Learn how to get a social life after college and make friends as an adult.
For many college students, college is an exciting time. Not only do you get to experience independence from your parents, but you also have lots of opportunities to learn about yourself and make new friends.
It is also relatively easier to make friends in college because of the wide varieties of activities you participate in as a college student:
- Group projects, class work, or study groups
- Extracurricular activities
- College parties
- Finding new college roommates every so often
However, once you graduate from college, you may find yourself struggling either (1) maintaining the friendships you made in college, (2) making friends after college, or (3) both.
If you are finding yourself anxious about your social life after college, this blog post is all about how to make friends after college. More specifically, we will discuss 10 ways you can meet new people after school is all said and done.
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Is it hard to make new friends after college?
Making friends in the real world is not as easy as it was in college.
This is because after college, people have different priorities and are more focused on “adult” things, like working, getting family, and raising kids.
But don’t fret!
Even though this may seem to be the case with everyone on your Facebook or Instagram feed, there are plenty of college graduates who are still looking to make friends.
It just takes a little extra work on your part to seek these friendships out in your community or at work and maintain them long-term.
So to avoid feeling lonely and to make sure you always have a friend when you are in need, here are a 10 ways you can make new friends post college graduation.
10 ways to make friends in your 20s
Looking to keep your social life intact after college? Or maybe you are anxious about having no friends after college.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to find and make new friends even after college is over. Below we will discuss 10 ways to make friends after you graduate.
Many of these strategies will get you out of your apartment/house and into your community with likeminded individuals who can potentially become your next BFF. So without further a do, let’s get started!
1. Attend events that align with your interests
One of the best ways to start making friends after graduating college is to put yourself out there by attending events in your community that interest you.
For example, if you like running, you can find a local running club’s Facebook page, reach out to a member, and attend their weekly group runs or sign-up for a local 5k and mingle with the racers before and after the race.
Or maybe you like making pottery. You could find a local pottery studio near you, sign-up for a class, and make friends there.
Making friends at these events can be quite easy because you already share at least one common interest and this can help you strike up a conversation with an attendee at the event.
2. Befriend your neighbors
Whether you moved across town to be closer to work, back home with your parents, or across the country for an awesome job opportunity, it’s a good idea to make friends with your neighbors.
Now, you don’t have to be BFFs with your neighbors, but being on good terms with them can be beneficial if you go out of town and need someone to take in the mail, take care of your pet, or someone to say hello to in the afternoon when grabbing your mail.
If you move into an apartment complex or a neighborhood that has individuals around your age, this can also be a good opportunity to find friends to hang out with and get close to.
Some apartment complexes have special community events that allows you to network with your neighbors. Try going to one of those events and seeing who you end up meeting.
You could also bring your neighbors a plate of cookies and introduce yourself to neighbors you may want to befriend or attend a neighborhood BBQ during the summer.
3. Get close to your coworkers
After you graduate from college, the most practical way to make friends is through work especially if you work all the time.
And honestly, it’s to your benefit to make friends at work because:
- You’re there 5 days a week for about 40 hours, so you might as well make friends with those you’re spending all that time with
- Friends who are coworkers can make hard days at work more tolerable
- Coworkers who you are close with are more likely to help you when you feel overwhelmed at work
- It can increase your performance and productivity at work (source)
- It’s way better than making enemies at work, having a toxic work environment, and quitting your job because of it
Also, for the most part, your coworkers are “automatic” friends and it can be easy to grow close to them.
Likewise, the longer you stay at your job, the more your coworkers will naturally get to know you and befriend you. And this is great if you’re an introvert!
However, if you want to build tighter knit friendships with your coworkers then you need to put in some extra effort like:
- Inviting your coworkers out to dinner after work
- Having a coworker movie night at your apartment
- Going out on a double with your significant others
- Inviting your coworkers out to go wine tasting with you
4. Piggy back off of your friend’s friends
If you are more introverted in nature or are struggling to find the time or motivation to attend events in your community you could always use your current friends to help you make more friends.
For instance, if your friend is inviting you out to dinner with their friends, go ahead and accept the invite. It may be a little uncomfortable at first, but you never know who you will click with until you meet them.
Also, your friend’s friends are already “pre-approved” people and there’s a good chance those people will be similar to you in some capacity (source). And that makes connecting with them a little easier.
5. Find volunteer opportunities
If you are looking to make friends after college and help your local community, then volunteering can be a great way to accomplish both.
Most likely, you will volunteer for a causes that mean something to you. And, most likely, the people who you volunteer with will also have that common interest with you.
With that being said, it will be easier to make friends with the people you volunteer with because you already having something in common to bond over.
Plus, if the volunteer work you do is regular, like every Saturday or once a month, you’ll be able to grow closer to the group you volunteer with overtime. And that can lead to great, long-term friendships.
6. Use social media
After college many graduates use social media, like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat to keep in touch with their friends and to make new ones.
On Facebook, you can join Facebook Groups, which makes it super easy to connect with people around your age who have the interests or life experiences as you.
For example, if you love personal finance, you can join a Facebook group centered around personal finance and make virtual connections with the group members.
Also, on many social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and LinkedIn, you can direct message (DM) people you’re interested in getting to know or people you haven’t spoken to in awhile.
And I know DMing a “random” person on social media can be awkward, but you never know what could happen just by sending a quick DM to that girl you had biology class with your freshman year of college. Who knows, she could end up being a bridesmaid at your wedding!
7. Attend group workout classes
Attending group fitness classes, whether that is at your local gym or at a boutique fitness studio, like Orangetheory or Pure Barre, can help you make friends in your 20s, while still receiving all the benefits of getting a great workout in.
By attending group workout classes you can make friends with individuals who enjoy the same way of staying in shape as you and you’ll have someone to talk to before and after class.
The friends you make at the gym can also help keep you accountable to your fitness goals and inspire you to work harder to reach your goals. It’s certainly a win-win type of friendship!
8. Attend conferences
Networking at conferences, whether it’s for work or for a personal interest, can be a great way to make friends or professional relationships in your line of work.
A great part about conferences is that the people who are attending these conferences already have similar interests to you. So that’ll help you make connections and friends easier.
And if you plan on going to a conference for a personal interest, like for a hobby or faith-based conference, you can use social media to help find someone to split the cost of a hotel room or AirBnb.
Not only does this lessen your travel expenses, but it can also help you make a built-in conference buddy before you even physically attend the conference.
9. Use friend finder apps
They’re great if you’re more introverted in nature or just moved to a new city.
Unlike regular social media apps, where it may be awkward reaching out to someone you don’t know via direct messaging, these apps do all the “heavy-lifting” for you.
All you have to do is create a profile, add in your interests, and start swiping and viewing your potential friendship matches.
10. Go on group travel trips
Traveling is a great way to make friends and memories even after the good ole days of college are over.
Going on a trip with a travel group can help you get out of your comfort zone, meet unique individuals from around the world, and cure your travel bug all at the same time.
Concluding thoughts on how to make friends as an adult
Graduating college, although exciting, is also bittersweet as you part ways with the friends you have made in college.
Hopefully you will keep in touch with a few close classmates or roommates, but you’ll most likely need to find new ways of making friends.
In this blog post, we discussed 10 ways to make friends after college in your 20s. Many of these strategies can be done on your own time and within your own comfort zone.
I hope the methods we have discussed today have inspired you to reach out to someone on Instagram to grab lunch or to find an opportunity in your community to help you start making new and exciting post-college friendships. Good luck!
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- 9 Steps All College Seniors Should Take Before Entering Adulthood
- 7 Things No One Tells You About Life After College
- 20 Things All 20-Somethings Should Know How To Do