You Moved Away From Your Friends, Now What?

So even though it’s not 2017 yet, I feel like we are well into this “new and improved, psuedo rebrand” of Cristina Was Here.

HOW TO MAKE NEW FRIENDS

For the past couple weeks, I’ve been writing about topics that I’m truly passionate about and truly touch my heart. It all started with this post, and while reading all your comments, I noticed a commonality that you and I share.

A lot of us have moved away from our friends.

Maybe it was going to different colleges or just natural life changes, but take a look at these comments I received, so you can see how it’s not just you who’s going through this change.

how to make new friends

“I used to live with my best friend, and it was amazing. She moved out to live with her SO and now I spend my days how you do — wondering what I’m going to do and whether I’ll be around people. My sorority community has helped in a lot of ways with this, but it’s more of a struggle than it used to be for sure even with the addition of greek life. Like you said, I’m totally fine hanging with myself, but I used to be able to choose when I was alone and now I feel like I lost that choice.”

 

“Up through my freshman year of high school, I could walk to my best friends house, and we can hang out all afternoon if we wanted. But my sophomore year when I switched schools, things really changed. It wasn’t until I was in college, and developed my own routine and really got in to the swing of things that I saw a huge mental health change!”

 

“I transferred prematurely (following my freshman year) because I had had such high expectations of what college would be like, and I didn’t know what else to do when the disappointment, well, sort of crushed me. Like you, I moved into an apartment by myself. I’ve been living alone since the start of my sophomore year (I’m a junior now), and I do love it, but it was hard at first, for sure. As a transfer, I didn’t know anyone at my new school, and living off campus and by myself made it harder to meet people. I left my best friend and another great friend behind, and I miss not having those go-to people to text at any time to go out and do whatever.”

 

“I completely relate to your feelings of loneliness. After my friends moved away in college, I spent more time by myself and it’s something I’ve grown to live with. It does make me sad that I don’t have more friends I can contact and go out with on a regular basis. Somedays I see it as motivation to really get work done on my blog.”

 

“I can totally relate to the whole being alone a lot thing. I decided to go to a college in a whole different state than I went to high school, and while I do love it here and have a couple great friends, I’m not surrounded by familiar faces to just talk to and hang out with whenever.”

make new friends

Hmm. That’s tough. It seems like a lot of us are alone more than we’d like to be. A lot of it has to do with college, and going to a different school than your best friends. However, I wanted to bring this up before we all head our separate ways for the holiday break, because I think, even middle schoolers and high schoolers, can experience this uncomfortable separation over the break. You’re going on vacations or maybe you’re friends are off at camps and skiing trips, and suddenly your routine is not the same anymore – something that can cause a great deal of anxiety here and there. Or maybe you’re in college and you LOVE it. You have great friends and lots of them, but you’re about to go spent a month back at home, and maybe your hometown isn’t full of your besties.

What can you do? Now what?

how to make new friends

First things first, look at this situation as a time to focus on YOU.

I was terrified to go to a new school where I didn’t really know anyone and especially to start a long-distance relationship. Cam was and is my best friend, and we used to do everything together. I really couldn’t imagine going it alone, but when I found myself in that position, I thought, “Well, this is a great time to learn how to be more independent, focus on managing my anxiety, and learning more skills.”

I never thought that I could do a lot of what I’m doing on my own, but now that I was dealt this hand of cards, I’m glad that I got to face some things on my own.

Set a list of goals for the break, the semester, or the year that you want to accomplish. Work on yourself…by yourself and for yourself. Maybe now is the time you learn to knit or you overcome your fear of going out to eat alone. Whatever it is, chase it and accomplish it.

Learn that making new friends can be fun, and not a chore

I’ve talked about it before, but try to go through mutual friends to meet some new people. I’ve met a couple friends-of-friends and now we are really close and are coffee-date buddies! Or maybe ignite some old friendships. Maybe there’s that one girl that lives near you that you used to be super close to in middle school. I’m sure she’d be down to get lunch over the break, so don’t be afraid to send the text. Join new groups at church, school, or in your community. I’d consider the 12 other strangers I meet with every other Thursday night acquaintances of mine because we get to talk about writing and books we love, and it’s so great to have a group to call my own. (Even if I found it on the Internet…ha ha.)

how to make new friends

Discover the best friend that your family can be

This goes to all of you that have moved back home, or will be staying home for the holidays or later on this summer. You’ll never realize what a great friend your family can be until you give the friendship a chance. I’m really lucky in this department, I have 3 fun sisters who I love hanging out with. They’re each so different, but equally as lovely to be around. My sister Caroline has stopped by for dinner a couple times, my sister Maddie sends me podcast recommendations all the way from Austin, and my littlest sister Clara even came over for a sleepover last weekend!

