Photo: Simon Maage on Unsplash
Adulthood is tough. You have to deal with many new responsibilities such as college, jobs, taxes, insurance, living on your own, and relationships. With everyone getting different opportunities and heading down their own paths, your closest friends from school may not be a simple phone call away all the time. Making friends at a later age becomes more challenging, especially after college. However, there are several ways to build relationships with others in a new setting, perhaps a place you have relocated to for work. For the sake of this article, all suggestions will be based on making friends after college is over. Here are some ways to meet new people and potentially strike up a great new friendship:
Your hobbies and interests are a direct way to make new friends. If you are looking to get involved in a new community, you may choose to participate in a local painting class, drawing class, join something similar to an intramural team, etc. Getting involved in an activity that relates to your interests is a good means of meeting new people because these are recurring events, often smaller groups, and everyone shares a common interest. This enables you to build a strong relationship with those in the group, and perhaps a stronger one with a couple particular people.
Whether you initially work part-time or get a full-time job, the workplace is great to strike up new friendships. You will be seeing your co-workers plenty during the week, and you may have similar interests to co-workers who are closer in age to yourself. If it clicks, you may be meeting up with fellow employees after work or during the weekends.
Though apps are more commonly geared towards finding romantic relationships, there is one app that can streamline your profile to find a buddy. The app Bumble, known as an app counterpart to Tinder, has a feature called Bumble BFF, where you can be matched with other people in hopes of creating a friendship. This is a quick, efficient way to find and make connections in a new area without having to leave your bed, essentially. You can find someone who fits your interests and potentially build a network off this. An app is most useful if you happen to move to an area where you have minimal or no connections.
If any family members (close or distant) happen to live near an area where you may move to, it may be beneficial to contact them and ask if they know anybody you can create a relationship with, from a platonic sense. Odds are they may pinpoint someone they feel could get along with you, which may be more practical than searching yourself in the beginning.
Your New Network
This one requires a bit of explaining, but all the previously mentioned parts of the article help build on it. See, the previous points were meant to help you find one or two people to potentially build a friendship with. In the case a strong friendship emerges from a successful scenario, you may be introduced to others in somebody’s network. Thus, these introductions to others expands your own network, and it may keep growing. Knowing one person can lead to a web of connections in a new area, benefitting your social life, easing a relocation transition, and creating hope for the future that life will be sunny in a new place after all.
Though friendships from school can last for life, many of them may become virtual due to others pursuing different interests in different places. This doesn’t mean you are hopeless socially, as there are many ways to strike up friendships in a completely foreign place to you. It may happen through others, an app, a football game, or even by random chance. Just have faith, because if you had the courage to move somewhere new on your own and begin work to reach professional prestige, making new friends is only one part of the start of something special.
Rishi Patel is a senior majoring in Communication Studies at the University of Iowa. He has written as an intern for SPORTalk and Study Breaks Magazine. He also loves to write fiction, non-fiction, and poetry as a hobby to expand his writing prowess. He hopes to work as a writer/editor when he graduates.