Make connections that last!
The best part of college-- beyond the education-- is the friends and peers you meet throughout your higher education journey. Frequently cited as the best four years of your life, college is the time for people to explore and learn what types of friends and energies they want to be around. Between dorm buildings, weekend parties, and lecture classes, most college students are around people constantly-- but with the effects of the pandemic and remote work, many students and post-grads have found themselves back in their childhood bedrooms or parents’ basement, and have lost that constant socialization. Now miles apart from college and the friends that come with it, it’s hard to be a post-grad who still yearns for a social life, especially when senior year didn’t feel real. So now that you find yourself without frat parties to go to and late night club meetings, how do you survive post-grad?
Although the world is starting to open up after a year and a half of lockdown, there are still restrictions in place and personal preferences when it comes to stepping out into the world. So while the obvious bars and restaurants are great meeting places for young 20-somethings, it is important to understand that technology is not the enemy. In fact, technology should be your best friend, or at least the outlet to connecting with your best friends in a more exciting way than Zoom calls (though those can be fun with the right attitude).
The best place to start is with the original things that brought you and your friends together in the first place, whether it be movies, lifestyle habits, major interests, or the great taste of coffee, it is important to go back to the basics-- not only to remind people why they became friends, but to also reestablish the relationships outside of the college setting. From there, it is easy to connect even if it’s not face-to-face.
Seeking something more immediate? All you need is a computer or phone. Calling and texting is one thing, and FaceTime has truly changed the game, but what more can friends do to be social from their childhood homes or wherever post-grad has taken them? Many streaming services have started “Party” programs where through a shareable link and browser extension, a group of users can watch and control the show or movie from their separate computers-- most offer a side-by-side chat feature as well so you and your friends can react in time with one another.
Technology can be so great, but it is also good to look at options outside of a WiFi connection. A recent trend that has risen to popularity on TikTok and other social media apps, is the resurrection of snail mail. There is nothing better than receiving a piece of mail, and again, while it may not be face-to-face, there is an intimacy in seeing the handwriting of someone you cherish and knowing that they took the time to sit down and write to you. It signals that you were on their mind and texting everyday just wasn’t enough. Want to take it a step further? Share a journal within your friend group. Even more personal than letters, keep a journal for a week, write all your thoughts in it, draw in it, collage it-- and then ship it on to another friend. Create a schedule, rotate through until the journal is full. It makes the miles between disappear every time the journal arrives in your hands.
It’s been a wild year and for many of us, it was our friends and family that kept us sane. Due to many Americans having access to vaccinations, it is easier to once again interact with society. Still, it is important to keep these relationships in our life that fulfill and support us. It may not be easy with remote working and the aftermath of post-grad, but there are definitely still fun ways to maintain a social life in the midst of this life change.
Clarah Grossman currently works as a Media Editorial Intern for Macmillan Learning. She just graduated with a BFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. Now that she has all this spare time, she hopes to finally learn to play the ukulele (but will probably just end up watching lots of anime).
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