Thursday, June 13, 2013
In college, it was very easy to be social. Everyone around you was your age, and you were with them 24/7, whether it was in class, study groups, meals, parties, sorority meetings, etc. But once you graduate, making plans to hang out gets more complicated.
For one, people have to work. So unless you work with your friends, already 8 hours are gone from the day when you cannot be with them. And although a lot of people work 9 to 5, that's not true for everyone. Some people work longer hours after the work day, and some have completely different work shifts. So that throws a wrench into things.
Then, you don't all live in the same place. In college, pretty much everyone lived on campus, and you could get anywhere walking in less than 20 minutes. Now of course we're spread out all over the country (world!), and even those living in the same city with you cannot be reached without a long metro ride. Trying to calculate travel time into your social activities can be exhausting in and of itself.
And now you have more than just your college friends. At school you hung out with the same people (your team mates from whatever sport you played, or your Greek house, etc.), but now everyone has made new friends in the "real world," so there's more competition to see your favorite people.
This is all very frustrating. I became very used to the social life of college, and I find it hard to be alone. Nothing is worse for me than coming home after work and having to eat dinner and watch a Netflix movie by myself: these nights are signs that tell me I have no friends and no one likes me. I know this isn't true, but that's how I feel. So I try to keep my calendar jam-packed with social activities, ideally for 5 nights a week (I have done 7 nights a week and it's too much. So 2 nights alone for me is okay, as long as I'm not watching TV. Yoga classes and reading usually fill my time then). I have dinner with friends, go to happy hours with co-workers, see a show at the Kennedy Center with someone, ANYTHING to get me out of the house so I'm not stuck there alone.
Hence why I plan ahead. ALL the time. God forbid I get stuck when a friend cancels on me and I'm lonely in my apartment. This also explains why I visit my parents so much: at least I usually know where they are at all times, and they'll always want to see me. I'd rather be bored with my parents than bored alone!