Wednesday, February 27, 2013 | By: Brianna

Make New Friends

Okay.  I have a really dumb question:

How do people make friends outside of school?

I knew this was going to be a problem when I found myself asking myself this very question before I graduated.  All my friends I've made through school and being in classes with them and living in the same building or working with them.  In theory, the same can be true of making friends in "The Real World," right? You make friends with the people you work with, invite them out to dinner or drinks after work and you hang out?  You make friends with the people you do things with.  Theoretically.

And also of note is that you keep the friends that you already had.  The ones from college and high school who you kept in touch with and still have things in common.  The problem with this is that sometimes these people are scattered.  They have different work schedules, they live just that little bit too far away to call spur of the moment to hang out.  So though you could spontaneously hang out while you were all at school and you could crash their room, now you have to plan to see these people and plan on spending whole days or evenings with them to make the most of your time because you don't know when you're going to see them again.

But for real.  How do people make friends on this side of graduation?

I'm having a distinct difficulty with this.  I'm working on going to events within the community in order to make friends.  That's all well and good except that the majority of the people who go to community events at libraries and stuff?  They're all well over 50.  Or 60.  I don't have a problem with older folk as long as they don't pinch my cheeks or condescend to me, but I can't really invite them to hang out late at night when I can't sleep.  [this is where I say/think something horrible about older people but choose not to say it because I can say it verbally to people who ask me in person]  I wanted to go to a book discussion yesterday, but when I got home in the snow, my gloves and my gym shoes were wet through and I was cold, and I just didn't want to move.  So I stayed in and watched Total Recall and The Little Mermaid, while knitting a Hufflepuff scarf.  I'll let you imagine that for a second...

Though I identify as an introvert, I need people.  I don't see people who aren't related to me very often, and when I feels like I'm out of practice with the whole "social interaction" thing.  So I'm awkward.  Which is nothing new, but I notice.

So I'm trying to think of other things I can do.  It's been suggested that I volunteer.  I'm helping out with the Girl Scout troop that I've been a part of for years and helping out one of the leaders that I've known forever, but they only meet twice a month.  So that leaves 28 days out of the month with nothing to do for Brianna.  So I've got plenty of time to volunteer, I just need to find a place and a thing that I'm excited about and that's nearby and that will take all the time that I have to dedicate to it.

I'm also trying to come up with projects to give myself.  To have myself put together something, make something, do something that's constructive.  Pinterest is awesome for this.  These are mostly solo activities, so that leaves me in another lonely rut.  No people.  Unless I do these craft projects in a public place, which could be awkward, but definitely a conversation starter?

I think a large part of this could be solved by mustering the courage to go to things and do things on my own.  It'd be good for me, right?  Like vegetables.  But then I'm afraid that instead of feeling, "Yeah, I did this all on my own!" I'd feel even more lonely than I did before I went to some event all by myself.

Maybe I could take a class.  Unfortunately, spring semester's already started, so that's right out.  But maybe over the summer if I'm still in the area, I could take a class and make friends with my classmates.  That's something I'm good at.  Making friends with classmates.  Easy.

So that's what I've got: community events, volunteering, and an extra class.  Is that it?  Is this where people make friends?  Or is it the case of upperclass residence halls that everyone already has their established group of friends and they're not interested in meeting new people?  So...what then?  How am I to be expected to make friends with people who aren't interested in making any new friends or how do I find the people who want one more friend who's me?

This blog post brought to you by: The Post-Graduate Experience -- you thought it was all over when you left college, but it was really just the beginning.  Find yourself while slogging through complicated emotions, all while living with your parents!  Now for the low price of your student loans!  Don't wait, call now!

"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: 'What!  You too?  I thought I was the only one.'"
- C.S. Lewis


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