Making Friends When You're Over 18
Making friends gets harder the older you get. When you're little, you could just walk (or woddle -- depends how stable you are on your feet at that point!) up to someone and tell them that they're wearing the same slippers as you (no joke, that's how I made my first friend at Primary school). The older you get, the harder it is, especially because I spend so much time at home on my own.
I'm naturally quite a shy person. I worry what people think about me, and I find it very difficult to walk into a room full of people that I don't know, and speak to a single person. I've always admired people who can strike up conversation with anybody; my Mum is so good at that! I just go quiet, and listen to what everyone else is saying. Not great when you're trying to make friends.
When I moved to Cornwall, I had to make new friends for the first time in my life. I'd never changed school between the age of 5-18, so I'd always had that stability. When I got here, it wasn't only a new culture, but I knew nobody. Thankfully, because it was University, we were all forced to mingle and work together, so I made a great group of friends, fairly fast.
Fast forward 4 years, and all my amazing university friends and I were graduating; off into the real world. Here was the catch though: I was staying in Cornwall, everyone else was off up to London. I was back at square one; knowing very few people. Tom and I were still a fairly new couple, and thankfully his friends were all lovely, so I quickly became close to them, and I still am. For quite a long time though, I really didn't see many people. I was fine, mind you, because I was working so hard on Atlas.
Now, I don't think I actively go out seeking friends; friendships just happen. Where have I made the majority of my closest friends? The internet. Controversial for some, maybe, but being the shy, quiet person that I am, reaching out to other "Internet Folk" has been the way I've made some of my closest friends throughout the years, and I don't regret that one bit. Another place has been the gym. I'm there so much, I've certainly made plenty of friends just by seeing someone there frequently.
"But how on earth do you go about becoming friends with someone on the internet?" I hear you say. Well, it might sound silly, but just talk to them. Some people might say its cowardly to try to only make friends behind a computer screen, but most of the time, I've initially begun speaking to someone via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or their blog, and fairly quickly we're meeting up IRL (in real life) for a chat over a cup of tea. It's so much easier to work up the courage to start a conversation over the internet, because they're not seeing you go bright red or awkward!
Another way that I found making friends was the gym. Now, this isn't for everyone as I know that not everybody wants to be in a gym, and that's totally fine! But essentially what I'm getting at is: put yourself in some kind of social situation. It might be going to a local pottery class, or joining a book club. Why is that a good idea? Because the people there will most probably be into pottery/books, just like you, so you'll immediately have something to talk about. I find it easy to bond with people via the internet or the gym, because I'm really passionate about the internet-ing I do.
It's so important to have friends around you. I'm a firm believer that it's not necessary to have lots of friends; just a few really good ones is all you'll ever need.