Chat With Chels: How Do I Make Friends In The Real World?
I am fresh out of college and currently going through the whirl wind of settling into “adulthood.” I recently moved to Denver for a job which I know I am lucky to have but adjusting to post grad life hasn’t been the easiest, especially without family or friends close by. I was in a sorority in college and I always had my best friends around me 24/7 so, going from that to feeling incredibly lonely has been a struggle. The people that I work with are older than me and are already established with a family so I feel weird asking any of them to hang out with me. I’m a social person so not being able to pick up the phone and call a girlfriend to go explore the city or meet for dinner is putting a huge cloud over my new chapter. I want to be out with friends instead of sitting on the couch wondering why making friends in your twenties is so hard. What would you do if you were me?
Thank you so much,
Party Of One
Dear Party Of One:
Thank you for taking the time to reach out and open up, I know it isn’t always easy to do. First and foremost, even though you may feel otherwise, this is a completely normal phase and something that I too experienced first hand.
When I moved to LA I hardly knew a soul. I spent many nights crying myself to sleep and one day I woke up and realized I had two options: 1. I could keep crying about it or 2. I could do something about it. It took me some time but I eventually realized that option #2 was the way to go. My parents have always taught me the importance of “showing up” even if you don’t want to so that’s exactly what I began to do. If I heard the slightest whisper of a happy hour or networking event - I made sure I went. Now, three years have passed and even though I, just like you, miss my sorority sisters every single day I have formed a quality group of friends.
So, what does this mean for you? You too have to put in the effort. I wish I could tell you that a solid group of girlfriends will magically appear out of thin air but, unfortunately, that is not the case. I would suggest looking into groups via Eventbrite or Meet Up. Whether you like hiking, reading, drinking wine or volunteering there seems to be a group for every hobby / passion so hopefully you will find a group tailored to you! Beyond that, I wouldn’t be shy to ask for help. By that I mean, there is no shame in posting a Facebook status saying that you just moved and welcome suggestions / connections. Once you begin to meet people and form friendships don’t be afraid to voice that you don’t know that many people – you will be surprised how many others are in the same position as you!
Lastly, please do not be hard on yourself because this stage in life will not last forever. One day, as you are sitting around a table full of new friends who have turned into family, you will smile at yourself thinking about how far you have come.
You always have a friend in me,
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