When watching TV as a kid, I thought my 20’s would be the most glamorous time in my life. However, what we don’t see on TV is that your 20’s can feel like anything but glamorous most of the time. At the same time, some of the best lessons learned have come from being in my early 20’s, including how tough it is at times to make friends and find your way. Watching TV of people in their 20’s ALWAYS has the main character(s) surrounded by their main group of best buds. Though, the reality of making friends in your 20’s is far from what TV shows, which makes it more of a challenge to see through what the media portrays.
Before I get into the meat of things, I’ve been extremely lucky to be able to have some great friends that are some of my best friends living in different states and cities than my own. I have some friends from college still living down in North Carolina. I also have some pretty great friends in New Jersey (my home state!) from my childhood years. I even have some fellow influencer friends who I talk to practically everyday in Indiana. Luckily, my job provides me with the ability and flexibility to be able to visit my friends in their respective states of residence every few months or even more so. I feel very lucky to have made many connections in my childhood years, college years, blogging years. At the same time, having friends and my Dad and Step Mom (who live in Delaware) living in 3+ different states has allowed me to travel A LOT, too!
In college, I had friends over for parties, social gatherings, meals, and Bachelor viewing parties multiple times a week in my tiny on-campus apartment. I was definitely living my best college life and my social calendar was FULL! And, then, the end my Junior year of college, COVID hit. Everything took a full 180 in our world and we were told never to look back, despite not wanting to. Yet, my social life did not. I had my 21st Birthday Party on Zoom and over 70 people showed up (I still don’t know how everyone had actually not talked over one another the entire time – LOL!!). I maintained many of my college and personal life connections through these tough COVID times. Back at college my Senior year, my best friend Hannah frequently visited along with our best friend Alanna and they were AMAZING rocks during these less-than ideal times for anyone and especially for making friends. I also somehow managed to make new connections friend-wise during the COVID times, whether it be at school or through my blog which I started and re-coded again and again and again at the time. Looking back at my college years and the friendships that I made whether or not they stood the test of time, I am extremely blessed and my heart is filled with SO MUCH gratitude.
Just 6 weeks before college graduation, I made the decision to move back up to the Washington, DC area to continue my job search after visiting during my Spring Break. I had an apartment right after I announced my post-graduation move (which was just a few days after I made my decision). About a month later, I got a job offer for the job that I have now. Those final 6 weeks of college, I was SOOOO excited for my big move to the big city. I was psyched for the new friends, the adventures, the memories to be made, and the excitement of a big city. HOWEVER, when I moved here, the magical excitement felt like it was gone. I didn’t have any friends (besides a few friends from high school and my family) and no clue of how to approach it all. Little did I know, the journey to making friends in your 20’s would be ANYTHING but smooth.
My first few months after I moved up to Washington, DC, I got onto Bumble BFF (gotta be REAL here!!) and met some pretty cool people on there. I actually hung out with a few folks that I met there yet never really made any connections that turned into friendships with folks that I regularly see. Yet, I did make some great texting buddies and one that I see on occasion! Once I started my job just a few months after college graduation, I got wayyyy too busy to even remember that I was on Bumble BFF (confessing here!!). I became hyper-focused on my job and that’s how it was for the next year. And, when I started my job and with the move, I felt like I sort of lost myself for the first year since it all went down. It was rough and the last thing that was on my mind was making new friends.
Now that I have gotten out of my post-graduation funk and settled into my new groove, I have realized that it is really HARD to make new friends. I have been lucky that my company has a group focused on Early Career Professionals that I am an active member in, where new friendships have blossomed. At the same time, I have made some great friends through this platform that also live in the Washington, DC area. My Big from college also lives nearby, along with some of my high school friends, family, and my friend Bryn lived here for the summer and hopes to move back full-time next summer. BUT, at the same time, making new friends is ROUGH and everyone I’ve talked to whose my age has said the exact same thing. It is rough out there in our 20’s – everyone is finding their way, wanting new friends, desiring to go on great adventures, and hoping to eventually find love.
In the end, we’re all just hoping for the same thing – a few friends to gossip over drinks with about our latest love interest, go on adventures with around town, enjoy a night out on the town with, and spill the tea on the latest reality tv episode with. It’s HARD when we go from our college life to living on our own in a tiny apartment probably with a roommate and just have to start all over again, YET we don’t know where to start. Yep – none of us feel like we know WHERE TO start with it all when it comes to making friends. We all are hoping for new connections and I think that, at the end of the day, we could ALL use more connections in our lives, whether we have a ton of connections already or not.
TV makes our 20’s look uber-glamorous, but that is far from the truth. The 20’s are a rough generation which is simply about finding our own way in this big big world. Though some rough years, I think there are some pretty great and perhaps glamorous moments in our 20’s, too, as with other generations of our lives. We just have to look for the sparkle and make new friends where we can along the way!
XOXO – Katie <3