College is one of the best times to make new friends and grow your social circle- from being a few rooms down from your classmates, to being able to choose from 100s of clubs to join, to working, to being surrounded by hundreds of people from 18-23, it’s hard to graduate college without having built strong friendships and connections. But after college, life looks a little different- your coworkers can be twenty years older than you, or you might be starting over and working on making friends in a brand-new city. Here are some tips for finding friends after college and building strong and meaningful connections.
Go to work events
Besides the annual office Christmas party and occasional catered lunch, your office might host a wide range of events throughout the year. Some are offered during the workday while others happen after working hours- if you have the time, try to make an effort to go to these events. You’ll feel connected with your coworkers beyond the typical office conversations, and you might meet a new friend who works in a different department. Most often these events are free, so if you’re sticking to a tight budget, these are also a financially smart way to make new friends. Even if your office doesn’t host events, joining coworkers for drinks after work or going to that new farmers market on the weekends will help you build connections with the people you’ll be spending a majority of your week with.
Join Facebook groups
While Facebook might have hit its peak popularity in the 2010s, it’s still a valuable tool for finding local events and joining local groups. There are plenty of groups out there for 20-30 year olds in your city or area, and some groups focus on certain interests. It can be anything from a women’s catholic group to a book club to a checking out weekend events in your area. Facebook is a great tool for checking out local events and finding groups that can lead to deeper connections.
Find friends that have similar hobbies
In college, most of your friends probably came through the extracurricular activities you were a part of, like NeW. After college, that same method works- one of the easiest ways to meet new people and have something to talk about is through your hobbies. Maybe it’s through a workout class you take or a running group you’re a part of. Maybe you’re interested in learning how to improve your improv and stand-up comedy skills. No matter what your hobby is, finding people who share your passion for that same hobby is a great way to make friends and build relationships.
Host a dinner party
Maybe you know a few people from work that you’re hoping to get closer with, and your roommates are in the same situation. Hosting a potluck dinner party is a great way to bring people together in a low-stress environment. My roommate and I have started hosting monthly dinners, where each dinner has a theme and everyone has to bring something to contribute to the meal. Between the both of us we’re able to bring together more people than just on our own, and everyone there is able to make new friends while having the same people come back month after month. With so many people moving away from home after college, these dinners have been a great way for people to build their new communities and home away from home.
Building meaningful relationships and friendships is so important, especially with many jobs on a hybrid or remote schedule and many people living far away from where they grew up. Meaningful relationships are the number one factor in improving your health and longevity, so when you’re looking to revamp your personal and professional life, don’t let relationship opportunities slide by the wayside.
Julia Canzano is the NeW Campus Program and Events Coordinator.