Make Friends __EXCLUSIVE__
Having friends is one of the most nourishing parts of being alive, so it's not weird or bad or wrong to prioritize it. Get comfortable putting yourself out there a little bit. Carve the time and space you need to find and nourish your friendships. It's what all the cool kids are doing.*
The planet is warming, our news alerts are constant, and there's so much good television out there to watch. We get it. But if you want to prioritize and nourish your friendships, you have to show up for them.
"Being a good friend is about noticing, processing, naming and then responding," says Rachel Wilkerson Miller, the author of The Art of Showing Up: How to be There For Yourself and Your People. She shares a few tips for being present and engaged with your friends:
But friendships are essential for your emotional and mental well-being. A 2018 study showed that the intensity and quality of friendships are positively correlated with how satisfied you feel with your life.
Consider the people you encounter regularly at your fitness classes, place of worship, book clubs, school, workplace, or favorite coffee shop. Those casual encounters may be one meaningful conversation away from a closer friendship.
But what about the way you think of yourself and others? Exploring what you tell yourself about making new friends could help you discover any thinking patterns that could be preventing you from originating new connections.
Adults who spend most of their waking hours at their jobs may find it difficult to blur the lines between their professional and personal lives. While friendships may develop at the office, they often take more time to establish.
Friendships may not always work out. Inviting the possibility of making new friends can be opening yourself up to rejection and disappointment. Though it may not be a pleasant experience, rejection is part of life and is often inevitable.
No matter which college you go to, there will be people who share your interests and personality. It is important that you let your personality shine through so that your friends will be drawn to who you are as a person.
Dorms are filled with other college freshmen going through similar experiences, eager to make friends. Many dorms have common rooms, where events are organized simply to help freshmen meet other freshmen.
You've likely heard that college allows you to find yourself and try new things. You're free from parental supervision and able to make decisions on your own, probably for the first time in your life. But it may also be the first time you've been away from your friends.
Few moments in life are more exciting than when you leave home and start school with a clean slate, but it can be hard to make that leap alone. One of the most difficult parts of adjusting to college is finding friends. Making new friends requires conscious effort and a willingness to step outside your comfort zone.
Remember, everyone wants to make friends in college. Inviting a classmate to grab a meal after class or study together doesn't make you look strange or desperate. In fact, most people will appreciate your effort.
Depending on how prevalent Greek life is on your campus, you might consider going Greek. By joining a fraternity or sorority, you're pretty much guaranteed to meet new people. Between parties and campus events, you'll have plenty of opportunities to form lasting friendships.
In addition to campus events, many colleges offer a variety of volunteering opportunities, like community cleanups and planting trees around campus. If you find a cause you're passionate about, get involved and make a difference with like-minded people.
Since on-campus positions may be limited, many college students find work off campus at local shops, grocery stores, cafes, and restaurants. While there are many benefits to working on campus, one major downside is that on-campus jobs tend to pay less than off-campus jobs. This often makes off-campus jobs a win-win for meeting new people and pocketing some much-needed cash.
For first-year students especially, dorms are notorious for being lively, social environments. RAs may order pizza for the floor, schedule movie and trivia nights, and host holiday parties. Don't be afraid to introduce yourself and participate in social events. Remember, other first-year students are in the same boat as you and want to make friends.
For upper-level students, getting to know people in your major can help you form lasting friendships since you'll likely take many of the same courses throughout college. Plus, students in your classes probably have similar interests and career aspirations you can talk about.
This article provides plenty of actionable ways for making friends in college, but all of this advice is useless if you don't actually apply it. If you decide to join a club or attend a campus event, make a concerted effort to talk and get to know those around you. Don't simply hang out in the background and wait for others to approach you.
Challenge yourself to strike up a conversation with at least one person each day. The reality is that everyone is eager to make new friends in college. It might be intimidating at first, but once you open up a little, you'll find that many people are willing to meet you.
