From starting your career to moving to a new city, graduating from college opens up a whole new world of possibilities. And while there are lots of things to look forward to, out in the so-called real world, one thing that can become harder is making friends. So if you’re newly graduated and need some ideas on how to make friends after college, we’ve got them.
Why it can be hard to make friends after graduating
College provides a social scene from the second you enroll. Roommates, other students on your course, people living in your building—there’s an endless supply of potential friends and opportunities to get to know new people. Over time you can form a tight circle of friends, but when college ends, it can be easy to feel isolated once you’ve left campus for the last time.
Even if you share an apartment after college, your pool of friends who live close by generally gets smaller as people can disperse across locations, and can get busy with their careers and new lives. But don’t worry, while it may be more challenging to make friends after college, you can usually do it with a bit of effort.
Tips for making friends after college
Making new friends can feel daunting, but we’ve put together a list of our top tips and ideas to help make it easier. You may not be surrounded by people of your own age and interests anymore, but there are lots of places to find a new group of friends after college. Try some of these ideas and your social scene could grow in more interesting and varied ways than you thought possible.
First off, it’s important to remember that building friendships can take time. So give yourself a break if you don’t click with everyone you meet. Take the pressure off, manage your expectations, and don’t be disappointed if you don’t get instant results.
Get to know your co-workers
One of the best potential places to make friends after college is at your workplace. You might be the newest member of the team, but that’s an even better excuse to get to know your co-workers. After all, you’ll be spending a lot of your time together, so becoming friends will make your days more enjoyable. Thanks to the fact you work for the same company you’ll already have something in common that you can talk about.
Why not go for lunch or suggest after-work drinks? Some companies even organize socials, so use them as a way to meet people from different departments. Even small gestures like offering to buy them a coffee, or asking about their weekend, can help to form those bonds of friendship.
Make friends with your friends’ friends
The friends of your friends are a potentially untapped resource. Think about it—if your friend likes someone, the chances are you’ll like them, too. So, if your friend invites you to join them on a night out with their other buddies, say yes and go. It may feel a little awkward at first, but you’ll soon be getting to know their wider group, and you might just meet someone who you really get on with.
Use social media
Join a group
Finding a group or organization for something you’re already interested in can be ideal for making friends after graduation. If you love playing team sport, find a local club to join. Or perhaps you love reading and literature. If so, why not join a nearby book club? From cycling clubs to comedy clubs, whatever you love doing, there’s a group for you. And a shared interest is a great basis for building a friendship.
Be a good neighbor
After college you might have moved across town, across the country, back home, or even abroad, as you pursue your career. So, chances are you’re living in a new place, with new roommates, and new neighbors. Making an effort to get to know your roommates is a way to try to make friends after college. You could offer to cook them dinner, or even suggest having a weekly meal or movie night.
And why not meet your neighbors? If you feel comfortable, you could invite them over for coffee, and offer to water their plants while they’re away. Not every friendship has to be deep and long-lasting—even having friendly interactions with casual acquaintances can make a real difference to your day.
Keep the college clique going
You may have left college and be living in different places, but there’s no reason why you can’t maintain your college friendships, even after graduation. So, make it your mission to be the one who keeps the gang together, by being active in your group chats, checking in regularly, and suggesting meetups. Those close college friendships are worth holding onto.
Take a class
You might be glad to have left the classroom behind after graduating, but learning a new skill, or perfecting an old one, is a great way to meet new people. From exercise classes to cooking classes, and courses in everything from photography to flower arranging, whatever you fancy trying, there’s a class teaching it. Attending a course on a weekly basis will give you the chance to get to know people slowly but surely, and you’ll already have something to talk about.
Sometimes, when we’re trying to make new friends, all it takes is to say yes. If a coworker asks you to go for a drink, say yes. If your roommate asks you to go to the movies, say yes. Basically, say yes to as many social invitations as possible that you feel comfortable with. Not every occasion will be a night to remember, but the more you’re out and about with different people, the more opportunities you’ll have to make friends after college.
If there’s a cause you’re passionate about, then why not use some of your spare time to volunteer? Not only is this a great way to give back, but you’ll likely meet a lot of like-minded people who share your outlook, too. Spending this kind of quality time together on a regular basis is a perfect way to kick off some post-grad friendships.
Traveling the world is a wonderful way to make memories and have incredible experiences, but sharing them with great friends is even better. If you don’t feel confident traveling alone, there are plenty of travel companies that organize group trips. Going on an adventure with new people will provide more than enough opportunities for potential bonding.
You will make friends after college
The thought of making friends after graduation may be intimidating, but remind yourself that you’ve made friends in new situations before, and you can do it again. You might need to push yourself out of your comfort zone, but the rewards of a fun friendship group and social scene can be worth it. Put yourself out there, join groups, find people who share your interests, make the first move and be ready to say yes. Above all, be yourself, be a good friend and you’ll find your people.
Sign up to Bumble For Friends now to meet new people in your area.