A week ago my cousin came up to visit the family and we had a nice if too short time. What was interesting about this visit was when she told me about wanting to connect with people in her city, but not knowing where to start. And she’s not alone. If you type in the search bar “Millennials making friends” you’re bound to find a few articles parsing out why twenty and thirty somethings seem to have a difficulty making friends when they’re no longer on the college campus and bound by full-time jobs and families. (And it can be worse if you’re a guy.) I can even attest to having some difficulties establishing a friendship in my post-college years.
But it’s not impossible and we don’t have to fall into the trap of people thinking Millennials are nervous and awkward wrecks. Here are a few tips for all us grown folk out here:
- Search on social media for any groups in your area. Maybe there’s a young professionals group out there for your accountant self. There’s bound to be a chess club for those of you who study the art. Meetup is a great site to look at. Just be prepared to see some…interesting groups.
- Take a class. For some, it may be easier to make friends in a situation that’s familiar to your college life. Plus, there’s a chance you may have to partner up. (Yes, I know you didn’t like it in high school, but give it a shot.)
- Go to church. I’m serious. You probably need to go anyway, but you might as well connect with some people there.
- “Make new friends, but keep the old” was a common phrase during my Girl Scouts years and it’s still relevant to me. Even when you make new friends, you should still keep your old friends. Not only will you feel less lonely, it’s good practice when you want to maintain your shiny new friendships.
The most important tip is to put yourself out there. Yes, it’s scary. Yes, rejection sucks if it happens. But some of the most lasting friendships are the ones where we take a chance. I’m still friends with people I took a chance and they are some of my best friendships. And all it took was for me to be the one to say hi first.
I hope these tips help you during your journey. Tell me in the comments if you have any other tips for meeting friends.