Old 10-21-2012, 02:59 PM
Meeting People and Making Friends After College

I've had a concern recently as I will be obtaining my undergraduate degree within a few months and then go off into the work force (hopefully I will get a job!). I've made a few friends through my college experience but, as a long-distance commuter, only one or two would I consider good friends. Additionally, the field that I am in is a high-stress, very technical job that requires (mostly) independent work and isn't the kind of atmosphere that allows for many strong friendships to be forged. My job may also require me to relocate to another city post-graduation where I would know NOBODY and lose even my rather modest circle of close friends that I've developed and depended on for social connection for the past few years.

Although I will pursue a Masters (and perhaps P.H.D.) later in life, I most likely will spend a few years gaining experience in industry before furthering my education SO...

My questions are as follows:
Outside of school and excluding work, how do you make friends and form strong relationships after college? Particularly in an environment where you don't know anyone? Additionally, how do you meet women (or for women, men... although I don't think women have as much trouble meeting partners as men do later in life as women are almost constantly being pursued whereas men are the pursuers)?

I've come to realize that almost all of my friendships/relationships have formed due to working at retail jobs that require teamwork or through school--both environments that easily allow (and almost demand) for social interaction.

Last edited by FireCaptain4; 10-21-2012 at 03:10 PM..
Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2012, 03:52 PM
I've had a lot of experience in this area and will get back later in the early morning hours when I have more time to give a thoughtful response. For now, just trust the random guy on the Internet and know that you'll pull through, more grown, seeing and appreciating things you'd never realized. It takes more to meet people as an outsider than to hold on to the people that are part of what's essentially your comfort zone but it will happen and those relationships will mean something to you that you've never had before. Don't panic. Just make sure you pack your towel.
Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2012, 06:39 PM
I received my undergrad in 2008 and decided to jump into the work force, so my first bit of advice to you is to go back to school. Now is the best time to do it. I thought getting some real world experience under my belt which has been nice but with the economy the way it is and my desire to go back to school decreasing by the nanosecond I would suggest going back to school while you are still in the mindset of a student. It is much more difficult going back when you have spent some time away from school

But if that is not an option for you then, to answer your original question I will try to give you an adequate response based on my own personal experience. I recently moved from Lexington, Kentucky to Tampa, Florida. Not for a job or any opportunity in particular but because I wanted a new atmosphere and felt that this was a time in my life that I would be able to relocate freely where I wanted to. I am single, have money saved and no dependents.

As far as making friends when work is not an option and you are a new face in a new town, look to things that you are familiar with and you yourself enjoy. For instance I have made friends through the University of Kentucky (my alma mater) Alumni Association down here. We get together for football and basketball games. Same goes for New York Giants football games. I found where they meet on a weekly basis and started to hang out with them. I also joined the Florida Film network and have attended a few meetings making some acquaintances that way. As far as girls go, you're on your own. I meet girls at bars but it's not my favorite way to do so. As long as you can find another single guy to hang out with you in social environments you should be fine.

This is all I got for you. Hope it helps.
Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2012, 06:42 PM
Outside of work, there isn't much. I'm 28 and I only have friends from work and old friends from school. Dating pretty much sucks too. All the good women got snagged up early, and you are left with the man-eaters, damaged goods, and transgenders (that was an awkward surprise). It's a lonely world outside of college.
Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2012, 09:38 PM
Originally Posted by Bob Loblaw View Post
and you are left with the man-eaters
Yes. But it's what they eat that matters
Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2012, 09:44 PM
I always take for Granted the fact that I have had life long friends. I am 28 years old (well, 27, but 28 next month) and I have had my circle of friends for a good 24 to 25 years. I was born in Fremont, California but moved to Maryland when I was 3 or 4. Since then I have had a group of friends that will be there forever. 3 of which are already married!!

It has gotten tough, in the fact that I have had the dream of working in the film industry since birth, and my passions have led to live in Florida while attending College and then right now I live in Los Angeles. 3000 miles away from my closest friends.

But for me, making friends was rather easy, in that I moved out to LA specifically so I could start studying Improv, and in that I have met many people and struck some real good friendships.

That would be a suggestion i have for you... if you have the time (im not sure, your job seems to be tough, but I dont know if it affords you any free time)... but most every where you can go has these adult sports leagues, once a week, you get together with your team (generally co-ed teams) and you play softball, kickball, volleyball etc.. and if you can get in on those, you will make friends right then and there, after the game you go out for a drink and there you go.

Or same thing kind of, check out for some sort of adult education classes in subjects you may be interested in, another way to meet people.

I have always been pretty good at making friends easily (hope that doesnt sound douchey!) because I am just a laid back person and am told I am pretty funny.

You say your new job will have you isolated, just seems like you have to go out and seize the opportunities that are out there. Not going to the bar and hitting on random chicks.. dont be THAT guy! Just getting involved in activities that bring common interests together and from there, who knows, possibilities are endless!

