I’m sure you’ve all heard the little jingle “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.”
I’m only going to take the first part of the jingle today – Make New Friends. Making friends has always been pretty easy for me. I’ve always been really out-going and have never shied away from starting a conversation with someone new. But nothing ever stays the same as we grow up…
Elementary / Middle School: Making friends was super easy as a kid. My neighborhood was always filled with kids my own age. I remember summers spent playing release & capture the flag, and snow days spent sledding down my street with all of the other neighborhood kids. Plus, I saw my friends every single day in school & they all lived super close-by. It was the perfect situation.
High School: Although I had always played sports, the amount of time I dedicated to sports definitely increased in high school. My soccer girls (and eventually my swim team and XC team) became my family. I spent hours with my “family” at practice, games / meets, on bus rides, in school, at pasta dinners, fundraisers, you name it – I was with my team. My teammates were my best friends.
College: Making friends in college might even be easier than it was in high school. I mean, you’re thrown into a dorm with a roommate and about 50 other girls on your floor. It was easy for me to make friends with the girls living next door to me. On top of that, I was a member of the club swimming team, where I met the majority of my college friends (STK’s!). The best part about meeting new friends was knowing that we all lived on / around campus. No one was more than a quick walk or bike-ride away. Plus, the bars were so close, I could just meet up with friends there and not have to worry about a DD or anything else. College life – aka “fake life” – was great when it came to being constantly surrounded by friends!
Real World: Someone PLEASE explain to me how you make friends in the “real world.” I mean, ideally, I would make friends at work – the same kind of concept as with school – I see these people everyday. But unlike school, my co-workers ages are all over the place, and I am clearly the youngest person there. I’m not against making friends with people older than me, but when their idea of a good weekend is taking the kids out to see Disney on Ice, it’s hard to relate. And even if I had colleagues with similar interests, there’s absolutely no guarantee we live anywhere near each other. I work in the middle of NOWHERE. This is why I have a 50-minute commute. I refuse to live in the town where I work. And so does everyone else. So getting together outside of work might involve an even longer commute just to get to someone’s house. Not really ideal.
I know there are tons of outlets / events for singles to get together and meet new people – but for some reason these places shun married people like the plague. Wtf. So now that I’m married I don’t want to make new friends? Bull. I think I’m going to start a Match.com of sorts to make friends. I’m going to put in my interests (running, biking, kayaking, outdoors, wine, etc.) and find other people that enjoy the same hobbies. We’ll be BFF’s.
I guess my other option is having a baby. Then at least I could make friends with the other mom’s picking their kids up at daycare, or at PTA meetings, or at T-ball practice. JOKING. I’m not ready for that jazz.
Anyways – I guess it would be easier if I still lived at home / in my home-town and all of my old high school friends were still there to hang out with. But let’s face it, as we all grow up and get married and find new jobs, we can’t all stay in the same little town forever.
I’ve met a couple of really awesome friends since I’ve moved, but we live all over the place & it’s hard to get together unless we just meet up for dinner somewhere neutral. Don’t get me wrong, I love my dinner dates – but it would be nice to be able to just walk to a bar, meet up with all my friends, and walk home at the end of the night again. (Oh suburbia, how you suck).
I’m truly grateful for the friends I’ve made out in the eastern side of this state – but it’s just such a foreign concept to me to not have about 20 friends I can call and hang out with on any given night. I’m so used to being surrounded by friends, and now they’re all scattered around and it’s been a really hard adjustment for me. Thus my ramblings today.
How do you make friends in the “Real World”??
Is anyone else in the same situation I’m in? How do you deal with it?