Find out how to make friends and get a social life after college.
College is exciting for many students. In addition to learning about yourself, you make lots of new friends and get to experience independence from your parents.
College also makes it easier to make friends because you get to do so many different things:
- Projects, classes, or study groups
- Different roommates
However, once you graduate from college, you might have trouble either (1) keeping the friends you made in college, (2) making friends after college, or (3) both.
I’ve got some tips for making friends after college if you’re anxious about your social life. Let’s talk about how to meet new people once you’re done with school.
After college, is it hard to make new friends?
In the real world, making friends is harder than in college. After college, people have different priorities and are more focused on “adult” things, like working, getting married, and having kids.
Despite what it seems like on Facebook or Instagram, there are still plenty of college graduates out there looking for friends. It just takes a little more effort on your part to get and keep these friendships in your community or at work. Here are 10 ways to make new friends after college graduation to avoid feeling lonely and to have a friend when you need it.
You can use these strategies to get out of your house/apartment and meet new people in your community who may become your new BFF. Let’s get started!
1. Attend events that interest you
Attending events in your community that interest you is one of the best ways to make friends after college. You can, for instance, find a local running club’s Facebook page, contact a member, attend their weekly group runs or sign-up for a local 5k, and mingle with the others. Maybe you like to make pottery. You could find a pottery studio near you, take a class, and meet new people. Meeting people at these events can be quite easy since you have at least one thing in common and you can start a conversation with them.
2. Meet your neighbors
You should make friends with your neighbors, whether you moved across town for work, back home with your parents, or across the country for a great job opportunity. You don’t have to be BFFs with your neighbors, but keeping in touch will come in handy if you go out of town and need someone to pick up the mail, take care of your pet, or just someone to say hi to in the afternoon. You can also meet friends to hang out with if you move into a complex or neighborhood with people your age. A lot of apartment complexes have special community events where you can meet your neighbors. Go to one and see who you meet. Bring your neighbors some cookies and introduce yourself, or go to a neighborhood BBQ.
3. Get to know your coworkers
Once you’ve graduated from college, the best way to make friends is through your job, especially if you work all the time. Plus, it’s good for you to make friends at work because:
- When you’re there 5 or more days a week for 40+ hours, you might as well make friends with those you’re spending all that time with
- Workplace friends can make hard days a little easier
- People you’re close to are more likely to help you when you’re stressed
- It’ll boost your performance and productivity at work
- You’re better off than making enemies at work, having a toxic work environment, and quitting because of it
You’re also likely to grow close to your coworkers because they’re “automatic” friends.
You’ll naturally get to know your coworkers and be friends the longer you’re there. Perfect for introverts! You have to put in a little extra effort if you want to build a closer bond with your coworkers. You can consider:
- Dinner with coworkers
- Having coworkers over for a movie night
- Going on a double date with your significant other
- Taking your coworkers wine tasting
4. Take advantage of your friends’ friends
Your friends could help you make more friends if you’re more introverted or have trouble finding time or motivation to go to events in your community. If your friend invites you for dinner with their friends, go ahead and accept. It may feel weird at first, but you don’t really know who you’ll click with until you meet them. Plus, your friend’s friends are already “pre-approved” and there’s a good chance they’re similar to you. That should make it easier to connect.
5. Become a volunteer
Volunteering can be an excellent way to meet new friends and help your local community after college. Most likely, you’ll volunteer for a cause you care about. It’s likely that the people who volunteer with you will share that interest too. You’ll be able to make friends with the people you volunteer with because you have something in common. Plus, if you do volunteer work regularly, like every Saturday or once a month, you’ll get to know the group you volunteer with. And that leads to great friendships.
6. Use social media
After college, many graduates use social media to stay in touch with friends and meet new ones. On Facebook, you can join Facebook Groups, which make it easy to meet people your age who have the same interests or life experiences as you. If you’re into personal finance, you can join a Facebook group centered around it and make virtual friends with those in the group.
You can also send direct messages to people you’d like to get to know or people you haven’t talked to in a while on many social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and LinkedIn. And I know it’s weird to DM a “random” person on social media, but you never know what can happen just by reaching out to that girl you had biology class with last year.
7. Attend group workout classes
You can make friends in your 20s by attending group fitness classes, whether that is at your local gym or at a boutique studio, such as Orangetheory or Pure Barre.
If you attend group workout classes, you can make friends with people who appreciate the same kind of exercise as you, and you’ll have someone to talk to before and after class.
Making gym friends can also help hold you accountable to your fitness goals and motivate you to work harder to reach them. It’s definitely a win-win situation!
8. Attend conferences
Meeting people at conferences, whether you’re there for work or for pleasure, can be a great way to make friends and contacts. Conferences are great because the people who attend them already have similar interests to yours. That will make making friends and connections easier.
If you’re going to a conference for a personal reason, like for a hobby or faith-based conference, you can share a hotel room or Airbnb with someone. It’ll not only save you money on travel, but you’ll also have a buddy at the conference before you’re there.
9. Use friend finder apps
There are some mobile apps these days for people looking for friends, like Bumble BFF and Friender. If you’re introverted or just moved to a new city, they’re perfect for you. Unlike regular social media apps, where you might feel awkward sending a direct message to someone you don’t know, these apps do all the work for you. To get started, just make a profile, add your interests, and start swiping.
10. Go on group travel trips
Even after college’s over, traveling is a great way to make friends and memories.
It’s easy to find travel groups on Google, like G Adventures and EF Ultimate Break.
You can meet fun people from all over the world, get out of your comfort zone, and cure your travel bug all at once by taking a trip with a travel group.
Final thoughts about making friends as an adult
Even though it’s exciting to graduate college, parting ways with your friends is bittersweet.
There will probably be a few close classmates or roommates you keep in touch with, but you’ll probably have to make new friends. Most of these strategies are easy to do on your own time in your own comfort zone. You may be inspired to connect with someone on Instagram for lunch or find a fun opportunity in your community to begin making new and exciting friends outside of college. Have fun!