It’s not a secret that I like people. More specifically, I like friends. I like having friends, I like being among friends, I like making friends. (Though I won’t go so far as to see there’s no such thing as having too many friends…more on that here.)
Yet now, as an official college graduate (my diploma finally arrived today-yay!), I find myself having to navigate a completely different way of making friends than I have known. Making friends in adult-land is currently a mysterious and baffling process.
As a small child, making friends is easy. You approach someone in the sandbox, and as long as they don’t steal your shovel or push you over, look at that-you made a friend. Over time, things get a bit more complicate. In elementary school different groups begin to emerge-the so-called “popular” kids and whatever other various groups that may crop up depending on the school. Middle school just gets ugly, and, particularly for girls, there are often long periods of time when you’re not really sure who’s your friend and who’s your frenemy and who’s your straight-up enemy. The drama may die down some in high school, or maybe just take different forms. Yet here there’s typically more selection for friends, so it becomes easier to group by interests than maybe just convenience.
Then there’s college. Friends made in college often become more like family, particularly if you live on-campus as I did for a little over half of my college career. Bonds become stronger when you live, study, eat, laugh, exercise, fight, and live mere feet from each other. It is not hard to rack up hundreds of hours of time spent together. These friendships often run very, very deep, and though they may not always be perfect, they are lovely things.
Now I find myself in a completely different phase of life. Though I strive to maintain many of the friendships I’ve had for years, there are other people I’d like to become friends with…but I really don’t know how that looks in this big-kid land I’ve stumbled into. With people who have full-time jobs and spouses and mortgages and children, where do I even begin to form a friendship?
Part of me is apprehensive, feeling too young and inexperienced to be able to relate to these people who seem to know how to do adulthood much better than I do. Most of me is baffled as to what friendships look like now. Clearly these are not the types of relationships that will be forged over late-night food runs and sitting in the same room Facebooking. Seeing as this is what I have known for the past 4 years, I find myself yet again in uncharted territory. I just didn’t expect it to be with friendship.
Til next time…