How grown-ups make friends

My little sister left for college yesterday.

I am jealous of her for many reasons. Partially because college was the time in life where I experienced incomparable fun and major growth (yeah, I know…not literally). My sister is going to IU, my alma mater, so I have a good idea of all the parties, nights at the library, nights out, delicious food (read: not dorm food) and sporting events that lie ahead of her.

I am mostly excited for all the friends she will meet. There’s no easier place to meet friends than in college.

“Want to grab food at the dining hall?” Friends.

“We’re going to a party tonight. Wanna come?” Friends.

“Do you know how to set up your phone?” Best friends.

Why is it so easy to make friends in college? Most likely because everyone is going through the same new-kid-finding- yourself-missing-home experience at the same time. It’s an unspoken empathy and connection with thousands of people you don’t even know.

Somehow, I assumed that meeting friends in the city would be as easy as it would be in college, and it would happen while you’re riding the subway or even while you’re eating in the sandwich shop, Subway. This is not necessarily the case. When you’re in the real world, everyone is in a different place in life and may not necessarily require new friends as they once did in college.

Don’t get me wrong, I have been lucky enough to meet some fantastic friends since I’ve been out of college. I’m lucky to have a core group, but it didn’t come as easy as I’d hoped. Many friendships have actually sprouted from college-like activities and situations…you know, ones that revolve around making chitchat and drinking.

From what I’ve seen and experienced, people meet a majority of friends through work. Or through friends from work. So it’s no surprise 4 out of 5 of my post-college pals are art directors/design kids. We live on the same floor in this metaphor.

The best part of having art director friends is that there's never a dull moment, or at least a moment that can't be created through the magic of photoshop

The best part of having art friends is that there's never a dull moment, or at least a moment that can't be created through the magic of Photoshop. Name the work pals in this oldie, but goodie.

Besides being geniuses at Photoshop and wizards in InDesign, art friends are pretty much the biggest bad asses I know.

Besides being Photoshop geniuses and fitness fanatics, art friends are pretty much the biggest bad asses I know.

I’ve also met friends through the often-asked-about, seldom-discussed wine club. It’s certainly a classier version of the college keg party. I’d love to tell you more, but of course, the first rule of wine club is don’t talk about wine club. So I’ll let pictures do the talking.

There's much eating involved...

There's much eating involved...

...and, um, a little wine drinking...

...and, um, a little wine drinking...



And as a result of aforementioned wine drinking, shoulder dancing, Hennessy drinking and red wine spilling on white carpet have been known to occur. And certainly, friendships have emerged and are becoming more refined with age.

And because you can’t have enough friends, I went to Craigslist searching for a book club. Yes, you’ve counted correctly, that’s two clubs. You would think I’m running for homecoming queen sometimes. This is my second book club, actually. I’ve met some nice ladies I wouldn’t have otherwise.

Not so much a picture of book club as a picture of books at book club.

Not so much a picture of book club as a picture of books at book club.

I’m curious…how else do grown-ups make friends?

This is also a long-winded way to say that I’m grateful to have such great friends. Thanks :/



Filed under Chicago, city life

7 responses to “How grown-ups make friends

  1. Jo

    I love this post! And beyond envious of your sister’s big adventure to IU. I’m sorta craving the food at Collins and chocolate milk from Wilkie right now…*sigh.

    No clue how people meet friends. Book club joining, networking with college alums, dating awkward others and then befriending their friends…but the last isn’t really a viable option for the married or partnered off. Best of luck running for homecoming queen. I think you are a strong contender. Make those vegan blueberry muffins and I think you’ll clinch it!

  2. Joe D.

    I like to think I have friends…I’m craving a Mars bar from Wilkie

  3. Brandon

    Hmm….I don’t know, because I haven’t really tried! I think I only have 2-3 new friends that I didn’t have in college. I barely have time for myself, let alone to meet new people and make time to hang out with them!

    Maybe this will change when I’m done with school, but…I doubt it. I like my peeps and I don’t think the grass is going to be any greener.

  4. fantastic! I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, too… that so much of finding friends is circumstantial and being in the same boat, like you said. And then of course you have the friends that you grew up with, who you may or may not have any interests reaaaally in common with them anymore but you do have a huge history with and could write a book of your shared experiences. That’s simply a horse of a different color.

    Good post… bye, work friend.

  5. I love this post!

  6. a.m.

    This is a really great post. Thanks. What do you think that self-employed people should do to make friends?

  7. Anne

    🙂 good times, good post. i voted for you for homecoming queen, by the way.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s