We all have friends. I've posted here before about how great my girlfriends are. Really, I have fantastic friends. But those fantastic friends have done the following things:
- find boyfriends who require lots of time
- go to graduate school across the country
- move to other cities for work
All of the above has required me to start making new friends. Well guess what? I think making new friends is hard when you are living in the real-world. Gone are the days of meeting people in class, or at a frat party. Instead we meet people at work or through work. Unfortunately for me, my office is completely male-dominated, and everyone is at least 10 years my senior (no offense co-workers!). So, having exhausted that friend source, I've had to really find other ways to make friends. So, I'm here to offer you a few suggestions on ways to make new friends based on what has worked for me and what I want to try!
1. Join a church/synagogue/spiritual group. There are many ways to go about this. You can volunteer to teach religious school, you can participate in Young Adult activities... there seems to be something for everyone.
2. Take classes at the gym. If you go to the same class every week, you are bound to see familiar faces and can begin to develop relationships. This could be hit or miss, but at least provides some social interaction.
3. Join a sports league. Atlanta has kickball, dodgeball, volleyball, basketball, and I'm sure every other sport imaginable available for adults. This is probably easier when done with a friend, but desperate times call for desperate measures!
4. Attend free networking events within your industry or that you hear about through friends. The whole purpose of the event is to meet new people and network, so 90% of the work is done for you!
5. Choose an organization to volunteer with. It could be the Humane Society, a local Food Bank, or a children's organization. You surely won't be the only volunteer!
What's important, at least for me, to remember is that with all of these things, you have to be willing to put yourself out there a little bit. Attempting to make friends can be uncomfortable and awkward, but if you are willing to deal with a little bit of awkwardness in exchange for great relationships, I think the reward will be well worth the sacrifice!