College was a whirlwind of early classes, late-night study sessions, Frisbee on the green and parties with friends. You made connections that will last a lifetime. But post-graduation, you and your friends have taken jobs in new cities, and are all on to new adventures.
It’s hard to be far away from friends.Graduation turns your social life 180 degrees! Here are some pointers for those in transition to post-college life.
Location: Where You Work
If you’re lucky enough to be offered a job that pays well right out of college, you may be tempted to snag that first attempt. But hold your horses! Do some research before you sign that offer letter. If you’re a city girl, you don’t want to end up in a podunk town with no nightlife. And likewise, if you love the sprawling plains of the Midwest, you don’t want to be living in the middle of downtown LA.
Check out the best locations for college graduates. Forbes rated Denver, Colorado, as the No. 1 city for businesses and careers. Many well-known bars, microbreweries and artists call this city home, too. If you’re into art, music and weekend social events, check out available apartments in Denver.
Friends: Less Time & More Effort
While you were studying for midterms, writing reports and taking finals, you probably thought you’d have more time after you finished school. The truth is, now that you’re in the workforce you have considerably less time, and the social nature of college doesn’t extend to your new job. Friends you made in college are no longer just a bike ride away.
Friendship maintenance seems strange, but if you don’t put in a conscious effort, many of your college buds may become more like acquaintances. Prioritize, and talk with your long-distance besties at least once a month so they don’t become strangers. Social media is helpful, but don’t forget one-on-one communication. Use FaceTime or Skype.
Time: Quality Over Quantity
College is the only (socially acceptable) time in your life when you can party on weeknights. The five-day work week isn’t conducive to this. That’s OK; you’ll adjust. Sure, you might have a freak out the first time you miss Thursday night karaoke, but you’ll soon realize the quality of your social life matters much more than the quantity. Now, late Friday nights out with friends can give way to lazy Saturday mornings. The best part: no homework, making your lounge session guilt-free and even more enjoyable.
You: Young & Old
You’re no longer a student and you’re no longer “college age.” You may only be in your mid-20s but when you go out you’ll suddenly feel too old for some things and not old enough for others. A suit and tie might still feel unnatural on you, while college students at bars will seem horribly young.
Don’t be surprised if the old scenes you haunted in the past feel forced and contrived.
Find new places, new adventures and a few new friends. If you went to a large, four-year university, you likely have an alumni network. Bridge the way between your past and present by finding fellow graduates from your alma mater in your area. You can also find people with common interests on MeetUp.com. Try out a few bars in your local area and find a new favorite for the new you. Yelp and Zomato can help.