What I didn’t include in my whiny little entry about how I have no friends is that once upon a time, I was the social planner in my group of friends. It was during the time I lived at home before coming to grad school. Basically, I moved back to my childhood hometown after being away for years and years. I knew people, but I didn’t have friends. After moping around for a good six months, I eventually decided to contact the people I used to be friends with in middle school and try to arrange a get together. Most of them didn’t know each other. I barely knew some of them after all this time. But you know what? It worked! Many of their friends had moved away from town or with busy with new jobs or spouses, so we became a little group. They relied on me to make plans for all of us. Once when I was out of town, everybody texted me asking if there was anything going on that night. I told everybody to meet at the same place. It wasn’t until they all arrived that they realized I wouldn’t be coming.
So I decided to try that tactic again. There were two other people I knew outside of my department. On a whim, I emailed asking if they wanted to get dinner later that week. I told them to invite other “young professionals” that they knew at the college. There wound up being five of us at that first dinner. We decided to start emailing around a list of “cool” places to check out in the area. We also kept adding people to that list! Some more people have been hired and we want to make sure that they can make friends too.
Our little group has done a few things since then and I’ve even had to turn events down because I’ve been busy. The important thing is now I feel like I have friends and things to do around here. I’m sure it will eventually get to the point where I’m not traveling everywhere on my weekends off because I’ll have plans here.
I am still looking for more ways to get involved in the area. One reader suggested looking into the Junior League, but I’m worried that I’ll be the youngest person involved or the only one without a husband and children. Right now my “tell all your friends” approach seems to be working well, so maybe I’ll hold off on the Junior League and church choir until I’m more settled.