I also call and talk to my parents a lot. My mom and I snapchat. I even called Cameron’s grandmother on her birthday and had the best 15-minute chat I’d had all week.

So call your parents, send your grandma a card, and hang out with your family members like they’re just another pal you want to have coffee or get pedicures with. Time spent with family brings me so much joy, so I make sure to incorporate it into every week!

Find a hobby that keeps you busy

Thank goodness for blogging! I haven’t been more thankful for my little corner of the internet than this semester. Sometimes, I go all day without hanging out with anyone or getting to talk to my family/friends. Then I’ll sit down on my couch, feeling rather empty, and either read through blog comments or Instagram comments and it MAKES. MY. DAY. When someone replies to my story, they don’t know that I was walking by myself to class or the library, but when I read their message, it totally changes my mood and makes me feel like I have tons of amazing friends scattered around the country. (Because I do – YOU GUYS!) I am so, so thankful for that. And if you’ve ever left a comment, tweet, or reply….THANK YOU!

Most of all, remember “this too”

That was the biggest piece of advice I got on my post admitting my loneliness and tough adjustment to spending so much more time alone. This isn’t forever. While I know you and I are both going to work on how to make it easier, it’s going to be tough some days. But, this too shall pass. It’s almost winter break and I’ll be heading to see Cameron in Fayetteville and then going to Kansas City with him for a friend’s wedding. Then I’ll be at home with my family and I’ll move into my new house. Then after next semester, Cam will be done with school and long distance will be over! It’s all temporary, but I’m glad I went through this period in my life to learn how to work on myself – by myself and for myself.

Thanks so much for your comments. Tell me below, what helps you if you live alone or are spending long periods of time without your besties? Let’s continue the conversation and lift each other up!

X,

Cristina

 

 

  • Moving away from friends can be one of the most difficult adjustments to make. After college, I moved to a new state and lived alone for a while. It was really lonely, and it was difficult to make new friends (especially as an introvert). But, I used the time to focus on myself by reading, blogging, and going to yoga. Eventually, I found that making friends can come quite naturally. When you meet someone who you really get along with, things just fall into place.

  • Great post! This happens to a lot of us where we find ourselves away from the people we are used to like our friends!

  • Thanks for this great post! Once you’ve graduated, I’d be curious for you to follow up on this because making friends post-grad is SO HARD! I totally agree about being friends with your family though – they’re always going to be there for you and it’s so much fun to be able to spend the holidays with some of your best friends! 🙂

    <3 jess

  • One thing that’s happened in my life is all my friends moving away and I’m still in the same place. Adulting and making new friends is so hard! Thanks for sharing this with us.

    Greta | http://www.gretahollar.com

  • Kim

    Thank you Cristina for being honest about this topic. I moved to a new city for college and had high expectations for how the next four years of my life would be. When things didn’t go as plan at college, I was crushed by my own expectations. To know that you and many of your readers have gone through the same thing… gives me a sense of comfort knowing that what I felt is not “wrong” or bad at all.

    -Kim 🙂

  • Shane

    I moved across the world to Australia after graduating and know the pain all too well. It lets you open yourself up to a whole new group of people 🙂

  • Ashley

    Great post. Moving aways from your friends can be so difficult! When my best friend since the 3rd grade and I graduated from college we moved to different areas and it was so tough, especially at the beginning!

    xo Ashley

  • Kait

    Moving away from a bestie can be hard! I love your tips on how to cope

  • Such a positive outlook on this time in your life!!! There’s a chance I could be moving for a job in the spring, so I’ll have to keep the same views as you on making new friends!

    xoxo A
    http://www.southernbelleintraining.com

  • Moving away from can be super hard. I know I hardly see one of my best friends she’s lives far away and I always miss her when I need her most.

  • Haley Marie

    Hi! I just wanted to let you know that I love your blog and decided to nominate you for the Mystery Blogger Award. The Award is a Q&A challenge to help bloggers build community; you can read more about it in my blog post here: http://www.haleymarieblog.com/2016/12/mystery-blogger-award-blogging-q-and-a.html. Thank you so much for your amazing content and for inspiring me to be a better blogger! xo Haley

  • I love all your tips in this post! I feel like its something we don’t think of when we leave college and head out to the real world. It can be so hard to make new friends or stay in touch with your old friends after college.

    Hannah

  • My sophomore/junior year I was in a living situation that wasn’t the best for my mental health or sanity and while I couldn’t get out of that situation as quickly as I would’ve liked, something that definitely got me through was understanding, like you mentioned, that my situation was temporary. Great tips overall, Cristina.

  • My baby sister is currently in college, and just this week her roommate (and best friend at university) is moving out. Maybe I’ll send this article to cheer her up!