Make New Friends But Keep the Old Part 1

20 Jul

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?

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19 Responses to “Make New Friends But Keep the Old Part 1”

  1. Jess (In My Healthy Opinion) July 20, 2011 at 9:20 pm #

    I think about this all the time! I feel like I don’t have any friends either, and it was SO easy in high school (not so much college for me, but oh well, ha). People tell me all the time that it gets better once you have kids, but that’s still so far away!

    • Jessica Rose July 21, 2011 at 9:41 am #

      Yeah… I don’t fee like waiting 10 years to have friends… ha I’m in no rush whatsoever to have children.

  2. Life After Swimming July 20, 2011 at 11:12 pm #

    I feel you on this one, Jess! If it weren’t for my roommate (who I know from our undergrad together) and my boyfriend (who will sadly be leaving Shippensburg at the end of the summer) I would literally have no one right now. Even when all the college kids come back after the summer, I still feel too “grown up” for all of this! 😦

    • Jessica Rose July 21, 2011 at 12:15 pm #

      Well I’m glad you have your roommate! I loved my roommates before I got married, we had so much fun together – so it’s good to know you at least have her around! What are you doing up at Shippensburg now?

      • Life After Swimming July 21, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

        I am working on campus/going to grad school for Special Education. It is quite enjoyable, minus not having air conditioning in this scorcher!

  3. Michele July 21, 2011 at 12:29 am #

    Well woog, you know I would love for you to have babies!! ha, but not yet, there is still alot of fun things you need to do first! Friends will come, everyone goes through this “finding a new life” thing and in fact you will find you are always starting and ending phases in life. Kids bring one phase, but then as they grow up you meet all new people, and then they leave and you are kidless and a whole new life starts. So just be easy on yourself and be patient, everyone loves the woogie!!

  4. Maranie R. Staab July 21, 2011 at 1:10 am #

    I love this blog both because it is well written and because it discusses an issues that so many of are dealing with and/or have dealt with in the past. I don’t know if you can take comfort in the fact that you are not alone in your struggles, but nearly anyone that picks up one life and moves to an entirely new one will feel close to the way that you are now. I’ll be the first to admit that I feel that way every time I move to a new city. “Real” friends or even people that you enjoy spending extended periods of time with seem to be rare and even then strong friendships still take years to fully develop. Just remember that no matter what you have family and quite a few friends all over that would do just about anything for you! As your wise Mother said above, be yourself and be patient- I ❀ you and am looking forward to seeing your beautiful, suburban, Philadelphia life soon.

    • Jessica Rose July 21, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

      Thanks Mar! Yeah… I guess I’m not alone, which helps, but not really. ha Thanks for being one of my real friends πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to see you sometime in the near future!!

  5. In Sweetness and In Health July 21, 2011 at 8:36 am #

    I would love to know the answer to that question! I’m in grad school, so all of my friends are people in my class, but if I didn’t have that I would have no idea how to make other friends. At home most of my friends have moved away or they are just at different points in their life than I am. Boo….new online friends will have to suffice :).

    • Jessica Rose July 21, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

      Yay for blog friends! Yeah, I really want to go back to school for a career change, but the idea of meeting new friends makes it pretty enticing as well. I also know what you mean about your friends being at different points in their lives. I think a lot of my friends are still in that whole “college” phase when they still want to go out and get hammered every night, and I’m just kinda over it.

  6. Keri @ Blue-Eyed Runner July 21, 2011 at 9:06 am #

    Haha very good question. It is a lot harder to make friends in the real world…I think the 20s is a difficult time…Its a transition period from college to the real world to marriage and maybe even children. I def think you are right that you will make lots of friends when you have kids. Right now I am focusing on fostering the TRUE friendships I do have because I have also realized in my (many) post-college years that those friends you were thrown into living situations with may not be true friends after all…

    Also- blogging friends are fab πŸ™‚

    • Jessica Rose July 21, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

      I am also slowly realizing that people I felt close to aren’t really as good of a friend as I thought – and I definitely need to work on just maintaining the few awesome friends I still have. It’s interesting to see who sticks around and who cuts you out as you grow up. But I do love all the support from my blogging friends!

  7. owlmazing July 21, 2011 at 9:34 am #

    I can relate totally. And I had a hard time making friends in school too even! I’m really shy so it does not help.I work in an office setting and there is ONE person my age, the rest are all waaay older than me. And the one lives way way too far from me. Sigh. I still have a few friends from high school and friends who i go out with on the weekend but i feel like we are not all like-minded and I want some friends who share my passions for being healthy! Still working on it…hoping I might meet someone at the gym or something πŸ™‚

    • Jessica Rose July 21, 2011 at 12:24 pm #

      I know exactly what you mean when you say your friends aren’t really like-minded and lack any desire for healthy living. It’s tough! Now that I think about it, the only friends I really keep in touch with are the ones that share my love of all things fitness & health. I have met some really fun people at my gym too, and you know that they obviously care about their health since they’re sweating right along with you. ha Good luck figuring out this whole real world thing – let me know if you come up with any grand ideas!

  8. Tessa @ Amazing Asset July 21, 2011 at 5:07 pm #

    ooo goodness I completely feel ya on this issue. Although I am not yet in the “real world” I have a bit of trouble making friends as it is. It’s not that I am not friendly or outgoing, but the major setback I have is that I enjoy being alone… well too often! I like having a few friends to hang out with, but for the most part, I like doing my own thing. I know a lot of this has to do with my disordered eating, but I am also a much more independent person than not.
    I wish I had some advice for you… all I can say is I understand and will soon be faced with this

  9. Janine Brown July 22, 2011 at 8:06 am #

    I felt the same way when I moved to Baltimore, but over time we have developed a tight knit girl group. Try joining some sports teams. Kickball is a great way to meet lots of people and its a ton of fun. Also look for the PSU group closest to you, you might find people from PSU that you had no idea lived nearby πŸ™‚ I’m not sure how close you are to Philly, but I know they have a group that watches games together at a local bar.

    • Jessica Rose July 23, 2011 at 12:59 am #

      Thanks Janine- I did join a soccer team in the winter & it was a lot of fun, our games were just really late on weekday nights so it got to be a bit much. I wish I lived closer to Philly because I know there’s a lot of great running groups there, I’m just stuck in the suburbs. Ugh. It’s good to know that you managed to find a great group of friends – hopefully it will all happen in time for me πŸ™‚
      PS- I hope I can see you when I run the Baltimore Half this fall!

  10. Er July 22, 2011 at 9:35 am #

    I totally can relate to this post. I am by far the youngest employee, and most of my best friends are a few hours away from me so I can’t just have a spontaneous “girls night” it has to be planned. All my fiance’s friends are in the area, but they are still very much in the partying stage of their lives and just want to meet girls…none of them are in relationships. It is hard to find people who have the same interests as me, and it is also really hard to find couples are age to go out with. It sucks! The only thing that has worked for me is playing in sports leagues: I do basketball, volleyball, etc. and while these don’t lead to best friends I am hanging out with every weekend, it is really nice to have that social & athletic night every week with people my own age.

    • Jessica Rose July 23, 2011 at 1:02 am #

      I really miss being on an athletic team – so I should really look into this more. It’s kinda hard being in the suburbs, since a lot of those groups are more popular in the city, but I’ll definitely look into it!
      And I totally know what you mean about friends still being in that whole “let’s get hammered and stay out til 3am” phase… I’m over it. I wish all of my blog friends could meet up, I feel like we’d have fun & obviously similar interests!

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