Many people say that your best days are college days. So, for many, the world after college seems daunting. Making friends at college feels easy. For a start, there are a whole bunch of people the same age as you, all in the same boat, looking for friends. Then there are clubs, organized events, nights out, and classes where it’s super easy to meet like-minded people. But how to make friends after college can be overwhelming.
Of course, when you graduate the real world feels different. You might be moving to a new place, getting a new job, or going off on an adventure to explore the world. Whatever you end up doing after college, after years of having it easy, with little effort, you feel a little anxious about finding, making, and keeping new friends in the future.
How to make friends after college
Well, the good news is that by putting a little time and effort into making new friends you open yourself up to whole new groups of people. No matter how lonely you feel, you’ll find you have a new group *or even several groups* of great friends in no time.
So how do you go about making friends after college? Here are 15 great tips.
#1 Take a class. What better way than to learn something new and make friends at the same time? Taking a class is a great way to meet like-minded people, learn a new skill, and have some fun.
Whether it’s learning a new language or brushing up on your computer skills you will no doubt be able to find something useful, as well as a chance to meet new people. [Read: How to become an intellectual: Learn to fake it ’til you make it]
#2 Hit the gym. The gym doesn’t have to just be about working out! It is also a social space where you find new friends. Gyms offer fun classes. Why not try to find a fitness class that interests you and attend regularly?
You’ll soon get to know the familiar faces and find it easy to strike up conversations. The gym cafe is a great place to have a smoothie and get to know people better too!
#3 Take up a new sport. Sports are simply made for meeting new people. Figure out what your favorite sport is and find out where to join a team. You may just want to have a knock about playing football after work with a casual team, or you could join a tennis or rowing club, get into yoga or go sailing. The world really is your oyster!
Just try to pick something you do in a team. Then you already have something in common with common goals from the outset—perfect!
#4 Reconnect with old pals. If you move to a new city, maybe you know someone who used to live there that you could reconnect with. Also think about family and family friends to get back in touch with.
It might be that you don’t have a lot in common anymore, but you never know, you could end up getting on like a house on fire! [Read: How to make new friends as an adult: 15 ways to do it right]
#5 Meet friends of friends. When you make a new friend become a bit of a friend thief! Chances are if the two of you get on you’ll get on well with all their friends too. Try to orchestrate situations where you meet up in groups. Then try to make bonds with the rest of them too!
#6 Go online. The internet is a great place if you are looking for new friends. Here you’ll find all sorts of information about events going on in your area that leads to you meeting a whole bunch of new people, from book clubs to gigs, fairs and events, to organized walks or sporting activities. Going online should become your new best friend—until you find actual ones that is!
#7 Get some new hobbies. If you want to meet new people find new things that interest you. Take a martial arts class, join the local choir, take up tap dancing or join a knitting club.
Whatever you think you might be interested in, give it a go and see where it takes you. You might have to go out of you comfort zone every once in a while, but the pay off in great friendships will be well worth it.
#8 Make an effort with your coworkers. Starting a new job might feel daunting, but one of the easiest ways to make new friends is by making an effort with your new coworkers.
Not only do you have your work in common, but you see each other almost every day. You can bond over work stresses and highs and lows, so this is one of the best places to start on your hunt for new friends. [Read: How to be good friends with your coworkers]
#9 Try a Meetup. Meetups are a great way to meet like-minded people and start new friendships. Almost every city has Meetups available to suit different people looking for different things. Simply search for Meetups in your city online and find one that sounds like fun to you, then go along.
#10 Use social media. If you want to know how to make friends after college while sitting your ass at home, just try social media. Social media is super helpful if you are looking for new friends in your area, so make sure you use it. Look for Instagram and Twitter accounts of people in your area and connect with them if you like the sound of them.
It might not be the fastest way to being bosom buddies, but it serves you well in the long run.
#11 Explore your city. Get out there and explore your city, find out what great things there are about it and decide on your favorite places to hang out.
You might get to know the bar staff at your local bar or just end up bumping into the same person who walks their dog in your local park over and over. Friendships happen so easily if you get out there and explore! [Read: How to have fun with friends: 30 really fun ways to beat boredom]
#12 Make the first move. When it comes to making new friends after college don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and make the first move. Moving from ‘the girl you say hi to at yoga’ to ‘going for a friendly drink together’ might feel daunting, but if you don’t ask then you might never move on from that.
#13 Keep up the momentum. Once you have made an effort to reach out to someone, keep up the momentum. Make sure you remember to call or text someone when you say you will. If you had a nice chat with someone at a class, make sure you go back the next week. If your work holds lots of social events make sure you go to them even if it feels like a bit of an effort from time to time!
#14 Get set up on a ‘friend’ date. If you don’t know anyone in your city but your friend does, ask them to hook the two of you up. It’s an easy way to meet new people that you know have already been ‘vetted’ by your friends! [Read: Good friends are like stars: 18 ways to build lasting relationships]
#15 Be approachable. The more approachable you are the easier it will be to make new friends. Be friendly, smile, take an interest in others, and you’ll find yourself with a great group of new friends in no time at all!
[Read: Don’t have friends? Uncomfortable reasons why your life’s how it is]
When it comes to knowing how to make friends after college, you can’t just sit in your apartment and expect a million new people to flock to you. But if you are willing to step out of your comfort zone from time to time, you’ll definitely be able to add more friends and have a more exciting life.
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