One of my darkest fears is being realized: everyone is leaving me. Instead of a grand exodus of people from Seattle after college, it has been a slow trickle of people that have followed a new job opportunity, followed a loved one, or even followed the urge for something new. When the last of them leaves in the Spring, I will find myself twiddling my thumbs, trying to figure out what to do. I’ve had some time to think about it and here are some ideas and recommendations I’ve come up with:
If you are close enough friends and they have enough room in their new place, you may have a free place to stay! Let them be the tour guide and join them in discovering their new city. Bonus: be a great friend and help them make new friends in their new city. Last night I was out in Seattle and this guy started talking to a group of us. He was very transparent that the reason he started talking to us was because he came to Seattle to help his friend, who just moved here, meet some new friends. There was even a hashtag for this endeavor.
Meet New Friends
This is a “No shit, Sherlock” idea, but after college, it becomes increasingly harder to meet new people. One way is to meet these people at work but if you are like me, this really isn’t an option. Instead, I’ve come up with some alternative ways ways to meet new friends:
1. Going to workshops or classes in my field for young professionals in my city. Most of these events involve team work and I would have something in common with these people right off the bat.
2. Trying a new activity or sport that is group based. I know a lot of people are trying programs like CrossFit and meet a group of work out buddies. My roommate started rock climbing again and has met some new friends with great connections!
3. Going out on the town with only one friend. It makes it easier for people to approach you and for you to go with the flow of the evening.
I’ve even heard of people just using tinder to meet friends and it works for them. If you are honest that you are looking to build new relationships, it makes it easier for people to approach a new friendship.
Take this chance to think about what dreams you haven’t fully realized and which ones you might want to pursue. Are there any places that you have wanted to live or explore, but you’ve been stuck in one place? Are there any crazy jobs or careers that you’ve thought about but never mustered up the courage to try? My sister’s friend out of the blue moved to Madrid to teach English in Spanish schools. I was so perplexed by this decision but, it was actually simple: she didn’t have many ties left in Seattle. For her, the decision was easy.
Just Do You
This is my current phrase that I keep telling everyone. Maybe when all your friends are gone, you should just be yourself. Maybe nothing has to change or you let all the change be organic. Instead focus on yourself and things you want to improve. You could work on your relationship with your family, work on improving your health, or even work towards excelling in your career.
I will check back in when all is said and done– and I have been deserted. Maybe these ideas won’t prove fruitful or maybe I will have some new friends! If you are in the same shoes as me, I would first like to extend my deepest condolences to your loss. Second, I would like to ask if you want to be my friend. Now that I have been clear with my intentions, this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. — J