I find that some activities are better for making friends than others. Physical activities, especially adrenaline-rushing activities like whitewater rafting or bungee jumping, have a way of bonding you as a group! Alcohol-focused activities like cocktail tours add a lot of social lubrication, too.
How I made friends through group tours: I made friends on a fashion tour in Tokyo, I made friends on a fruit tour in Medellín, I made friends on a local food tour in Asheville, I made friends on a free historic walking in Munich, I made friends on a rafting trip in Montenegro, and a few months ago I befriended my photographer from an Airbnb Experience in Florence.
How I made friends Couchsurfing: My first solo trip ever was to Buenos Aires in 2008 and I was nervous about meeting people while traveling. Before I arrived, I connected with tons of Couchsurfers. Once I landed, I was invited to club nights out, birthday parties, concerts, and even a Thanksgiving dinner! I met tons of people the first night and was treated like a long-lost friend the rest of my time there.
You may have come with friends from home, or maybe you travelled alone. Either way, studying abroad gives you the chance to meet people from all over the world, and sets you up to fully experience a new destination.
During the COVID-19 era, the new reality of remote friendships may seem doubly appealing: It offers a way to connect on your own terms while physical distancing. But finding friends remotely can prove challenging, too.
Say you have strong relationships with your family and one good friend. You get along with your co-workers but feel perfectly satisfied to say goodbye at the end of the day. You can make polite conversation as needed but feel no particular need to get to know most people you meet.
As you work on developing new relationships, try to keep in perspective just how much time and energy you actually have to give. Many introverted people do have several close friends, but the fact remains that introverts will always need time to recharge alone.
Once a fledgling friendship begins to take off, keep it thriving by finding new ways to connect. You might plan picnic lunches outside with your co-worker, for example, or accompany your neighbor to a gardening show.
It can feel disheartening to accept that sometimes your efforts to socialize will go nowhere. Rejection never feels pleasant, and you might feel even more discouraged when interactions go nowhere after you really make an effort to engage.
Therapists often help people deal with interpersonal issues, including difficulty socializing and developing new relationships. Some people even work with friendship coaches to explore new ways to relate to others.
The vast majority of teens (95%) spend time with their friends outside of school, in person, at least occasionally. But for most teens, this is not an everyday occurrence. Just 25% of teens spend time with friends in person (outside of school) on a daily basis.
For many teens, texting is the dominant way that they communicate on a day-to-day basis with their friends. Some 88% of teens text their friends at least occasionally, and fully 55% do so daily. Along with texting, teens are incorporating a number of other devices, communication platforms and online venues into their interactions with friends, including:
Overall, 72% of teens ages 13 to 17 play video games on a computer, game console or portable device. Fully 84% of boys play video games, significantly higher than the 59% of girls who play games. Playing video games is not necessarily a solitary activity; teens frequently play video games with others. Teen gamers play games with others in person (83%) and online (75%), and they play games with friends they know in person (89%) and friends they know only online (54%). They also play online with others who are not friends (52%). With so much game-playing with other people, video gameplay, particularly over online networks, is an important activity through which boys form and maintain friendships with others:
Much more than for girls, boys use video games as a way to spend time and engage in day-to-day interactions with their peers and friends. These interactions occur in face-to-face settings, as well as in networked gaming environments:
When friendships end, many teens take steps to cut the digital web that connects them to their former friend. Girls who use social media or cellphones are more likely to prune old content and connections:
Teens who live in lower-income households are more likely than higher-income teens to say they use social media to get in touch with their closest friend. Lower-income teens, from households earning less than $30,000 annually, are nearly evenly split in how they get in touch with these friends, with 33% saying social media is the most common way they do so and 35% saying texting is their preferred communication method. Higher-income teens from families earning $30,000 or more per year are most likely to report texting as their preferred mode when communicating with their closest friend. Modestly lower levels of smartphone and basic phone use among lower-income teens may be driving some in this group to connect with their friends using platforms or methods accessible on desktop computers. 041b061a72