I have one month left of the hardest semester of my life. Then I have two summer classes and the sweet, sweet freedom of a college degree. Any second semester seniors out there know my feels; we’re basically hurdling toward graduation at the speed of light and we are so excited. Aren’t we?
Wait a second. Graduation means moving, getting a job, possibly getting married and a slew of other terrifying things. For me, getting a job in a new city is exciting and I can’t wait to start the rest of my life, but I know making friends in a new city can be hard – actually, impossible. I remember how hard it was to make new friends in college, but relocating and doing it all again in your early 20s feels wrong, silly even. It’s much like walking into a kindergarten classroom all over again.
The first thing to remember is that your first friends might not always be your best friends. When I moved to Iowa City for school, I quickly became close with the other girls going through recruitment on my floor. While I still hold that my roommate and the other girls I got to know were nice, I felt like I didn’t quite belong. It wasn’t long after I joined my sorority that I started hanging out with some of the girls in my house, specifically one girl that I seemed to hit it off with right away.
I know it sounds like a romantic comedy, but friendships and romantic relationships are similar. Their needs to be “chemistry” for both to work. Maggie was and still is one of my best friends, but it took around a month for me to meet her and we became fast friends. While I still love the girls in Iowa City I became friends with quickly, Maggie is one friendship that stuck. Even after I moved back to Nebraska, we make it a point to talk and get together. She’s actually coming to town next week to help celebrate my 23rd birthday. We only lived in the same city for four months, but our friendship has lasted. That’s a true friend. So in your search for friends, if your first friends don’t stick, don’t despair. You might meet someone through their mutual friends that will become your new bestie.
Use your assets. My sister recently relocated to Houston for a job and in the process she moved away from the place she had lived and worked for five years. She had been living in Texas for about a year before she had found any true friends, but all that changed when our family friend, Doug, invited her over to Thanksgiving dinner. She met Doug’s nephew, a 20-something guy around her age and they began hanging out. Through him she met her boyfriend and now frequently hangs out with all of these people. If you know someone in the city, even in the tiniest of ways, call them up and ask them to set you up on a blind friend date. I know it’s nerve wracking but it’s what bold girls do.
Put yourself out there. This advice is commonly associated with dating, however, just like making friends – it’s true. My favorite team of personal trainers, Karena and Katrina from Tone It Up, met and became best friends through their mutual love of fitness. If you love working out, join a class and then ask the girls from Zumba to go get a drink. Make friends through your new job. Go to a concert or bar alone and make friends that way. I know it’s terrifying and feels SO STRANGE to be in a place where you don’t know anyone but part of being bold is living outside your comfort zone. So cheesy, but it’s true. So step out and make some friends lady. Be bold and just do it. Turn that fear into excitement.
Molly is a senior journalism/English major at a school you haven’t heard of in a state you haven’t heard of. She’s obsessed with Chandler Bing, English bulldogs, and cheese. Follow her on twitter @mollymahannah, or check out her website accordingtomolly.com.