Why is it so hard to make friends after college?
Time and time again, I hear 20-somethings complain that how hard it is to make friends after school. And I’m definitely one of them.
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that about two years ago, I “broke up” with my best friends in San Francisco. What I didn’t tell you in this post, is that this was the SECOND time this had happened to me in SF.
I spent weeks calling my friends from home in tears wondering what was wrong with me. Why couldn’t I find any friends after college?! They all seemed to respond with similar answers…finding friends in your 20’s is JUST FREAKING HARD.
With this seemingly universal problem, I started to wonder…if everyone is looking for friends after college, why can’t we all find them (with each other)? And is this just a FEELING or is it reality!?
Now two years later, I’ve come to a few conclusions.
It really does feel like you have zero friends after college, and here’s why:
In college, you are surrounded by everyone ALL OF THE TIME
College = no personal space. I lived in a sorority house with 50+ other girls and spent my college career never being lonely. Moving to an apartment (even with roommates) while sitting at a desk or on a bus the majority of the day means the time you are even being “social” is significantly less. The time you have to spend with friends is ALSO less because well…work.
Everyone is at different stages of life
IMO, being in your twenties is the most awkward stage of life. Mostly because half of the people you know are married with kids on the way and the other half are still out clubbing until 4 a.m.
Has it ever to you that you are chilling single dating half of bumble, and before you have a chance to swipe right, all of your friends are spending their Saturday evenings playing board games with their couple friends?! All of a sudden, you are spending weekends third wheeling and voila, it feels like you have no friends.
Your done hanging out with people you don’t LOVE
Somewhere between 23 and adulting, I stopped wanting to hang with friends I wasn’t obsessed with. Those friends that make backhanded compliments and who you don’t feel good about yourself with. I decided it was easier to hang along than to put up with more BS than I had to on a regular basis. Anyone else goes through the same transition?
All of a sudden, my friend group shrunk like a crop top that went through the hot cycle in the dryer.
These (totally normal) changes definitely make it feel like finding a group of friends after school is near impossible. And trust me, I’ve been there. In fact, I really had to push my comfort zone to find SOLID friends after college. It’s taken a while (thank goodness for Friends reruns on my Saturday nights alone), but I’ve come across a few tips along the way.
Here are the BEST ways you can make long-lasting friends after college:
Find a common interest:
One of the best ways I’ve found to make friends after college is finding a common interest. I recently became obsessed with hot yoga sculpt and was able to find others that were equally as in-love with the activity. All of a sudden, I had an easy way to hang out with others, followed by brunches. Friendships made!
Go on ‘friend dates’:
It feels awkward, but especially when you move someplace new you HAVE to ask people to hang out. I personally prefer 1:1 scenarios when meeting people (I call them ‘friend dates’). Whether it be mani-pedis, or a work out class, when you find someone you vibe with, don’t feel shy about asking them to hang.
Join a club
One of the reasons it feels so easy to make friends in college is because there are so many extracurriculars. In college, you join clubs and sororities and all of a sudden, you have so many baked in friends. You can do the same after college. There are so many groups, whether it be a charity organization or an intramural sports league, that will naturally introduce you to people. Drunk kickball anyone?!
In all seriousness, just remember that you can always have friends for different seasons. I am DEFINITEly the friend people choose to stay in with on a Friday night (because I’m a grandma emoji). Cut yourself some slack, friends will come with time!
What have you done to find great friends after school? Comment below or email [email protected]