1. It’s harder to find friends you can truly connect with.
Sure you have tons of people you can grab lunch with, or a coffee or even a few drinks. But someone you can have a heart-to-heart with is special and rare. It’s not like high school when you have your girlfriends over for a sleep over and you spend all night talking about anything and everything. Mostly we talked about such random nonsense. Which brings me to my next point.
2. Your friends have so much to offer. Talk to them!
One thing I learned in recent years, and I really have to thank my boyfriend for this, is to talk about my dreams. I went through life following the system, without really giving it much thought. I went to school mostly because it was the right thing to do. Don’t get me wrong education, in many different forms, is important, but I believe in learning what you want to know more about and not blindly fulfilling requirements. I put my dreams of being in the fashion industry aside, because I figured life just ain’t that dandy. But you know what? It is. If you put the hard work into anything, there’s no reason not to achieve it. If you fail get up and try again. So this is what we talk about with my friends now. It’s not who said what, or who didn’t call whom, but it’s about ‘this is what I want to do with my life ‘, ‘how do I achieve my dream, what are my next steps? ‘ etc. People you can discuss these topics with, and ones that will actually listen to you, participate in the discussion and provide feedback, should he cherished.
The biggest disappointment comes when you realize that friends you’ve known for years are not evolving with you. I’m not saying they’re bad people, or you should flat out ditch them, although keep in mind, as Jim Rohn said, you are the average of the 5 people you spend time with most. But you start seeing that perhaps the only reason you were friends in the first place was because it was fun to drink together. Or they just stuck around, they were always in your group of friends, you didn’t really choose to be friends. Maybe you can still drink with these people, but that’s not who I would talk about life decisions with.
4. It’s all about you!
Now is the time to go and figure out what it is you want. Where do you want to work? What do you want to do with your days? Where do you want to live? You really have to spend some alone time with your own thoughts to figure out who you are and what you want. That’s scary. This can be both a challenging and an opportune time to make new friends. The challenge is that it’s up to you to place yourself in situations where you will find like-minded people and be able to have meaningful relationships with. This will not be done for you. You will not necessarily be placed in a perfect work environment where your colleagues become your besties. I’m not saying this can’t be the case, but it’s certainly not guaranteed. The onus is on you. Figure out what you like. Find a hobby. Explore your neighborhood. Do what makes you happy. And go out there and meet new people!
5. You have to re-define ‘Busy’
Remember when you saw your friends all the time? I reminisce about my university days so fondly. Not because of what I learned but because I loved bumping into my friends all over campus. You were never alone. There was always someone going through life, or at least to class with you. I’m an independent person, but I also love to be social. It doesn’t quite happen like that anymore. Now we have to make plans to see each other. Everyone is busy, and everyone has responsibilities, and unfortunately you might not see your friends as often anymore. But it’s really about making an effort. Relationships that are worth keeping require continuous effort. When there’s a will there’s a way.
I really don’t want to sound jaded, because I’m a super optimistic person. But we have to accept change as it comes. We need to embrace it and see an opportunity in every challenge we face. I personally am extremely excited to continue this wonderful journey and see what else comes my way!