January 31, 2012 at 10:19 pm #10392
I’ve seen the topic come up in a couple letters a few weeks ago.. (Also, I just joined DW! So excited! Nice to meet all of you.)
But, you know, I always hear how hard it is to find a boyfriend or a SO, and I used to think that all the time. But nowadays, it seems like it’s so easy to find a boy, but so hard to find good friends. I’m in college right now, and while it is filled with boys who want to hook up and date and what not, it seems almost impossible to find friends whom one can click with.
Coming from a high school where you grew up with you best friends, (…I guess this can be attributed to the fact that I find it hard in such a large environment) it feels so stressful trying to find that group of friends! I thought it was supposed to be a natural process, but I feel like I have to force encounters and hang outs before I’m actually remembered in people’s minds. Ahh, it makes me nervous just thinking about it! But everyone else seems to be doing just fine. I wonder if I’m too picky, but really, the only people I choose not to be friends with are those I know are “toxic”, or a total not good fit for me. Or maybe I’m overthinking? Doing something wrong? Focusing on it too much? Isn’t college the time you find best friends from your major and bridesmaids and other such wonders? I haven’t exactly found that and it’s been a year and a half..
I guess this was just a venting time for me, but I sometimes wonder if I’m not alone in feeling alone.January 31, 2012 at 10:39 pm #10394
I know it’s cliche, but have you joined any clubs that have an interest to you? I joined an event planning one when I was in school (they did comedy, music, speakers, variety, homecoming and the big end of the year concert) and so you were a part of a larger community, but could really focus your interests and that’s where I met some of my best friends.January 31, 2012 at 11:04 pm #10399
Just wait til you leave college. Then it’s a bitch to find either.January 31, 2012 at 11:54 pm #10404
Oh, I have definitely joined every club I might be even the tiniest bit interested! Sometimes, I even go to these clubs in hopes that I’ll connect with someone and in result I’ve slacked on my grades.. Not good.. But still, I feel like it’s already a clique environment in a club, sometimes. At least, I get that vibe. And half of the time I feel like I’m going in hopes of meeting a new friend, not for the actual club. I guess I should focus on something else. But thank you for your suggestion! I’m glad you met your best friends there.
Brad, ahh.. that’s not the best news, but somehow a tiny bit relieving to hear? Is that messed up? I always thought it’d be easier, with a job, those weird grocery run-ins magazines always mention, book clubs, bars, and so on. But maybe not..February 1, 2012 at 1:25 am #10410
I think in general it’s fairly easy to make new acquaintances, but SO hard to make lasting friendships. I have made just a couple of friends in college (for my “extended bachelor’s plan”, and now grad school); it’s not easy! And there are a couple I don’t even talk to anymore because our lives just went separate ways.
I find that for me, work is one of the easier places to make friends because you spend so much time with your coworkers. And it’s easy to invite people for parties, out to lunch together, after dinner drinks, etc.
More cliché-ness, just keep putting yourself out there. What I’ve done sometimes is sort of make up reasons to contact someone in class, for example. Like, there may be a test coming up and I’ll just start asking them questions (even if I have to make up questions), and that eventually leads to studying together, and then that leads to more talking/hanging out. It’s a long process. And I mean, if you think about your childhood friends, you may have been friends fairly quickly, but it took a while before you would hit “best friend” status, no?February 1, 2012 at 7:17 am #10424
I think Laura’s advice is great. Asking questions about school, gives you a reason to swap phone numbers or email addresses…which can lead to studying together and grabbing coffee. It sounds like you’re doing a good job of joining teams and clubs. Maybe now you should just relax Sometimes over-thinking these things just makes it worse. I also went away to a university where I didn’t know anyone, and often after I told people that, they’d make an effort to invite me out to events and parties.
I’m in the same boat as Brad. I’ve graduated, and it’s HARD to make friends outside of school. I’m also single, and most of my friends are married/getting married, and starting to have kids.February 1, 2012 at 7:46 am #10429
Nah I’d say college is still much better compared to working. Every office is different of course, but you might end up in a place like mine where the AVERAGE age is 53. I did have a few friends in the office but most of them have left or transfered. Really down to just 1 or 2 now in my building.
I’ve never had a grocery store run-in either but you might get lucky.February 1, 2012 at 10:55 am #10488
Honestly, I made friends in college, but all of my true best friends come from my adolescence. A lot of people make their lifelong best friends in college, but some meet them earlier, or later. In college, I found it pretty easy to meet people, but I met very few that I connected with in the same way I connected with my friends from home. Since I graduated, I’ve found it somewhat hard to make new friends, just because a lot of people don’t really seem open to it. I’ll meet people I think are really cool, but neither of us will actually make an effort to get each other’s numbers and follow up and plan to do something together. This is fine for me now, because I have a solid group of friends, but it would probably be a good idea for me to push myself out of my comfort zone a bit. I’m planning on moving to a new city this summer, and I’m pretty sure the only way for me to make new friends will be to be somewhat assertive about it. If you would like to get to know someone better, don’t just wait for it to happen organically, because it often won’t. I would suggest getting their number from the get-go and then actually using it–not just to see if they’re doing anything cool on a Saturday that you might want to stop by, but maybe to ask them out to coffee or to come with you to a yoga class or something. I think the older you get, the more people get stuck in their own routines and social circles, and the harder you have to try if you want to get close to new people.February 1, 2012 at 11:11 am #10494
I feel you. I’ve never been very outgoing, and in college I just kind of kept hanging out with my BFF from high school and our roommate, and one other friend from work and one other friend from HS. That’s really it. Then I moved. Then I moved again. And now I’m realizing just how hard it’s going to be to make new friends when I move again this summer.
