I’ve been a hard working student and full time worker for the past few years. I’ve been so focused on getting ahead in life that I’ve had little time for play. Sad to say, I let school and work take full priority and my social life and friendships took a back seat. I’m starting to feel really alone and isolated with the lack of friends that I have. Many of my old friendships fell by the wayside and they truly aren’t salvageable. Any suggestions on what to do now and how to make new friends?
You’re actually in the perfect setting to meet new friends. The problem is getting beyond the academia and focusing on the fun.
I met some great people when I attended SLCC, but it wasn’t until I spent time with them beyond the campus that I really got to know them in a more personal way. There is something to be said for just leaving the schoolbooks behind and enjoying your day, and I’d like to think that there are others on campus that feel the same way you do.
Finding friends takes some guts. You have to speak up and get out of your comfort zone. Good, lasting friends are even harder to find simply because not everyone will invest in a relationship like you will want to. There are people out there who don’t want to open up and are closed to sharing real thoughts. Talking about the weather, the classes they hate, and what their children are doing this week may suffice for them, and you have to be okay with that.
Acquaintances are great to talk with in-between classes or maybe even at lunch, but many such friendships aren’t really friendships at all—at least not in the way I think of friendship. There are times I need more from a friend than the latest weather report, and so I go out of my way to be the sort of friend I’m hoping to find. I am more concerned with their life than my own and I keep confidences when they are given.
It really is true that to have a good friend you must be one; my best friends are those I listen to and who listen to me. We make time for each other. And my very best friends are those I can tell anything to without judgment. They like me for who I am and aren’t trying to change me to fit into their mold. I’ve lost friends myself, either by neglect or disagreement. Either way, I’ve realized that having good friends in my life takes work and that having good friendships never come automatically, or merely because my friend and I are sitting in the same class.
I wouldn’t give up on your old friends completely, either. Facebook is a great way to get back in touch without making any heavy-duty commitments unless you are ready to do so. I have gotten back in touch with a few of my high school friends and work associates, even family members I haven’t heard from in years.
As a side note, my sisters remain my best friends and we always have something to talk about, so don’t forget your family members when thinking about new friendships.
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