It’s pretty easy to make friends…when you’re eight. When you become an adult, it gets a little bit more difficult. Growing up, I had no problems making friends. I was involved in like fifty million sports teams (haha), there were a ton of kids that lived around me (my cousins included), and I was just well-liked in school. I never really made an effort to make friends with anyone in my life—that is until I went to college.
My first semester of college sort of sucked. I couldn’t make close friends! I had never had to make friends so I didn’t know how to go about it. I tried talking to people in class and though I had good relations with classmates, I couldn’t find anyone to consistently hang out with outside of class. My roommate was amazing! I loved her, but she worked a lot and was from the area so she already had her own group of friends.
Finally, I met Katharina, an awesome basketball player from Germany. I was tutoring her in History and I remember asking her, very awkwardly, to hang out. She invited me to dinner at the cafeteria and to a ULM men’s basketball game with her friend Monica (which later become one of my best friends). From there, I found myself thrown into the international athletes group and many of them became some of my best friends. Still, it took me like four months to make friends in undergrad.
And then I moved…again…to Oklahoma. I was once again, without friends! I had a job and I was very close to the people that I worked with, but I was bored on the weekends and evenings. I once again needed friends to hang out with outside of work and I couldn’t find them! The people in my graduate program were great, and I did become very close to two of them, but that took a semester or two. Finally, after living in Oklahoma City for nine months (yes, so embarrassing), I made a friend! AND in the most embarrassing way.
There was a girl my age that would come to the bank every week and share stories with me about her friends or her weekend. Eventually, I got brave enough to ask her to hang out through the drive-thru. Thanks to Justine, I made a ton of friends in Oklahoma City and my days of being friend-less were over. It was just super weird when people asked us how we met, and we had to tell them that I was her banker. Yeah, awkward.
But you guessed it, I moved again! To Los Angeles in 2014. I was once again alone, but I was not going to wait to make friends this time! My co-workers were amazing people and I became very close to many of them. I even went out to a country bar once with a group of them. However, I was the youngest in the entire company by at least five years, and I knew that I needed friends that went beyond work. I had a great roommate too, and we did become close but she was in school, worked full-time, and had a boyfriend, and I couldn’t just have one non-work friend.
So I googled: “How to Make Friends.” Yes, that’s a true story, despite how embarrassing it is. I eventually came across Meetup. Meetup is an app that allows you to join groups that host different events. You go to the event and make friends. Groups range from art lovers, sports fanatics, workout groups, religious-based groups, spiritual groups, beach lovers, nightlife groups, and even single ladies groups.
Of course, I joined the single ladies group. I was determined to meet people my age that were in the same spot in their lives: single, child-less, and focused on their careers and aspirations. And that’s what I found. I went to three meetups and in those three meetups, I met some amazing friends! By going through Meetup, I made wonderful friends in less than a month of living there.
It’s no surprise then why I’m writing this blog now. I’ve moved again, this time to Dallas. So I have to make friends. It’s like a never-ending (but fun) loop in my life. Haha! Granted, I do know people in the area that went to high school with me or people from my hometown, but I honestly love making new friends! I signed back up for Meetup, but for the last two weeks I couldn’t find an event that looked interesting to me. I decided to look outside the box. After surfing the web, I discovered that a nearby park holds free classes every day from yoga to boot camp to dance classes and more. I decided to head on out to yoga last Thursday and see if I could make a friend or two.
The yoga was super hard, but there were a few girls that were around my age that attended the class. I spoke with one girl after yoga and discovered that she lived nearby also. I plan on returning to the yoga class each week (if I can), and maybe I’ll see if there is anything in the way of a friendship with this girl or another. If not, at least I’ll be working on my flexibility and spirituality. ;D
Then finally, this last weekend, I saw that one of the Meetup groups I joined was having a happy hour get-together! I RSVP’d and headed out to Plano yesterday afternoon. I didn’t plan on driving 40 minutes, but I used to do the same in Los Angeles so it wasn’t that big of a deal. The group was called “Ladies New To Texas” which seemed fitting. There were about eight of us and all of the girls were really nice! Some were married or engaged but there were about four of us that were single. In a weird twist, one of the girls grew up in West Monroe, which is the city right next to my undergraduate college, ULM, located in Monroe, Louisiana. Even weirder, another girl in attendance was in Los Angeles the same time that I was there and she lived in a suburb that was 10 minutes from the suburb that I lived in. It looks like I may have made a few friends at the Meetup. I exchanged numbers with the single girls and we’ve made some plans to hang out soon.
So kudos to me. I’ve been in Dallas for almost a month and I might have some soon-to-be friends. Even if it doesn’t work out, I’m not worried. There are a ton of ways that I can make new friends. I’m looking into softball and basketball leagues too!
It’s not easy making new friends when you get older or when you move to a new city, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t. It’s all about wanting to be social and getting your ass off the couch to meet new people and live your life. If you ever need any ideas about how to make new friends, shoot me a message or just get onto Google and search “How to Make Friends” because it obviously works!