I think the most important thing to remember is that most people LIKE to feel like you want to be their friend. As long as you’re not being super creepy about it, people do find it flattering to be invited to gatherings or asked on a “friend date” or whatever. I have to constantly remind myself of this, because for me the problem is a near-crippling fear of rejection, or being talked about as “that desperate-for-friends girl” or something.
I made a lot of good “one semester” friends in college, but usually lost touch as soon as we weren’t in class together anymore. That’s the point where, if there’s someone you really like and think you have a connection with, you have to make a real effort to stay in touch.
Also, be sure you’re not trying *too* hard…if you join too many clubs or try to go to ALL the activities, you’re just going to spread yourself really thin. Try picking a couple that you’re really interested in, so you can be more involved with those. It’s easier to talk to people you see more often.February 1, 2012 at 11:33 am #10507
@buttoned You are so not alone in this! I am horrible at making female friends. I have 1 friend from childhood, 1 friend from high school and 1 friend from college. The closest lives 450 miles from me. I moved in June to a totally new city and have not found a single female I want to be friends with yet. I also work from home so that makes things even more difficult!
I’ve heard going to the gym is a good place to meet people, maybe try taking a class at your school?February 1, 2012 at 11:50 am #10515
People will come in and out of your life at different points in time, exactly as you need them to. Some will hang out for a long long time, others will fizzle as your lives naturally take different paths. You’re doing all that you can. Just keep involving yourself in things and being as friendly and open as possible. Sometimes you meet people right away in college, other times it can take a while. My best friend in the whole wide world is the roommate I was randomly placed with my freshman year. Didn’t expect that to happen. One of our best friends we met as a friend of a friend of a friend that ended up being our suitemate for 2 years during school and a roommate after school. I had some really really excellent people in my life during college because we were going through a lot of the same stuff, but now that we’re done with school and our lives went in different directions, it kind of fizzled. Hell, you might even meet people through group projects in school. I’ve had that happen too. You just never know. I will second Brad that it does get so much harder after school, but not impossible. Sometimes you’ll get good friends in unlikely ways, too. For example, one of my good buddies is a man that is easily 35-40 years my senior. We worked on a contract together for a year and a half. We talk regularly. He was the pianist at my wedding. Don’t get discouraged if no one is clicking right away, and say yes to as many things as you can. It will happen for you eventually. People will always gravitate to someone interesting and friendly, especially with similar interests.February 2, 2012 at 2:09 pm #10794
You are so not the only one! I found it hard to make friends in college after my freshmen year. I lived in a suite (4 rooms and 8 girls) and a lot of us had pretty big things happen to us that year (breakups, parents divorced, etc) so we bonded in a way we never would. I know now if I met one of those girls in a club or in a class, I would have never became friends with them, because we are sooo different.
Now, I’m out of college and it’s sooo much harder. I joined Meetup, I joined the gym, dance classes, you name it. It’s still awkward and weird, and sometimes I feel like I’m the only one. But I second everyone who says to put yourself out there and make efforts to make friends. I finally made the effort to ask this girl I met at a meetup to try out this brunch place with me. I felt like I was asking her out on a date that’s how nervous I was hahaha
You can make friends, just stop comparing them to best friends who knew you your whole life. It’s too hard to do that. You aren’t going to be best friends with someone right away, but you could eventually become good friends after awhile.February 18, 2012 at 12:39 pm #13104
Thank you all for your wonderful and insightful replies. Sorry my is really late, I’ve been super busy with school. You’re right, I really shouldn’t compare the friends I make here to the best friends I had in high school, as that took many years to really develop. All I really crave is that group of friends whom I can hang out on a regular basis and just do random things with, without even asking. It’s just one of those understood things that we’re doing this together. I see that a lot here in college.
But I’ve never actually had that kind of interaction before, I’ve always been a 1-2 really close friends and then a bunch of friendly acquaintances kind of girl, so maybe I shouldn’t expect that? Making friends now, (I feel like I’m on a time crunch as I’ll be a junior next semester, and by that time, I’m SOL for making friends), is really stressing me out and affecting my grades, so maybe I’ll just take a breather and just focus on other things. So hard to do when you see what you want all around you, but you don’t have it yourself, haha!
Again, thank you all for your great advice, and for those who are having trouble making friends outside of college, I hope you find your friends too!February 18, 2012 at 1:12 pm #13110
A La ModeParticipant
The biggest obstacle that I have found is that friendship requires constant effort. You need to contact everyone on a regular basis, make time for them out of your schedule, and also have them place you in similar priority. I only have 2 friends, but that’s really all I can handle. It’s just a matter of trial-and-error until you find people who want to hang out with you as much as you want to hang out with them.February 18, 2012 at 1:14 pm #13111
But where do you draw the line between “Hey! I’m making an effort to contact you to hang out ‘cos I like you!” And “Hey! I’ve been contacting you on a regular basis and, although we’re hanging out, you never seem to make an effort to contact me too!”
I get that a lot. A lot of them say they’ve just been busy, and while they do hang everytime I ask, it’s frustrating initiating it all the time.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
by buttoned on · in