5 Ways To Make Adult Friends After College
Raise your hand if you've done through a bit of a ~depresh~ after college.
I had the time of my life in college, and I graduated excited to get into the working world, no longer have homework and exams, and begin The Time of My Life Part 2. It was a weird shock when the opposite happened.
A lot of people find this embarrassing and shameful to talk about, but the more people I open up to about it, the more I realize we're all going through this: we're lonely after college.
After college, most of us move to new states, sometimes completely alone, and the hours of time we used to have free to spend with friends and our college community are suddenly filled with working a steady 8 hours straight. By the time we get home, we're exhausted. And when the weekend rolls around, we realize...I don't have piles of friends a mere 5 minutes away like I used to.
First, take comfort in the fact that you're not alone. This has happened to every single friend of mine after graduating, and it's totally normal!
Let's get into the ways that you can find and make close adult friends after graduating from college.
1. Apps for finding friends
If you're a fellow millennial, you've probably heard of this option before - but I stand by it! Certain 'dating apps' aren't just for fucking (although okay, yes, most of them are).
Bumble actually has options for finding people other than dates. Bumble BFF, and Bumble Business are different ways you can use the app as well. While some people find the idea of making a profile to "find a friend" a bit weird, I'm not put off by it. We do it to meet romantic interests, what's so weird about downgrading it to platonic?
This is similar to Bumble BFF, but it's for girls only.
Granted, I'm under the impression that most people using Bumble BFF are female anyway, but ‘Hey, Vina!’ is a bit of a cuter take on the typical dating app. The only con is that it's not as popular as Bumble, but it's worth a shot - I still find people on there every time I use it.
2. Take an Improv class
Stay with me socially anxious folk, because I really swear by this method! I have met some of my best friends through 101 Improv Classes. I've actually been doing improv for about 6 years now myself, and even taught improv back in college and performed at The Second City. But every time I move to a new city I sign up for Improv 101 - and I pretend I've never taken it before.
I do this purely because Improv is the best way to make friends in a new city. The majority of people signing up for Improv 101 are by nature great, authentic, friendly people who don't take themselves too seriously. They're basically the ideal friend. And meeting for 1-3 hours every week to play games together and use your imagination is essentially a life hack for fast friendship. It's impossible to come away from the class without having made 2 solid friends - just trust me on this.
3. Lovebomb your friends of friends
Technically Lovebombing is a narcissistic tendency, so I’m going to suggest that you do the cousin of lovebombing which I guess would just be called taking initiative.
A good majority of my current friends today were made through Original Friends. Like, someone I knew from high school or college was friends with this Second Person. I met the Second Person at a party, or happy hour, etc. that Original Friend invited me to. (Does this make sense?) Anyway, this situation is pretty common, I guarantee it has happened to you before. All you need is 1 or 2 friends for this.
Once you meet a friend of theirs that you jive with, grab their number (or Instagram handle). And then ask them to hang out, like, 2 days after. Say you have an extra ticket to a concert or fun event. You don’t have an extra ticket! You bought two on purpose.
Basically just lock down an acquaintance that piques your interest right away. They won’t find it creepy (like a Bumble BFF or random person might) because you both share a common friend, so you’re vetted for - so to speak. And then lovebomb away!
4. Start Volunteering
I know…since you’re currently friendless, it’s easy to feel like the less fortunate. (I get to say this because I used to be friendless).
I think volunteering is a great way to meet other people, because unlike Wine and Paint nights, or taking hobby classes, volunteering really makes you have to talk to someone. Someone needs to show you the ropes. You’re sitting at a table handing out information and talking to pass the time. It just requires conversation, and where there’s conversation - there’s usually friendship to follow.
5. Date Around
Why is it that it’s so much less embarassing to talk about trying to find a partner than it is to talk about trying to find a friend? I have no idea.
But at any rate, dating is a good way to meet people. You’ll meet your date, first of all. Then you’ll meet their friends. And then if you end up breaking it off with your original partner, you kinda need to cross your fingers and hope that your partner’s friends still want to be friends with you. So long as the breakup wasn’t too harsh, or you became really good friends with the person - this is totally possible.
There are of course the regular suggestions like:
Reaching out to old friends
Saying “yes” to every RSVP
Striking up a conversation at the gym
Making an account on Meetup.com
And I think that advice is good, but for someone like me who can’t just really strike up a conversation out of the blue (without feeling incredibly awkward), I prefer my above methods :)
So, do you have any tips of your own about how to find and make friendships as an adult?
If so, let me know here! I’m always curious to try new things out.
And lastly, if you’re struggling to find friends - just know that we’ve all been there. Having lots of friends in your life, in my opinion, is something that comes and goes in cycles. It can feel especially isolating because it’s a topic that no one really speaks about, but just know that you are not alone.
Internet wishes to you on your friend hunt,