Everything was easier before you graduated.
Back then, friendships were delicately forged in the fires of circumstance and mutual awkwardness and you liked it that way. But then, poof! All of the sudden you’re an adult. No longer connected by circumstance, past friendships have begun to dissolve and adult responsibilities are getting put in their place.
So what now? Being a grown up can be difficult, but before you go and replace friendship with social media, check out these 5 tips for making friends as an adult millennial.
1. Actually talk to your coworkers
No, I don’t mean go awkwardly say hello at the coffee machine and quietly walk back to your desk. I mean actually have a conversation with the people you have to look at every day. Chances are there’s someone in the office that you would really hit it off with, but you’ll never know until you converse.
Don’t worry about sounding weird, every good friendship is built upon that initial layer of awkwardness. Just dive a little deeper than “hello” the next time you’re at the coffee machine and see where it goes.
And if you really can’t find a single person at work that you’d enjoy hanging out with, then maybe it’s time to find a new job. That feeling of fulfillment is what we millennials crave after all.
2. Download a friend finding app
That’s right, we’re living in the age of technology, and there is indeed an app for that. If it seems a lot like online dating, that’s probably because it is. Friendship and dating are basically the same thing once you take sex out of the equation.
An app makes it easy to meet people based on your interests and test the waters with casual conversation before you dive right in. It may seem weird at first, but when you think about it, it’s just a more efficient way of finding people you aren’t going to hate spending time with.
You can check out this article about the 5 best social apps for making friends for more information.
3. Sign up for something
The idea of committing to a social activity can be daunting, but it has it’s rewards. Whether it’s a book club, charitable volunteering, or joining the Ultimate League of Footbag, meeting people in a controlled environment is a great way to spark long-lasting friendships.
It might seem reminiscent of high school to be signing up for extracurricular’s once again, but that doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy it. It’s amazing how much easier it can be to meet new people with common interests when you’re already knee deep in them together.
Picking an activity can be strenuous and stressful. So if you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, you can check out this list of ways to meet new people for inspiration.
4. Take a class
It may be a bit discombobulating to think about going back to school — even for just one day a week — but being in an open environment of learning can be an excellent way to make new friends.
First, pick something you are actually going to enjoy. If you hated history class back then, you’re not going to like it now. Find a class that will align with your interests, something your really want to learn. Once you’re in the thralls of your education, you can join a study group, or just get a drink with your classmate and discuss what you’ve learned.
If you aren’t sure where to find classes in your area, use this community college finder to find a college near you. Chances are they have something you’d be interested in.
5. Reconnect with an old friend
Do you even really know why you stopped hanging out with your old friends? Maybe you were the last one to send a text, or maybe they were. Nobody really knows at this point, but communications have been severed and you became accustomed to it.
It’s easy to forget that making good friends is important, and good friendships never really die. Just because you haven’t talked to each other in a while doesn’t mean they don’t want to hang out with you, it just means they are an adult now too.
Reach out and reconnect with someone you share a history with. Sometimes reliving the past can remind you that you never really left it.