of many engineers, our focus was much less on being expert athletes and more about having fun. And it was, especially when we came together to get drinks after.

Most places have traditional sports or bowling teams, while bigger cities might think outside of the box, with skeeball or kickball leagues. Sign up!

4. Start with the Office

One of the best and easiest places to make friends is at your place of work. Face it: this is where you spend most of your time, besides at home. You might as well reach out to the people around you and get to know them outside of 9 to 5.

Ask to go grab drinks, lunch, or coffee. Invite your desk mate, or invite an entire department. You really can’t lose when you get to know the people that inhabit your professional life and space, as long as you have clear boundaries.

If you’re married, also get to know the people that your spouse works with, and be sure that they also have access to the new people you’re getting to know. I really enjoy spending time with my husband’s coworkers, and it’s so nice when he knows exactly who I’m talking about when I share events and interactions from my day.

5. Go to Events

Not only are community events fun and diverse, they are also a great way to meet other people.

Is there a trivia night at a bar you like? Check it out! Does the hot springs pool have a themed night? Go! Music in the park, holiday event, free writer’s workshop, film festival, book club, board game night? Yes to all.

Try saying “yes” more, and going to new and exciting events. The more you leave the comfort of your home and your routine, the more likely you will end up with a few more contacts in your phone.

You Can Do It

College is an opportunity to make some of the best friends in your life. Once you’ve graduated or moved on, however, it doesn’t mean that your chances to grow and meet new people—whether its your platonic soul mate, a group of brewery hoppers, or love of your life—are over.

You might just have to get a little resourceful, and put in a little more effort.

Speaking of which—if you want to be friends, let me know! 🙂

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34 thoughts on “5 Ways to Make Friends Post-College

    1. I so get it! When you’re not surrounded by hundreds of people your age or doing the same things, it’s so tough to find common ground or even get into a conversation. Thanks for sharing, and I wish you luck! xx

  1. I found a hard time making friends after college for a bit, but there are some social media apps where you can connect with people close to you. YESS on joining meetups! I realized that coworkers can also be friends too, if they share some common interests. Thanks fors haring!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

    1. After writing this, I actually read a blog that suggested Bumble’s BFF option. I’ve since tried it and really like it so far! No in-person friends yet, but at least a few conversations. Pretty neat! Thank you so much for reading. 🙂

    1. Right?! So many of my besties were ones I met as a freshman in the dorms, or when I was working on campus. I still have hope that I’ll branch out, even though it seems like it’s taking a while. Thank you for reading! 🙂

  2. I’m absolutely terrible at making friends and it’s been hard since I moved away from all my friends. These are some really great tips, I especially love the volunteering one! Helping other people and helping yourself by making friends sounds great! Wonderful post! 🙂 x

  3. This is a great, original subject for a post. And it is so true – making friends as an adult can be very difficult. You’ve provided some great suggestions.
    After you have kids, you will once again be surrounded by a pool of peers – other parents. At the endless series of practices, ball games, birthday parties, and the like. The problem is, once you’re at that stage, all you tend to talk about is …. the kids.
    So yes, go get some adult friendships now – and acquire some habits that keep you meeting new people who you can bond with. In the end, there’s just no substitute for a bestie or two when you need one!
    Joan Senio
    My Best Friend Adeline
    https://kindness-compassion-and-coaching.com

    1. That is excellent advice and feedback! Adding kids into the mix is another challenge awaiting, in the same way that we faced a few changes when we were the only married couple in our group of friends. Sometimes it’s subtle, but with kids I imagine it’s quite a larger difference. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!

  4. I loved this post, since leaving college and getting a full time job i haven’t been able to meet many new people. Like you my boyfriend also doubles up as my best friend x

  5. I loved reading this post! I’m in my second year of college right now and have found it so hard to make new friends. I definitely needed to read this, thank you so much for sharing! 🙂

    melissakacar.blogspot.com

    1. You can do it! I always struggled with making friends in class, but I was successful when I had a job/joined a club where I had no other choice but to get to know people. Good luck and thanks for reading! 🙂

  6. You have nailed it! I WISH I had a professor tell me such wisdom. I’ve made two major moves in adulthood and each time was tough! Believe it or not, blogging has brought me a ton of new friends (in real life! Lol)

    1. It’s completely starting over! And that is really awesome and something for me to keep in mind; since I live in a rural area, in-person bloggers are rare, but I love connecting with others in any way! Thanks for the influx of hope :). And thanks for reading!

  7. Hello, Savanah. Great post!

    I’m also an introvert like you. Actually, as I wrote on my Twitter bio, I consider myself to be an ‘outgoing introvert.’

    With that I mean that I’m a shy person who’s worked on her communication skills throughout her life. So today I can say that it’s not difficult for me to start a conversation with someone. Actually, I think I can even make friends easily. However, it’s too complicated for me to keep friendship with someone, since I usually only want to spend time with myself.

    But I agree with the fact that it’s difficult making new buddies after college. When I moved to my new town I joined a writing club to make new friends and I’ve also used Tinder and other apps.

    Sincerely

    Norma
    http://normalinnet.com

    1. Hey Norma, I really resonate with that! I’m also fairly social and can say and do all the right things in a public setting—sometimes it’s just a matter of striking up conversation or following up, like you mentioned. It can be tough! I like your ideas, especially the writing club! I’ll have to see if there’s anything like that in my area. Thank you for your feedback and for reading!

  8. These are great tips! I especially agree with making friends with your partners work friends, I did this and now consider some of them my closest friends, we even went on Romanian road trip last summer. Great post! x

    1. I’m so glad that worked out for you! I have always really connected with the friends my husband makes, and have always think of them as my friends too upon meeting them. It makes things so much easier! Thanks for reading! xx

  9. Making friends as an adult is super hard! My partner is my best friend too but sometimes I need some lady friends to hang out with as well.

    A few years ago when I was single I actually joined meetup. The events in my local city were a little rubbish though. So I started to go to the meetups in the next city along. At one event I met two women who were also single whom I instantly clicked with and we all exchanged numbers. The three of us met up a week later and kept going to events regularly. About a month or so later our group of single ladies expanded to 5 and then 6.

    3 years later we’re all still good friends and one of the women from our group got married last year! We don’t get to meet up as regularly as we used to but we try and make time to meet every other month.

    For anyone looking to make friends via meetup I hope you’re as lucky as I was 🙂

    Rio https://oppositetourists.com

    1. That is a really wonderful success story! I love that you were able to find some really solid friends and keep up with them several years later. That gives me a lot of hope! Thank you so much for sharing, and for reading. 🙂

  10. These are all great ideas! We just recently moved to a city (and state) so we need to start making some new friends. Luckily my husband’s office has a bunch if people closer to our age who also just moved here because mine is small office where everyone is older & lives pretty far which makes it tough to make friends. Thanks for sharing!

    1. My husband and I actually have a very similar work environment story—my company has 2 other people, who are both in their fifties, while my husband’s office is full of people that are within a few years of us. I would say that we’ve relied mostly on his workplace for friendships, and a few meetups too. Thank you for reading!

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