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How To Make Friends
After College

Amanda Hoyle, M.Ed., Psy.M. • 10 Minute Read

Making friends in college is as easy as finding somebody in your class that you see every day and simply speaking to them. They have the same interests as you, it might be the same class or the two of you are doing the same course.

However, making friends after college proves to be a challenge. You may find yourself struggling to maintain your friendships from college, meeting people after college, or maybe both. You might have to step out of your comfort zone to make friends.

This article aims to guide you on how to make new friends after college.

Where To Meet Friends After College

Online

Lately, we’re all glued to our phones, so why not use them to our advantage. Use your online resources to meet people. Websites like https://bumble.com/bff, https://www.meetup.com, Eventbrite, and Friender are ideal websites for finding people with common interests. The internet is not only designed for dating apps and for hooking up. Find people who share your interests and spark up a conversation. Online apps help those who are shy to speak to people in person. You can message anybody from the comfort of your living room. This can happen over the phone and soon lead to the two of you meeting at a coffee place.

Friendship apps are a good way to figure out how to meet people after college. The difference between friendship apps and dating apps lies in the intentions of the individual. Keep it friendly and you can make a friend. If it forms into a relationship, then well done!

Volunteering

This is a great way of meeting people and helping the community. It could be every Saturday, spending about an hour with them. Over time, you would start to feel more comfortable with these people and if you have some social anxiety, you can just leave. You can try speaking to them again next Saturday. You’re spending all this time with your fellow volunteers that your social anxiety might disappear. Stay behind after the activities are done and invite one of them for a cup of coffee or get their number to stay in contact outside of volunteering. You could have moved and you’re asking people how to make friends after college in a new city. Volunteering is a perfect example.

Volunteering and meeting people online serve as opportunities for socially anxious or shy people to make friends in their comfort. They aren’t thrown into the deep end but they can make friends this way. Sometimes, looking for friends can be as efficient as sending someone a message online.

How To Make Friends Out Of College

Take The Initiative To Socialize

In college, we were surrounded by like-minded people daily. You could speak to anybody or even be approached by anybody. Your social life had no limits. A secret that most people used in making friends in college was taking the step to socialize. After college, it’s a little more difficult but still possible. Take the initiative by having a simple conversation with people sharing some of your interests. This serves as a wonderful tool to make new friends if you’ve recently moved to a new city and don’t know anybody.

Join groups that relate to your interests. If you like to jog, try and find a local jogging club. If you like photography, join a photography group. If you don’t have any hobbies or strong passions, doing something that you enjoy serves as a social interest.

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Be Present

As humans, we often spend most of our time thinking about ourselves and our future. We often stress about the things that we need to get done. You can fall into a state of deep thought and be unaware of your surroundings. This is quite bad when you’re busy speaking to someone. It makes you seem uninterested in them. Remember that being a good listener is critical in forming deep relationships.

Create a sense of genuine interest. If you’ve had a previous conversation with that person, ask relevant questions that might have come up. This shows that you were listening and were present. Take note of birthdays or any upcoming dates important to the person that you’re speaking to. Maybe write down these dates if you can’t remember.

This last tip is a big one for everybody: Avoid using your phone while the other person is talking. Live in the moment, your phone can be buzzing forever but the time you spend with another human being could come to an end.

Take All The Chances You Get To Socialize

Just start a conversation. Start small, speak to a sales consultant at a retail store. They are obliged to speak to you. Also, speak to cashiers or waiters. There is less pressure because the conversation ends once you’ve paid. You are in control of the length and topic of the conversation. These are numerous opportunities you create to increase your chances of speaking to somebody new. You might be shy and new to speaking to others, this exercise helps you build confidence. Your social anxiety might also fade away if this exercise is done repeatedly.

Mental Health Challenges

If you struggle with any mental health issues, it's important to address this first. Seek professional help, whether it comes in the form of online consultations or face-to-face meetings. You can form a good connection with your therapist who may also help you make new friends. The good connection you form with your therapist isn’t something that happens overnight, work at it and the results you get may prove to be helpful.

You could join a support group where people like yourself come together and speak about their problems. You might not speak at first but the group might take all the spotlight off of you and once you’re ready, you can speak up at your comfort level.

If a support group seems too intimidating, seek professional help in the form of a therapist. Somebody who can provide you with one on one assistance. Also, don’t shut people out or distance yourself. Share with close friends and family what you’re going through. Some people would assume that your absence is a sign of you not wanting them around.

Let People In

Saying no to social offers proves to be a habit amongst most of us. It just seems easier. Especially for things outside of your comfort zone. You can make the excuse of being too tired. At the end of the day, you’re only shooting yourself in the foot. You would think that going out with those people wouldn’t benefit you in any way possible. The fact of the matter is that saying Yes, on occasion, makes you seem more friendly, even if you’re an introvert. You could meet your soulmate (if you’re single) or even make a buddy that will be beneficial to you in the future. All you need to do is to say yes.

Try this exercise. Say yes to 2 out of 3 invitations. This way, you’re saying yes but also keeping your introverted personality safe with the last no. If you say no too often, people might not invite you ever again. It only takes one no to stop your friends from inviting you out again. Remember, your future best friend is out there, just waiting to get to know you.

Conclusion: Making Friends After College

At the end of the day, the key element in common for each of these options to make friends as an adult is to take initiative. Building relationships as an adult isn't simply about showing up to class every day. If you’re searching for some new friends, you’ll need to step a little outside of your comfort zone and make an effort to connect with others. It may feel a little awkward, but the friendships you build will be worth it.

Amanda Hoyle, M.Ed., Psy.M
Amanda is a proficient and widely publisced educational leader, with Master's degrees in both Education and Psychology.
Related Articles
Amanda Hoyle, M.Ed., Psy.M
Amanda is a proficient and widely published educational leader, with Master's degrees in both Education and Psychology.
Related Articles
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