Making New Friends
It’s something that doesn’t quite sink in until it’s happening: It’s hard to make new friends when you graduate. In school, you met potential friends all the time, and then you saw them almost every day, so the bond grew quickly. In real life, it takes more effort, but it’s worth that effort. In fact, without the limitations of a school environment, you might even have more in common with the friends you make beyond school. Here are some ways to go about it:
1. Join your alumnae chapter. That’s an easy one, so it makes sense to start there. You’re an Alpha Phi for life, so reap the rewards.
2. Volunteer. Again, a great place to start is Alpha Phi’s volunteer listings online to see if there are any opportunities in your area. Or find a cause you’re interested in and attend an informational session. Maybe it’s an animal rescue organization or a homeless shelter. Either way, you might have to work up the courage to go by yourself, but once you’re there, you’re bound to meet people with similar interests.
3. Get a dog. Babies and dogs are inevitable attention-getters, so if you have the time and space for a dog, one of the benefits is the people it will attract. Visit a city dog park to mingle with other dog-lovers or just stroll around busier areas and chances are someone will ask to pet your pooch. Don’t want to commit to having your own dog? You could borrow a friend’s or serve as a foster parent for a rescue organization, meaning you’d only have dogs for short periods of time.
4. Check your social media. Are there friends of friends or Alpha Phi sisters in your area that you didn’t even realize? Introduce yourself and plan a time to meet in person. Or ask a mutual friend to make the introduction.
5. Answer the invites. If an acquaintance or a coworker asks you to join them at a party or a networking event, unless your gut says “bad idea,” go for it. You might not even like the person who invited you, but you might meet other people there who were worth the risk of going.
6. Connect with a religious institution. Almost every church and synagogue (and some mosques) have young adult outreach activities, often even outside of the religious space itself. It’s worth checking out the options in your area or simply attending services to meet people there too.
7. Join a social sports group. You don’t need to be a star athlete to play for fun. Many large cities have social sports clubs that generally meet weekly for things like beach volleyball, touch football, soccer and more. Some of the most fun happens after the game is over when teammates go out to socialize.
8. Work out. Turn your exercise into a friend-meeting exercise. Join a running club or register for group exercise classes. Chat up the people who seem like your kind of people and suggest coffee or a drink at some point, then follow up.