Making friends after college is difficult. Even if you’re still in the same town, it doesn’t feel the same anymore. A lot of people move away or have different schedules from you. And if you’re the one that goes to a new place, it’s that much trickier.
I don’t have all the answers by a long shot, but in the past couple years I’ve learned a few things about making friends outside of a school setting. If you have anything to add, as always, leave a comment.
Say yes to (almost) every invitation. A lot of people move to a new place after college and don’t have any friends around them, or they just have one or two friends. And you might not get invited to much right away, but when you do, try to say yes as often as possible. Even if the event doesn’t sound completely up your alley, give it a shot. You’ll never make friendships by rejecting the people that do attempt to include you.
Meet your friends’ friends. Once you’ve formed one friendship, it might be easier to form more, as long as you continue to put in that effort. Introduce yourself to your friends’ friends whenever you see them. Don’t force the friendship, but do make it clear you’re open to new friendships or at the very least some friendly conversation. If you’re out with a friend who bumps into other friends, take the time to introduce yourself, even if it’s brief.
Reconnect with old friends/acquaintances. Sometimes this might feel a little bit awkward, but this can be particularly handy if you’ve moved to a new place. If you know of any other people from your college/high school/hometown that have also moved to the area, reach out to them and find out if they want to meet up. Even if you haven’t hung out in a few years, it can be comforting to spend time around someone who will know about all your old friends or hangout spots.
Look into local events. Websites like Meetup can tell you about groups that share similar interests as you. You might also be able to find events that interest you through Facebook or local pages on Instagram. Try a few of these out, and go from there. You might be surprised by how much you enjoy these events or the people you might meet.
Be open to forming friendships in unusual settings. In school, it’s possible you formed a good number of your friendships out of pure convenience. Maybe you happened to sit next to someone in a couple classes and really hit it off. Life after graduation doesn’t quite work the same way, so you have to be more intentional about forming friendships. And sometimes you’ll end up finding friends in some unusual places. You might find yourself bonding with your barista or the person standing next to you at a concert. As always, be safe, but also be open to making friends in new places.
Life after college can be tricky in many ways, and it can be especially difficult to keep up a social life when you’ve moved to a new place or when all your friends have moved away. There’s no set way to form friendships, of course, but just remember other people are probably open to forming new friendships as well.
What are some ways you’ve formed friendships post-college?