When I was in college, I never imagined that I’d have to come up with events to see my friends. I’d just walk next door, plop down on a couch, and figure out something to do. (Or not do. Just hanging was totally fine, too.) But in my 30s, as both I and my friends have gotten busier with grown-up things like careers and partners and (sometimes) kids, it’s become a lot harder to “just hang.” While I think many of us wish that we could just stop in and see a friend whenever we felt like it, the reality is more likely to match a text convo like this:
Friend 1: “Hey friend! I haven’t seen you in forevvverrrr. Want to get together soon?”
Friend 2: “YAAAAASSSS!!!!!! Let me look at calendar.”
(Long ass pause.)
Friend 2: “So it looks like I’ll be free on the third Tuesday of the month after next, for 1.45 hours. Let’s get coffee or something!”
Friend 1: “Yay!!! Let’s touch base when it’s closer!!”
And, three days before the scheduled meet up, someone cancels because something came up at work/their kid is sick/they’re burnt out and can’t handle it/their dog has cancer/whatever. While this is obviously a dramatization — and I’m sure plenty of us are still fitting friends in on the semi-regular — most everyone can relate to the difficulty of meeting up with friends once you’re out of college and fully into your adult life.
So, one solution: Group events. Having an actual thing to do seems to be more effective than just hanging out; like if we commit to an activity, it’s harder to bail when Netflix sings her siren song from the den. But even coming up with events can seem like a chore when you’re busy, so here are a few suggestions that I largely borrowed from my own community, the San Francisco women-and-non-binary-only coworking space, The Ruby. We have multiple events every week and I love them because they not only get me to learn new skills, but I also get to hang out with some really amazing women.
And I thought: Why not share this awesome thing with more people? So with that, here are seven events that you can organize with your friends. Oh, and while all of them can include alcohol if you want, none of them have to. Because let’s be honest: Hangovers are a real and present danger as you get older.