Need help transitioning in regards to social life from college to life after it. Hows this thing supposed to work?

Even though in college I hardly had much of a social life and was lonely a good bit (transferred schools and had some family issues that had to be worked out), I still had some idea of how social life in college worked. You had dorms, Greek Life, and other stuff to help you make friends with tons of other people around your age group.

Now from what I read its a ton of depressing stuff, most of it pointing to how bad it is supposed to be and how much it is supposed to suck, how being lonely is normal but I hate being a loner. Life dealt me a tough situation in my college days which stopped me from having the social life I wanted but now I am trying to figure this life after college thing out.

So how is it supposed to work?

How do you make new friends that aren't too old for you?

How do you find your social circle or crowd to be a part of?

How do you avoid being a loner without any friends?

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Comments (12)

Dec 24, 2017

1 - Travel and stay at hostels. You'll meet a ton of new people fairly easily
2- Sign up for sports leagues or local activities (language classes, ultimate frisbee, etc) to meet people w/ similar interests
3- Go to happy hour with your colleagues at work
4-Slightly risky but has worked for me- order a round for a group of folks who seem friendly and open at any lounge/bar. Ask questions about the area/things to do and see if they take you in. I usually offer a round as thanks and things flow from there.

It only seems hard because you're not thrown in with a bunch of people anymore like you were in HS or college-but it's not hard at all finding the opportunities to socialize.

Dec 24, 2017

1 - Isn't that like more of a college thing?

2 - Best one on the list but it seems like the two sports I played I lost touch with everyone after the games were over.

3 - Coworkers aren't really friends.

Best Response
Dec 24, 2017

1- Not at all. Most people who do this are in their 20s. A fair number are recent college grads or grad students on gap years, people with seasonal jobs or from countries w/ generous vacation policies. Backpacking trips helped me create a new network as I went on a completely different path from all my college friends

2- I don't hang out with most of the folks in my league on a day-to-day basis (a good number are doctors), but any time there's a party or gathering, I get an invite. Met a couple of cool girls that way

3- In large numbers this is true. But a couple of folks will "stick". Also, any excuse to get out and socialize opens up more opportunities.

Seriously, be a little more adventurous and treat it like a game. You'll miss out on some low-hanging fruit if your first instinct is to immediately write stuff off.

Dec 24, 2017

Work hard, have fun, hit up the gym. Things will fall into place.

btw - I've moved to a new city knowing no one many times including internationally.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Dec 24, 2017

Define the "have fun" part more.

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Dec 24, 2017
Postgradwonderer:

Define the "have fun" part more.

Pursue your interests.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Dec 24, 2017

I read this thread and some of the responses which have been very helpful but cannot help to think back to what I missed out on in college, why did I have to get depression at that stage of life. Somehow, having to rely on intramural sports or coworkers for friendship seems so unnatural to me. I think it makes more sense to me now though.

Perhaps as a man in this modern society, solitude is the natural answer once you're done with school. I mean all of this stuff suggested, it just seems like you are fighting to have people be your friends rather than it happen naturally.....

And even then I don't think I would enjoy hanging out with a group of people I met from intramural sports as much as I would have enjoyed hanging out a person I met naturally in college, so tough to describe this feeling.

Guess I will have to learn to embrace being in solitude, life dealt me that hand at an early age anyways.

Dec 24, 2017

You may have thought the friends you made were "natural" and "organic", but in reality you were all funneled together into an artificially constructed environment and given plenty of free time. The real world isn't a petri dish with such controlled conditions-it takes effort to meet people, but it isn't exactly an uphill battle. Most of us are social and amenable to socializing.

Truth is within a couple years of college most people throw themselves into relationships/marriage/family planning and start to drift anyway, so it isn't exactly solitude that comes next unless you opt out of dating. In terms of a group of friends-if you're not comfortable making friends with people who share some key interests, then you might just be a natural loner. But just some general life advice: you have to make the things you want happen.

Dec 29, 2017

I would also add: don't be scared of being alone sometimes. It makes meeting people and enjoying social stuff a lot easier because you don't have to force everything to work out of some type of deep and innate fear of being on your own. If you're comfortable doing the stuff that's productive and you enjoy (for me that's working hard, going to the gym every day, and playing some sports semi-competitively, plus doing networking and service), then you'll have a lot less time to fill, and you'll have a lot of natural opportunities to meet people who share your interests without the pressure of needing them to fill all your time or some sort of void.

Also, idk if you don't have any college friends or anything, but I found that my college and hometown friends in the city were a huge source of comfort during the first few months. They were also all adjusting so we hung out a lot - even with people who I hadn't talked to as much during school.

Dec 29, 2017

In a matter of days your post went from essentially asking how to be happy - to accepting and embracing more years of solitude, in other words, not being happy.

Ask yourself, do you want to be happy? Do you want to be unhappy?

What you have to do is, most importantly, be yourself and focus on finding a group you genuinely like. If you don't like going out, for instance, you'll need to think about how to meet a group of people similar to you, most likely requiring you to break out of your boundary zone. This will be the most difficult part.

After that, don't stress who you aren't friends with, instead be happy about who your current friends are, and most importantly, you will be happy. It is your choice though, to be happy...or not happy.

"I'm not fat. I'm cultivating mass."

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Dec 29, 2017

Unless you meet them at work or in your apartment building, it's probably not going to happen, buddy. That's not to say that you won't have a life and meet people, but making true friends like you did in high school or college is damn-near impossible when you get older. That's why you have to make friends and keep friends from school. If you don't and aren't into being a lone wolf, then your work is cut out for you.

Dec 29, 2017

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.