In the spring of 2010, I was petrified. College was ending, and according to a couple of reliable adult sources, so was my social life. Undergrad represents four years of freedom to socialize, go out and collect as many friends as possible. Once it’s over, you better cling to your college crew because you’re never meeting anyone cool again—or so I thought. Even if your social network shrinks after you finish school, there are plenty of ways to make friends who are just as awesome as college and childhood pals. And when you do find those grown-up friends, you’re in for some good times. Here are some reasons making friends as an adult is pretty wonderful.
You can be low-key
You don’t need to go to frat parties or outrageous bars to have fun together. A coffee or froyo trip is just fine, not to mention much more pleasant and relaxing. My former fellow intern buddy Kelly and I live for adventures to Yogurtland, which never disappoints.
You have a low tolerance for mind games
Neither of you has time for passive aggressiveness, gossip or unnecessary drama. As a grown-up, you definitely don’t waste your energy on people or things you dislike. You can be upfront with your newfound bestie because grownups don’t have the kind of free time to kill that young folks do.
That amazing feeling when you realize you have something big in common
Maybe you both love trying new restaurants or like the same bands. Whatever it is, you’re excited to have major common ground with this other person and you actually do something about it.
You’re not compelled to talk about the past all the time
You can laugh about this one time you did something ridiculous as an undergrad, but because your new buddy wasn’t there for it, she can’t exactly say, “Yeah, that was a real knee slapper!” It’s fun to share the past with new people, but you can’t do it too much. The cool thing about new friends is that they force you to remain in the present and enjoy the moment.
You can vent about work
Whether you’re coworkers or just friends from a yoga class, you both have things in your lives that aren’t perfect, and it’s important to complain about them every once in a while. If you’re buddies with a coworker, you two can discuss all the things about work that are bugging you. Even if you’re not in the same work environment, you can list your frustrations the next time you hang out. It’s healthy to unload and sometimes an outsider’s perspective is just the thing you want to hear.
This is your place to talk and engage now. That one indulgent long meal that stretches from breakfast to lunch is your time to catch up and really discuss what’s going on in each of your lives. Plus, Mimosas!