Last week’s Lifestoned Adventures Post-Grad Guide To Survival was a little bit of a bummer. And all that talk of student loans, budgets, and job hunting made me a little thirsty. So today I’m going to be talking about what going out and making friends is like when you leave the bright halls and dark frat parties of higher education. Depending on where you went to college and where you went on the weekends, nightlife is going to look and feel a little different. Chances are, you’re not going to want to hang out at the old college pubs because partying with college students is really not all that it’s cracked up to be once you’ve graduated. In fact, if you’re moving to a new place, you may not even have the option of the ol’ college watering hole. But that shouldn’t stop you from going out and making new friends and having new experiences. Here are some ways to work on the ‘life’ part of the oh so elusive work-life balance.
Whether you’re moving far away or sticking around, there are a few tools you’re going to want to keep in mind when it comes to going out and making new friends or maintaining old friendships. Luckily for you, and just about every coffee drinking millennial, all the socializing we are expected to do is at a click of a button. Yeah, you guessed it - utilize your social media accounts! Despite the shade that older generations throw at us about being on our smartphones all the time, your social media accounts are the best way to make plans.
"Luckily for you, and just about every coffee drinking millennial, all the socializing we are expected to do is at a click of a button."
Let’s take Facebook for instance. I feel like I get a new notification about Drake Night at The Dolphin every hour on the hour. And as annoying as that might be for a part time blogger/budding agoraphobe like myself, it’s also super helpful to know not only what’s going on but who’s attending. See if there’s anyone you like who’s going, message them, and ask to tag along. This is the perfect way to make new friends or go out to places that you normally wouldn’t go. If you’re looking for non-nighttime related activities, Facebook is still a great place to look. ‘Like’ the tourism Facebook page of your city or town - chances are they post events every day or link to other sources that do so as well. Once you’ve found the event you want to go to, make a status/tweet about going. If you’re not comfortable with that, just head to it alone.I If you’re new in town, don’t turn up your nose at using sites like Bumble or Friendable to find like minded people to hang with!
Plan Play Dates
After about three months of working full time, I realized that my days and nights were spent like this: wake up, grumble about still being sleepy, go to work, stop working, binge watch my favorite TV show, go back to sleep. And then I would rather, rinse and repeat. I don’t think I can stress how important it is that you do NOT do this. Getting stuck in the revolving door that is an all work/no play routine only leads to one place and that place is a pretty gnarly mid-life crisis. I understand that work can take a lot out of you. Hell, I have days where the only thing I literally daydream about it lying down horizontally and cuddling with Mozart in The Jungle. However, allowing yourself to do that every day of the week is not going to cut it.
"There’s nothing wrong with a little one on one time."
So instead of just convincing yourself that you will eventually leave your house after work, put something on the calendar. I mean, physically plan a weekly activity then send the bat signal up to your friends to join you. I know for a fact that this works. My friends and I have two weekly engagements that are always on our schedules unless something else is happening. Wednesday night Quizzo (Or bar trivia for all you non-Philly peeps) at The Blacksheep (Go Team Puppies) and Saturday/Sunday morning brunch at our favorite brunch spots. Every Wednesday, I expect a text message from my friends asking to see if we’re all available for Quizzo and it’s genuinely something I look forward to. Also, there’s nothing that kicks my butt into gear better than knowing that I have plans later. So grab you group of friends and pick an activity that will add a little color to your routine. However, when you’re out having all this fun, remember last week’s guide and your budget.
Learning to Step out your comfort zone.
*Activating Semi-Preachy Mode*
Just because you’re done with college doesn’t mean you’re done learning, growing, and experiencing new things. This is not the time to rest on your laurels. This is the time to discover new things and meet new people. So start the new chapter of your life off on a good foot! That book that you’ve been meaning to get to? Read it! Want to learn everything you need to know about wine? Take a wine class! Learn a new instrument. Save money and travel the world. Take time to shake your routine up. Just because you’re going to be working for the rest of your life doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t live the rest of your life. The fun doesn’t stop because you got your diploma - It’s just starting.