I’m a part of a really great group of regional (Northwest Arkansas) bloggers who have banded together to use our voices to share causes that are important to us. This is our second year of #NWARKcares-ing and I’m so excited to be starting it off with this important day – National Friendship Day. I want to share four things that are true for me about friendship in your mid twenties. And let me know in the comments if these are/were true for you, or what other things are! Friendship is hard, we can all learn from each other to be better friends and to be better at making new friends!
Four things about friendship in your mid-20’s:
- Your college friends become ‘old’ friends – the best kind of friends. Old friends have been around for awhile and you don’t have to worry that they’ll ditch the friendship anymore. No matter how far away you live, you can text them for advice – and visit them – and be grown ups together. Not just the grown ups you thought you were when you were 18,19, and 20 – but real ones with jobs and interesting lives and thoughts to share with each other. My newly old friends are my best friends because they’ve known me long enough that I know I can share anything with them and they’ll stick with me.
- You can stop being friends with people obligatorily. In your younger years you are friends with people to be nice. My mom used to ensure that I invited my whole class to parties and gave everyone in my class a valentine. You could have favorites, but you had to include everyone. It’s a good thing when you’re young to learn to get along with and appreciate everyone. But when you start to grow up, you can be choosier with the people you hang out with and that’s a good thing.
- Hanging out is harder. You aren’t in shared living space, on the same campus, or sharing similar schedules. You have to make an effort and plan things and connect with people on a regular basis with some amount of effort. It’s harder, but the friends are higher quality than those friends you had out of convenience.
- Meeting new friends is harder and more ‘specialized’. Seeking out potential friends means leaving your house, joining groups, spending time with strangers – and trying to find ones with similar interests.
Before I leave you with that sort of sweet and sour list of things about friendship in your mid-20’s, here’s some cool ways that I’ve made friends lately that you might try (at any age):
- Join a meetup or two. There’s groups with all kinds of interests on meetup from professional groups to outdoor adventurers to weird swinger folks. Find something that you’re into and go to the next meetup that group’s having. You might end up on a bike ride with a bunch of geriatric (and very nice) people with killer quads – but you might also meet your next best friend!
- Join a church. I’m a super atheist, but I’m also a member of the Unitarian Universalist church and have met my most like-minded friends there. Here’s a pretty awesome way to find out what religion your beliefs align with: Belief-O-Matic. (There’s also meetup groups for religious-ish interests.)
- Volunteer doing something that you think is cool. Volunteering might sound cheesy, but it’s really a good way to get to know other people with similar interests and passions. You might end up standing in a parking lot and freezing your butt off while you try to corral hundreds of cyclists, but you’ll also meet a whole bunch of other people who think bikes are cool!