Once you graduate college, you’re stuck in this strange zone of time that you thought was going to be magically perfect and put together, but when you actually reach it, you realize that you have to make it magically perfect and that it’s never going to be put together.
And sure, you’re going through that whole typical quarter-life-crisis deal in which you find out you don’t actually know what you want to do with your life, but you feel obligated to do something with your major, and does that actually make you happy and what is life any more, etc, etc.
But one thing that most people seem to be embarrassed to talk about, but it’s universally shared amongst post-grads is the feeling of “Where have all my friends gone?”
Throughout our entire lives, our social lives have been basically set up for us. Want to make friends in elementary school? Play tag with them. Want to make friends in middle school? Pick random hormone-filled fights and make up by eating a bunch of puffed cheetos. Want to make friends in high school? Join clubs that interest you and be yourself. Want to make friends in college? Go across the hall and talk to people. Want to make friends after college? …..
I’m not really sure that there’s a straight-forward answer for this.
Where do you meet people you want to hang out with? Why can’t it just be as simple as walking up to a cool looking person on the street and saying, “Hey, you look awesome, want to be friends?” Let’s be real, we’ve all wanted to do that (and some of us have totally done it).
I’ve been out of college for quite a while now, and don’t get me wrong, I have friends. I have a ton of friends that I love dearly and they make my life amazingly full and delightful. However, for the first time in our lives, we’re not all in the same place. I have dear friends who are my roommates, I have dear friends who live miles away from me. But I mainly have dear friends that live cities away, and as time keeps moving on - countries away.
After college, for the first time in your life, your closest friends can’t just be found across the hall anymore. And that’s really hard to get used to.
I think that because of this, a lot people feel as if they have lost their friends. And this feeling continues once your friends start to become married and have families of their own, because naturally they don’t have as much free-time anymore. I think inevitably, some people start to feel abandoned by this. And those who become married or move away feel a little abandoned as well. But, of course, that’s not the case at all.
Friendships, just like any other relationships in life, are constantly evolving. Friendships change and that’s okay. Maybe in the past, you and your friend used to spend every Friday night binge-watching TLC shows and now you might talk to them once a month. Just because the nature of your friendship is a little different and maybe you don’t text each other every two minutes, doesn’t mean that your friendship is less by any means. It simply means that it’s changed, because you’ve changed. This change doesn’t mean that anyone’s been abandoned, it just means that it’s new. And new is exciting.
So, no. We're not playing hopscotch, in the school musical together, or having weirdly themed parties anymore. But friendship isn't defined by any of those things. Friendship is being there for each other and it's the feeling of seeing each other after a long time and feeling as if you had just had coffee yesterday. That is friendship now and it's beautiful.