Want to know a secret about me?? Ready? Here it is. I’m not outgoing. In my own opinion, I’m actually painfully awkward ha. It’s definitely one of my biggest insecurities! How’s a girl supposed to have friends and succeed in a world that seems to be much more catered towards the outgoing?? I know that it’s possible, but I’ll be honest, I’m still figuring it out!
One of my favorite parts about college was that it had a way of forcing you to make friends with the people around you. Awkward or not, you made friends. I didn’t join a sorority, but I imagine that being part of the nursing program was very similar… just less parties and more group study sessions. College has a way of forcing you into groups of people that you end up naturally spending time with. It’s so easy to become friends with people that you’re around constantly and learn to rely on through the roller coaster of college life!
But here’s the thing, making friends after college is not the same AT ALL. In my experience, it’s been so much harder and, at times, extremely discouraging. Besides work, life just doesn’t seem to force you into groups of similar people anymore! So if you want real, true friends after college, you have to be willing to go get them! Just in case any of you amazing babes have had the same experience, here are some things I’ve found helpful when making friends after college.
Get Involved. That’s right. Get involved in community. For me, this looked like finding a church and getting involved in a small group/community group/ fellowship group that met during the week. It’s definitely still taken me time to form good friendships within the group, but it’s been a great place to start. Instead of trying to find friends in a group of 300 people without anything to really draw us together other than the ability to walk up to someone and say hi (which I’m terrible at doing), being in a community group makes it basically impossible to avoid getting to know people. So get plugged in somewhere!
Be Real. Here’s the thing. Being open and honest with people, especially new friends, is freaking tough. No one wants to be the first to admit that life sucks and none of us have it all together… For some reason, we’d all prefer to pretend that our lives are pretty and perfect, tied with a neat little bow. HA. What a lie we all live if that’s the only version of us we let others see. Let me be the one to remind you. NO ONE has it all together. NO ONE is perfect. NO ONE is completely confident in themselves. NO ONE is without their own struggles. So be real with people. Show them the real you. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
Be Adventerous. I don’t know about you, but my comfort zone is super comfortable and really really small haha. The list of things I’d go and do/try on my own is basically non existent. What can I say? I’m just not the adventurous type on my own. However, some of my new friends are basically the complete opposite. Like spending several days at a time hiking trails in the mountains and sleeping in a tent adventerous. Needless to say, that wouldn’t be found anywhere in my little comfort zone ha. But what I’ve learned is that one of the best things about having friends is that they make you try new things! It’s not always super comfortable to push yourself to do something new, but I’ve noticed that I’ve never regretted at least trying something! I’m even considering the sleeping in a tent thing haha.
Be You. Remember when you were really little and you could walk up to anyone and ask them to be friends and it worked?? According to my parents, I did that all the time growing up. And then insecurity showed up. Ugh. You know what I’m talking about. That little voice in the back of your head that tells you no one really wants to be your friend. You’re weird and really not that pretty, right? But that’s just plain wrong! We all have that voice and we ALL are afraid to be unashamedly ourselves. But why?? We’re awesome! God made us all exactly the way we are and we’re supposed to embrace it. I’m not saying that every single person you ever meet will want to be your friend if you just be yourself, but I AM saying that the right people will! The people who are meant to be your friends and will love you for every single fun and quirky thing about you. Be you, babe, because no one else can.