Making new friends post-college has been a challenge of mine. Considering that almost all of my friendships since the beginning of my existence have happened in a school setting, I suppose it should not come as a surprise that I’m striking out. If you think about it, forming friendships for most people majorly start in school, be it daycare or kindergarten. Perhaps you bonded with your friend because of the mutual disdain of being in an educational institution. Or, you liked the fact the you both were wearing the same velcro high top sneakers. Whatever the case may be, you and your buds most likely met in some type of school setting.
When you’re in school in this instance, college, you’re automatically grouped with peers who have similar interests as you, like say your major. You can easily bond over your love of caffeine, a mutual hatred of a professor, or the longing of being done with it all. Whatever it is, you’ve coined a friendship out of it. Now that I’m outside that little cozy bubble I’ve come to realize that making friendships in your 20s is almost like dating. Seriously, it’s pretty laughable how similar the two actually are. Let’s just say you meet someone in a coffee shop.
You see someone in a public setting where you exchange shy/awkward smiles. Maybe you’ve ordered the same drink or she took yours by mistake. You make small talk, and then find some type of common ground. You then work up the courage to see if they like XYZ because you know of an event taking place. They’re interested so you both exchange numbers and send the obligatory “Hey! It’s TJ from the coffee shop. It was so great to meet you!” Then you get the text back saying almost the same thing and you’re super excited. A few days go by and then you wonder, should you text them? You don’t want to seem overeager or desperate, but you really think you’d hit it off with this person and that a great friendship could occur. So you text them. Before you send it, you read it over a time or two just to make sure you don’t seem crazy.You deem it acceptable and eagerly await their response. At this point it could go 1 of 2 ways. They either A; text you back, make plans and the rest is history! Or B; they blow you off and you’re left nursing your pride telling yourself it was their loss anyway.
See the similarities there? Now, it’s easier to do the whole friendship thing if you ended up going back home after college. All your buddies (well some I guess) are there and you can pick up where you left off. However if you’ve gone to a different city like I did, it’s a little tougher. You have to start from scratch. Your academia bubble is no longer there for you to give you insta-friends and you have to put forth some effort. Or, maybe I just suck at making friends, who knows these days. 😉