The minute you graduate college is the very moment your social life inevitably tanks. You go from effortlessly surrounding yourself with people you love 24/7 to most likely moving back in with your parents in a town you now find totally alienating and barren. Or, perhaps you luck out and find an awesome job in a city... only to move there and realize you know no one except that one girl who was in your AP English class in high-school.
For the first time ever, you don’t belong to any institution that fosters lifelong friendships. Elementary school, high-school, and college all encouraged socialization; that’s what those terrible ice-breakers and orientations were for. Now, you’re lucky if you even meet someone your age.
Worst of all, in our 20s, the friends we do have seem to keep scatter like pool balls. Your best friend from grade school will move to New York for an unbelievable job opportunity. Your college friends retreat back to their hometowns in the Midwest. Everyone you know will soon be gone, and it’s up to you to reestablish a group of friends.
So, where to find new friends? And who may those friends be? Here are 15 types of friends you'll make in your 20s.
your Coworkers you mostly only hang out with while drinking
If you work in the food and beverage industry, which a lot of us do right after graduating, the servers and baristas you work with practically become family. You work hard together, you party hard together. That’s the way it goes. I still have a few friends from my waitressing and barista days, because restaurant bonds just can’t be broken. Still, damn, we blew off a lot of steam.
Your coworkers' friends you can't remember the names of
They meet up with you guys a few hours in, and now you've met them too many times to ask.
The girl who's always on the elliptical next to you at the gym
Bonding over how much working out sucks is, like, the best bonding. Plus, you’re at your most vulnerable; you’re sweaty, your hair is a wet bird’s nest, and you’re probably not wearing makeup. Instant trust.
Your SO’s friends
If you have a boyfriend/girlfriend, the easiest way to accrue more friends is by befriending the people in their lives. These friendships will probably start with double or triple dates — which can be horrible and awkward — but can lead to more organic functions, like happy hours and weekend trips.
Your chill neighbor
You soon discover you are super lucky to even have one tolerable neighbor. So if you run into a normal person who lives in your complex, hold on to them for dear life. Oh, and having someone reliable around to watch your cat while you're out of town for the week is a total godsend.
That girl you have a two-hour long conversation with at the DMV
The DMV is pretty much the seventh circle of hell. But sometimes, commiserating is the best way to build lasting friendships. It’s kind of like that time you found your best friend in high school when you were partnered up to create a catapult for physics class. Everyone can bond over misery. Get those digits.
A few people from your grad program you can relate to
If you decide to apply to grad school, you’re kind of given a Get Out of Isolation and Friendless Despair card. In graduate school, you'll meet all kinds of people who share the same interests as you. You might even end up working in the same universities, labs, or firms.
Your best college friend's new friends
It’s always weird to make plans with someone, only to discover that they brought along a new person you don't know at all. Like, what are they doing here with my friend, encroaching on our time?! You might feel threatened, but really, you should treat this as an opportunity to meet people, and get to know them. Usually, they're pretty cool.
The barista who totally gets you on a spiritual level
I spend a good 40 percent of my time working in coffee shops. Baristas know my orders by heart, and they probably know more about my career and milk allergies than most people do. If that’s not friendship, then I don’t know what is.
The girl you spot reading Bad Feminist at the bookstore
Is it weird to start talking to a stranger about the book they’re reading? Probably. Might you make a new friend who has excellent taste in literature? Absolutely.
Your brother’s new girlfriend
Although we are sometimes wary of the people our siblings bring home, there is no reason not spend some time with them. Chances are, she'll make you feel younger.
Your parents’ friends’ daughter who is back in town
Sure, you're being forced into it, but take her out for drinks and use your parents' crazy antics as conversation starters.
Since I work on the Internet, I have a bunch of bloggers I'm friends with. We gchat about our love lives, the perfect gifs we found that day, and whether or not we’re excited for GIRLS to come back. It's kind of the perfect friendship ... minus the whole long-distance thing. Netflix is also a solid friend.
Roommates you found on Craigslist
The most accelerated way to truly get to know a person is live with them, right? This can go horribly awry obviously, but it could also be the best thing ever.
The one person in your yoga class who whispers “this is bullshit” under her breath
Finally. Someone understands. Don't let her get away.