"You're going to Gonzaga? I am, too! Let's live together!"
This was a conversation that took place six years ago with my childhood friend. We met in the fourth grade and have been close friends ever since. We attended grade school together, separated for high school (I went the all-girls route), and were reconnected as freshmen year roommates.
We had a system: I went to bed early, while she stayed up late; combine laundry and dishes in order to share the workload; meet for dinner each night at the cafeteria, followed by a trip to the library; share clothes, top ramen, and textbooks; introduce one another to newly made friends.
That was our life for an entire school year. It was wonderful!
Two years after graduating, we remain still close. We are fortunate to live in the same city, which has made staying in touch easier. Although we no longer have our lifestyle "system," we still have much in common.
I met my childhood friend for ice cream last week. It was remarkable (and comforting) to hear of our analogous struggles. We both currently work in the school system. Our jobs are incredibly rewarding, however, we often struggle financially. In addition, we have grappled with long distance relationships, friends moving away, living at home with our families, striving to put our degrees to use, and navigating the post-college world (among other commonalities).
What has proven most difficult however, is meeting new people.
Her coworkers are primarily older, as are mine. While I work with infants (who are incredibly loveable), she spends her days with high school students.
We asked one another a few questions:
Should I focus on finding new hobbies so I do not feel as lonely?
Do you text an acquaintance and ask them to hang out?
Where can I go to meet people my age?
How do you approach a coworker and ask them to hang out?
Can we get ice cream again next week?
Although life after college is seemingly lonely at times, it is incredibly exciting to be self-sufficient young adults. And, we are fortunate to have one another as company.