5 Ways to Make Friends After University
Leaving university, with its buzzing social life and close friendships can be tough, and initially, graduation can be a lonely time. Guest contributor Thia, shares her tips on how to avoid the graduation blues, meet new people and make lasting friendships.
It doesn’t hit us until we leave university just how much we took making friends for granted. The opportunities to form friendships with our fellow students at parties, societies, shared accommodation and lecture halls were endless throughout our uni years. We gathered a close set of friends, with whom we created joyful memories.
But now we have left those days behind, we soon realise that making new friends isn’t so easy. We go from hanging out with our course-mates at the student bar every day, to tirelessly looking for work, alone in our bedrooms. The sudden change in our social life can be a huge shock to the system, and the more time we spend apart from our close circle of friends, the more we feel alone. So, where do we even start making new friends after university?
Hang around in busy areas on your own
As petrifying as it may sound, spending time in busy places such as cafés and parks can unexpectedly open doors for new friendships; people are more likely to approach you if you are on your own than with a group of friends. Think about it, would you feel more comfortable initiating a conversation with someone if they were alone or with other people?
You can volunteer for a diverse range of sectors including charity and administration, where you will come across people from all walks of life. The shared experience of collaborating for a worthwhile cause creates a sense of togetherness. You may be a 21 year old graduate who forms an unlikely bond with an 80 year old whilst volunteering as a charity shop assistant. By broadening your social circle through volunteering, you are leaving the door wide open for new friendships.
Make an effort to see people face to face
For many of us, our lives are hugely consumed by technology, as we spend hours texting, posting status updates and liking our friends’ posts on social media. It has become our main form of communication, to the point that we tend to make little time for meeting each other in person. Technology can never replace face to face interaction. In moments of crisis, a hug from our friends will comfort us more than any words of reassurance on Facebook – it is so easy to forget just how precious it is to see real friends! Reach out and ask if they fancy meeting up. If it is a friend you haven’t seen for a while, they may be feeling exactly the same way as you but don’t have the courage to take the first step. What have you got to lose?
There will be a large variety of classes on offer around your local area, ranging from cookery to engineering, which can enrich your personal and professional development, whilst giving you the opportunity to meet new like-minded people. Sharing your learning journey with others can potentially lead to new friendships.
Think about joining clubs that suit your personal hobbies, where you get to meet people with similar interests, from different walks of life e.g. participate in enjoyable foodie activities with people who share your love of cooking, play 5-a-side football, join park runs or socialise over a glass of wine at French conversation groups.
Making new friends after university really isn’t as hard as it seems. By hanging around in social places, volunteering, making an effort to see people face to face more often, attending classes and joining clubs, you will find that opportunities to build friendships are limitless.
You just have to put yourself out there, that’s all!
About Thia Gayle
I am a Sociology graduate from Roehampton University. I enjoy nothing more than baking, writing and exploring London with my family and friends.