By Rachel Comish
Summer brings so many more opportunities to try new things and meet new people. Between bonfires and barbeques, pool parties and beach days, drive in movies and concerts in the park, it's a time to branch out and put yourself out there.
But that's not always easy.
The lure of snuggling up with Netflix on the couch is real, and trying something new takes effort. But putting forth that effort once in a while is really good for you. Even if the night is a bust, at least you know that you tried.
You may have your solid group of friends, your go-to yoga buddy and backup dates. But things change. People graduate, they move, they get married, they study abroad, and sooner or later you will have to find new friends.
Let me tell you-- it is always rough. Putting yourself out there isn’t easy, but here are some things to keep in mind while friend hunting/getting constantly forgotten by your new friends:
Don't be afraid to be alone.
You can get some serious me time while looking for new experiences. That is good! It’s a wonderful opportunity for self-reflection. You can get used to yourself and figure out what you really want. Going places alone isn’t sad, so enjoy yourself and don’t apologize for being momentarily friendless.
Focus on others.
Let yourself get dragged to random parties even if you only know a couple people. Talk to people, ask them about themselves and actually listen. Most people love talking about themselves, so be friendly and get them to open up. Even if you never hear from them again, you’ll at least have heard some interesting stories.
When you are constantly chatting up potential new best friends but left hanging, it’s easy to be bitter. Try to stay positive. Sure, your calendar is empty and your phone isn’t ringing. That does not mean you are not an interesting, dynamic, worthwhile individual with goals and skills. Know who you are and don’t let your social life dictate your self-worth.
Most of all, keep trying.
Keep going to activities. Keep inviting yourself to parties. Go see a movie by yourself. Go to your favorite burger joint and eat inside the restaurant instead of using the drive through. Put yourself out there and be nice to the people around you. Sooner or later, someone is going to decide to keep you. In the meantime, have fun exploring your independence.