I am extremely unqualified to give any advice about this, but people say it is very difficult to make friends in adulthood. I’ve been in official adulthood for about seven months now and have successfully made my first group of adult friends, so I thought maybe what I did could help someone out.
1. Put yourself out there! Speak!
You’re never going to meet people unless you leave your house/apartment (online friends is a post for another day) so you need to wake up, get up, and get out there! Instead of reading in your room, go to the local park or beach. Head to Starbucks without your earbuds in. You need to surround yourself with people and speak up! Say hello, comment on a book someone is reading, compliment someone’s outfit and ask where they got it. There are a lot of ways to start a conversation, but you need the confidence to strike one up. I know it can be awkward and nerve-wracking, but the first step to human connection is communication. Do your best!
2. Find people with similar interests
I made my adult friends (ages 26-30) by joining a gamer symphony orchestra. Yes, it’s as nerdy as it sounds, but it’s a lot of fun! You may not be as lucky as I am to find something so niche in my interests, but jump online or look up your community center. I found my music group on Facebook! Look up organizations or activities you’re interested in and see if they take place somewhere near you. Most people are used to making friends organically as students, but in adulthood, where isolation is more common, you need to put in the extra effort to find people. Google is there to help!
3. Eat dinner!
Let’s say everything is working out perfectly: you found a knitting circle of people your age who are super cool, you get invited by a friend to a massive Dungeon and Dragons game and love the people in your party. That’s great stuff, but friendship is formed on more than just similar interests. Taking the person/people out of where you met them is important; seeing them in another setting can help you learn more about them as a person, not just that they’re a great DM. I recommend going out to eat. Food is one of the oldest communal activities in the book and it’s a great way to get to know someone. What food do they like? Can they eat with chopsticks? Why do they drown everything in hot sauce? There are so many gateways to conversation over dinner, I think it’s your best bet. I went out to eat with my new pals after practice twice (ramen and dumplings, respectively) and we had an awesome time! Food is the way to a person’s heart.
4. Take advantage of your public library
I just read a super interesting article I'll link here that says millennials are bringing life back to the public library system! I love the library but you’d be surprised, they have resources for more than just writing term papers. Libraries hold countless classes and events for a wide range of interests, usually for free. It’s the perfect place to meet people with common interests and start a conversation (but not too loudly, it’s still a library, you know). Movie nights, cooking classes, gamer symphony orchestra concerts, your public library may be your best way to friendship. And, they're usually in main parts of town, so there will be plenty of dinner options for when you're done.
I know one group of adult friends isn’t a huge accomplishment, but it’s a step in the right direction. Join community groups! Go places! Try something new! You’ll meet new people and make your life more interesting. Life is short, might as well enjoy some company while you can.