Adulting 101: How to Make Friends
Toto, we're not in college anymore...
I grew up in a tight-knit community. Throughout my life, friendships always formed naturally, whether in the neighborhood or the school I attended from kindergarten to the twelfth grade. My parents were also youth leaders in our church, so I made lots of friends with kids from other schools in my city. I was close with the same kids until we graduated and dispersed for the next step in life. To this day, we still keep in touch; they were a vital part of who I am as a person.
Then came college. It was a little bit more of a challenge for me to form friendships because I didn't live in a dorm, I was a commuter. Maybe you can relate to my situation... or maybe your best friend is the person you first lived with in college. Sometimes I envied that, but I am grateful to have saved money through my situation. I still lived with other girls, but I had to actively seek out those who wanted to live off campus. I am still friends with some of them to this day, but it wasn't the same as dorm life. Around me, I would see people form their inseparable "groups" with those on their dorm floor. For me, my crew formed in the education department. My major was special education, so in my classes, I gravitated towards like-minded people. Again, I was placed in an environment where it was natural to strike up a conversation with others around me and become life-long friends.
Now we're in the real world. The question is...how could I meet friends? I was blessed with a job offer before I graduated college; however, it was on the other side of the country. I have an insane thirst for travel and new experiences, so there was no way I was passing this up! I moved into my first apartment alone in a new (and HUGE) city. Part of me was incredibly excited, but I was also completely alone.
Some people have the luxury of finding a job where there are others their age working with them. In education, there are teachers of all ages. I am grateful for my teammates who are mentors to me, and at orientation, I did meet some amazing ladies I spend lots of time with. However, I am the youngest — there's about a ten-year gap — so we're at different points in life. I'm just starting out as an adult, but they've already settled in. We have lots in common, but there are times I want to go out and do things that they may not be interested in. Outside of work, you wouldn't find me walking up to someone in Target or striking up a conversation with someone in Starbucks because I just don't have that kind of confidence that I did when I was five years old.
Which brings me to Bumble BFF. I've obviously heard of dating apps like Tinder and Bumble... who hasn't? But I'm new to the smartphone world, so I didn't realize there was a version to make friends until I read about it online. Let me tell you, it works.
Bumble BFF streamlines women I can read about to see if we would have anything in common. We chat, we exchange numbers, and then we meet up for coffee or happy hour. It really isn't that strange when you think about it. I have formed strong relationships with incredible women and have started weekly activities with some. I know there are online communities, Facebook groups, or other apps to find friends — but I get overwhelmed very easily if there are almost too many people to split my time between, so I've decided to just stick to Bumble BFF for now. Adulthood is difficult enough to navigate, so if technology can make friendship finding a little easier? Sign me up. Now, I feel comfortable living in a brand new city because I have strong, fierce, inspiring, and confident women surrounding me. It may not work for everyone, but I definitely recommend trying it out!