I will say though, moving to L.A away from all of my close friends was the hardest thing I ever did, and I can fully admit it led to a pretty big depression in my life. not depression like you would think where I sit and cry myself to sleep or anything, I was still always me, but I just had no motivation for anything, I missed my friends and family back home, I was living in a big ass new city, in a new apartment by myself and I knew no one! But you just gotta go on the theory that it will get better... just look at those local papers or search the net and find where some of these leagues or classes are and get in it! Anything you may have a passion for, Id bet there is some sort of group get together for it! Shit, I bet there is a "Movie Watchers" club, never know!

Good luck dude
Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2012, 01:50 AM
Nah, everyone touched on pretty much everything.

I will say one thing though and that is where you move will have a huge impact on how easily you make friends. If you are in metropolitan areas, you are going to find it much easier as a single guy.

The thing is that everyone has friends they grew up with and while those are hard to replace, friends you make out on your own are going to be part of a growing process and in many ways be more substantial to you. It's going to be harder not having what I'd began to refer to as "friends by default" but you'll learn a bit something more about what you want out of friendships and in turn about yourself.
Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2012, 07:48 AM
I am Lamont Cranston.
A small set of friends but mostly agents all over the world that owe me their lives and are in my service.

Big ruby rings?
They're hard to miss.

I think I'm a pretty fun guy. A real stitch.
Forewent the friend aspect for most of the last few years of my life but trying to change those aspects now.
Lampshade standing by.
Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2012, 11:20 AM
Hobbies and social clubs ..... chess , toy car racing , books , fantasy sport , actual sport , LARP , Columbus Knight , whatever.

Friends don't come knocking at your door , you have to put yourself forward
Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2012, 02:00 PM
Might I ask where you went to college / what technical subject you're involved in / where you may be moving?
Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2012, 04:20 PM

Last edited by FireCaptain4; 10-23-2012 at 09:57 PM..
Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2012, 08:04 PM
Its definitely tough imo. I went to college in the Midwest(grew up there as well)and absolutely had the time of my life and made TONS of friends but after college I moved to Atlanta for a job then I moved to the Southwest area for another job.

I've made some new friends but mostly I hang out with my friends from college(that live around me)

If I had to give any tips on making buddies, it would be joining one of those activity leagues. Whether it be kickball or softball, you can make a lot of friends that way.
Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2012, 07:38 PM
Yup, what everyone else said - it's hard but finding activities/hobbies to do in the new city is the best way to go. Something like www.meetup.com is a good place to start for all kinds of groups, etc. Find out what goes on in your local community. Get out to more of the chillaxing kind of places, etc in your city. Don't know what your interests lie but if you have a board game cafe (not a card or comic shop, this is more board games and alcohol/coffee) in the city, you might be able to meet other people there (or weed cafes if you have those! ). Volunteering for something (a film fest, some charity event, etc) can be another great way to meet people. Basically finding the kind of venues and activities where you have the opportunity to actually socialize with new people is key. Bars, clubs, concerts, etc are not really those types of places.

Second important thing is to actually talk with other people. I know that seems like obvious advice, but really - put yourself out there. Some people will think you're weird for talking with them out of nowhere. But who cares? Someone else might be more receptive about it.

I saw something the other day on the bus that I thought was pretty great. Everyone normally sits in silence in the morning commute. This guy got on the bus, asked a girl to hold his coffee for him as he put his bags up on the seat and sat down. Then he immediately tried to start a conversation with her. She was clearly feeling awkward about it at the beginning of the conversation. But the guy was persistent - friendly, but persistent about maintaining a conversation. Trying to guess the field of study she was in (failing miserably but pressing on). Talking about where he was going (to volunteer at the snowsuit drive). And before you know it, by 10-15 minutes into the conversation, the girl was starting to ask questions of her own and actually seemed interested.

The guy wasn't only friendly to her - he talked to the guy on his other side who was on his computer (are you doing some kind of hacking?) and then peered in to look at what the lady next to him was reading in the newspaper and commented on it. He gave his name to the girl and yes, out of curiosity, I looked up the dude's name in Google - turns out the guy is an entrepreneur who is trying to start a cafe for conversationalists.

Now I know that there were definitely people on the bus who were looking at him weirdly for it and some of his questions and answers were a little dumb but who gives a shit? They got the conversation started. They got other people talking to him. In many other countries, this idea of people keeping to themselves is completely foreign. You won't connect without putting yourself out there.

For an example from my own experience - I went to an outdoor movie screening a year and a half ago. Didn't know anyone there. Lots of people were in groups. I saw two guys sitting on the curb and struck up a conversation with them. After the movie, they invited me along to a pub for a few beers. One of them happened to occasionally throw pretty good parties and they invited me to a hotel party the next week. At that party, I met even more people and made more connections. And so on and so on. I'd say I became pretty good friends with three of them, and have since met dozens of other people through them that I'm casual friends with. My network in this city expanded pretty significantly - all from just deciding to strike up a conversation with two people.

Last edited by JCPhoenix; 10-24-2012 at 07:50 PM..
Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump