Wednesday, May 25, 2011

How do you meet friends? The "Adult" Years

How did you meet your college friends? What happend to your friends that you had met previous when you started college?  How did you meet friends after college?  This is my perspective. 
When you get to college, at least at the college I went to, you're "forced" into new friendships.  I mean this in the nicest way possible.  For freshman, the first whole week of living in the dorms, you meet tons and tons of new friends.  There are meet and greets and tours to go on with groups of new people.  There's a RA (Resident Assistant) who's there to create commorodory on her floor between the inhabitants.  Also, being part of the music department, there were mixers and lunches to "force" us to meet others in the music majors.  There were mentors who helped us meet others in the department. 
My college roomate was someone I was friends with in high school. She was a Theater Major.  I ended up going to a lot of theater events and meeting theater people my first year along with all of the other people I was meeting. My voice teacher hated that I was hanging out with theatre people!  The thing is, my roomie and my other friend that were "Theater People"  were more straight laced than any of the music people I was friends with. In fact, I came to a lesson one day, and I got this lecture from her about how "all of the theater people smoked and drank," so, I should be hanging with my fellow voice majors.  Secretly, most of them were drinking and smoking right under her nose.  (Hopefully, I'm not ratting people out... no names are being mentioned!)  I almost starting laughing in her face when I got "the Lecture" about theater people.  See, the theater majors were just more open about the fact that they did all this crazy stuff and had all of the crazy parties.
By the end of my freshman year, I was hanging out with more music/vocal majors and trying to decide if I was going to join a sorority.  Both of my really good friends that were "theater" friends did formal rush at the beginning of Freshman year and joined the Delta Gamma sorority.  I really liked those girls, and they were always very kind to me.  I had a music friend that joined Sigma Kappa sorrority second sememster freshman year, and they were always really nice to me.  All of my music friends were joining Sigma Alpha Iota, which is a music Fraternity for women.  So, I had choices to make.  Which group would I join, if any?  Which one could I afford?  Was I really going to concider joining one when some people called it, "Paying for your friends?"  I did informal rush with Delta Gamma first semester and Sigma Kappa second semester.  First semester, I didn't join Delta Gamma. I was uber expensive!  I could be wrong, but I think I remember is being about $50 a month or something. When I rushed Sigma Kappa, I was suffering from an awful first semester of college, I was asked to come back first semester the next semester and rush again when my grades came back up.  I participated in Sigma Alpha Iota's Rush activities second semester, but again, grades where a problem.  I worked really hard second semester and got my grades up. I came back after the summer and decided to join Sigma Alpha Iota.  The thing with SAI was, dues were by semester, not monthy.  At the time, they were about forty bucks a semester, which was way more affordable.  All of the members were music people.  They all seemed to be willing to have study sessions for all of the music classes.
By the end of my sophomore year, I was starting to think that I was going to change my major from a double major in Music Ed/Performance, to Music Business Administration.  There was a group that was for the Music Business Majors called, the Music Industry Association.  I started hanging out with that group when I was thinking about changing my major.  Again, I met a few of my really good friends in this group.  I also met people who were doing things in the same area that I was working towards. 
On top of all of that, Music Majors did almost everything together.  We partied together. We ate together in the dining halls and on the weekends.  We studied together. 
My Junior year, I had an apartment with three other girls.  They were all in my sorority, and three of the four of us were music majors.  On November 4th, I got the call for my kidney transplant.  That day, I dropped out of school. (Probably the wrong thing to do, but that's a whole other story.)  I finished the rest of the year of 1999, living with my parents and recouperating from the surgury.  I finally moved back into my apartment right before New Years Eve. 
When I got back, my roomies seemed to be at odds, and I was kind of in the middle.  Then, I ended up "choosing a side."  The other problem was, dropping out of school put me way behind.  Most music classes are on a year rotation.  I had to wait until fall to retake a lot of the classes I had dropped out of.  It's also hard to remember what I had learned to lead up to those classes the previous year.  This whole situation made my academic career a couple years longer.  I'm a horrible student in the first place. 
College dragged on and on.  I finally went on my internship with my company in January of 2004.  I moved up to the Chicago Suburb to work for them.  It was mentally,emotionally, and physically exhausting.  I called my friend M. everyday.  I didn't start hanging out with my co-workers in the end of February or March.  Then, I started making friends and getting social interaction.   I was hanging with my co-worker's social circle, which had an interesting dynamic.  (I still talk to a lot of them to this day!)  They were a lot of fun to hang out with, and they also got me into DDR (Dance Dance Revolution, a video game).  I lost a lot of weight playing that game.  In September of that year, I finally had saved enough money to bring my cat to the suburb and pay the pet deposit.  My cat is still with me and one of my best buds! 
In March of 2005, people from the LDS church started seeking me out in the area.  That's when I met L. and her family.  They adopted me right away!  The first day I met them, they told me I was coming to dinner!  I said, "Umm... Ok."  The circle of Young Single Adults was pretty tight up there.  They were all pretty kind to me on the most part.  M. always tells me, it takes about two years of living in an area to create a social circle.  Well, I was coming up on my two years in the suburb and had met some great people.  Then, I was offered a position in Indiana, closer to my family.  I said yes to the position and moved.
I took my niece with me to help me move.  My boss and his wife from the suburb with their daughter drove the moving truck.  I had arranged with some members of the local YSA's from church to meet us at the new apartment.  E. helped me set up the apartment that weekend to a livable state.  Then, I took her back home.
Then, it was just me and my cat.  I tried to go to Family Home Evening (FHE) that Monday which was Halloween.  I got there at 7:30, because I that's what time it started in the suburbs.  Nobody had told me it started at 7!  I was late.  They were already done with the lesson, and they were playing a game.  It was a really short game.  Then, they played volleyball.  I soon learned, that volleyball was the only activity they really did.  I hate volleyball!  I stopped going to a lot of things because it always ended in Volleyball.  It took me a long time to finally go to church on Sunday.  I realized that I wasn't going to find a real friend right away like I had in the suburbs.  I was actually becoming a bit heart broken by that fact!  I quickly learned, people already had their groups and places, and I really wasn't going to fit into any of them.  Not that anyone was really down right mean to me, but I didn't really feel welcome for a long time. 
I started reconnecting with people that lived in the area that I had known from college.  They became my main go to group. 
Finding friends as an adult is a whole different story once you're done with college! 

1 comment:

  1. I had many of these same problems. Where exactly am I supposed to meet people? Being LDS, I don't go to bars or hang out at bowling allies. I don't wander around the mall like a hig school kid. I had so many friends in the Singles' Branch before I got married! But then I moved to TX, got married, and got stuck in a family ward that didn't have many young married couple in it. I did make many friends, but no one I could just hang out with or anything. I tried going to Insitute, but it was weird since I was married and alone since my husband was working.

    I have actually been quite lonely all these years. Things were okay getting to know my husband's friends, but it's just not the same. Things did improved when we moved back to Indy, but again I feel like my closest friends out here are so much older than me. Not that there's anything wrong with that! It's just... Not the same.

    When making friends while growing up during schol days, you're forced to see the same people over and over, and you get to know them. Usually you can form bonds with other people over common interrests, like choir, drama, mutual dislike for the preppy kids, or just chatting about eachothers' crush.

    Life slows down as we get into our late 20s and Early 30s. There's a sense that you're supposed to already be established in a nitch, and have your life figured out. And if you're not actively looking for a date, then why do you need to meet new people?

    I don't watch much tv these days, but I do like to watch Grey's Anatomy when I can. Over the last few years especially, I have been envious of these really tight friendships that everyone else seems to have. . .

    it's true that my best friends and I have grown up, started our own families, and been pretty buisy over the years... I miss them. But I also miss the rush of meeting someone new and getting to know them. The feeling is magic. And I think humans are very social creatures who need that from time to time. Me too.

    *sigh* So, what are we boring not quite middle aged not quite young, kinda lonely people supposed to do to make friends? :-/