Stories from my 14-month study abroad in Buenos Aires, my 16-month post-college move to Miami, and my get-me-the-hell-out-of-Miami move to Denver

Friday, March 25, 2011

Making Friends is Hard...Really Hard

This post will come off like a post from my personal diary, because it pretty much is, but I think anyone who's moved alone to a new city, post-college, will be able to relate.

Making friends is not easy. Plain and simple.

Let's analyze how you make friends during the first 22 years of your life:

0-3 years: You don't have friends, you have a Mom.

4-9 years: Most likely on the playground.

10-18 years: Most likely in the classroom, locker room, or extracurricular activity.

18-22 years: Class, clubs, college in general.

I see myself as a very amicable person. When I was in Argentina during my junior year of college, I'd never made more lasting friendships in such a short period of time. I knew these people for no more than 4 months, yet I still stay in contact with them more than I do with people who I lived with for 9 months in the dorms freshman year.

Coming to Miami, I kind of had the same idea that I'd make a big group of friends right away, because it was kind of like another study abroad. However, I left out one large gaping error, there isn't class when you've graduated from college.

Making friends from ages 4 through 22 revolves around the classroom or the educational system. Post college, making friends is a different ball game. 20-somethings go to the bars with their friends, but seldom do you make friends in a bar. I currently find myself in the situation where I've somewhat become a loner, and I'm breaking myself out of this pattern.

I love my alone time. I could ride for hours alone, but I always wind up talking out loud to myself while riding. Bouncing ideas off myself basically. Fishing is the same. Great way to relax, but after awhile, you want someone to talk to.

So, this kind of goes with my previous post, I'm getting a job. Adults makes friends at work; that's how the world works. I'm not just going to randomly walk up to people in bars and say "Hey guy, you seem cool, want to hang out?" That's not going to happen.

I need to immerse myself into the Miami scene and start working so I can start meeting new people. Once I meet said people, THEN we can go hang out in bars and restaurants, but until that happens, I'm done with nightlife. Not to mention, there are a lot of sleazy people in South Beach. I'm really happy I DIDN'T live there. Everyone's all about the club scene, and everyone, mostly douchey guys, brag about knowing some DJ or having "a connection" at the club. Give me an effing break dude, your connection is the guy mopping up puke in the VIP section. Quit trying to front like you're this South Beach mogul!

Rant Over.

Result: I'm getting a job at a nice restaurant to meet people. Being lonely isn't always that fun.


Anonymous said...

have you checked out bike shops or outdoor shops for club outings?

here (ES) every saturday about 50 active people hit the trails for a few hours in the morning. great way to meet people. we are also on the kayaking club and hiking club list, and we do sea kayaking outings and outdoor excursions when we have free weekends.

we've met a lot of nice people like that, and i feel like it says a lot about someone's character if they like the outdoors and being active.

this is also an awesome website to check out local interest clubs:

i even saw one for "global networking professionals" and "dragon boat racing". maybe that would be a cool sport to try out... rowing a dragon boat! they have beginners practice on saturday afternoons.

good luck!

Shannon said...

I agree with the Anonymous dude... Work is a great place to start, but join clubs, groups etc. I've recently been going to Midwest Mountaineering (here in MN... but applicable to Miami I am sure), and it's a great way to meet ppl with similar interests! Making friends in your adult life shouldn't just be about "convenience" or "close proximity" like it was when you were a kid (ex. who lived next-door/ in your neighborhood or who was in your class) but should be more focused on meeting people with similar values or goals! Good luck in Miami, you've already made a huge leap by having the cajones to go!