How To Make Friends

“i find myself in the terribly common, but still terribly sucky, position of being truly on my own for the first time in the Real World and feeling like i’m failing to handle it. i’ve lived away from home for years, but that was for college and busy internships. it is quite different when the only thing you’ve got going in your life is a dumb impersonal job when you are used to having lots of assignments and structure. you’ve wonderfully addressed the question of “i want a job i actually like”; now, i’m wondering if you can address the fact that it can be really hard to build a social life in the real world. i am bored and really lonely, and i find this makes me do bad things. i either stay in all day watching television shows or i go out and spend WAY to much money, trying to fill the hole with stuff instead of people. how do you do it? how do you meet people when you are broke and can’t afford to take classes in dance or yoga or anything — and moreover, when you feel like you’re pretty picky about who you find interesting?

the plus side is that i have a future of non-boredom to look forward to. i’ve been accepted to a prestigious PhD program that i’m really thrilled about, and i haven’t any doubt that when i move away to attend it in 6 months that the boredom and loneliness will melt away. but i know that simply cutting myself off right now and resigning myself to misery until i leave is not the answer, nor will it help me in the long run when i’m really done with school forever. so. you’ve been out of school for many years. how do you meet and keep great friends?”

I have written a couple of articles on this subject: Workplace Friendships, Being The New Kid & How To Settle Into A City (Part One: Social). The thing is, making friends is always something that can use more work. We could all enjoy the company of someone new.

So, my nonpareils, I give the floor to you. How do you make (& keep) friends?