I was definitely ready to graduate from college. Every time I’m on a college campus and I see exhausted-looking students lugging around backpacks, I feel so grateful that I’m not one of them anymore. However, one thing that I do miss about it is the sense of community and the relative ease with which you can find a group of people to spend time with. (I went to a relatively small school where almost everybody lived on campus, so that was my experience, anyway.)
Making friends is so much simpler when you’re living in a set location with lots of other people who are approximately the same age and in the same stage of life as you, and also when you see the same people everywhere. Finding a comparable sense of community post-college has been a real challenge. Where in the real world do you run into somebody half-asleep at their desk at 9 am, at lunch that afternoon, at choir rehearsal in the evening, and then in your Zumba class the next day?
I do have friends, thank goodness, including friends who live pretty close to me. I also know a lot of cool people in the area who I think could become good friends if we spent more time together.
Ah, there it is…if we spent more time together.
The thing is, I am mostly an introvert. I love people and I feel great when I’m spending time with friends, but if I don’t have plans with somebody, I will probably just stay home, and be quite content to do so. And the other thing is that I don’t really like the process of making plans. It’s kind of exhausting. All the going back and forth deciding when and what and where and how and who…ugh.
I don’t have choir rehearsal with lots of friends three evenings a week. I don’t live in the same building with a bunch of interesting people my own age. I no longer have the sense of camaraderie I felt on those nights in the music library when we were all researching Beethoven or analyzing chord progressions, when conversations about schoolwork turned into conversations about life or feelings, or any number of bizarre topics that I can’t recall at the moment.
I’ve been really into the show Friends lately, and I think the reason I like it so much is that it’s about people in their twenties who’ve found a similar sense of community to what I experienced in college. That’s probably what a lot of people like about it, actually. I love how they don’t have to spend a lot of time making plans…they just show up at the coffeehouse and boom! there they are…friends.
So I guess what I need to do is create my own Central Perk. Or my own post-college music library, sans heavy backpacks and deadline-induced anxiety. A place and time where I can just show up and know that friends will most likely be waiting.
Friendlily, (I really thought spellcheck was going to red-squiggle that one but I guess it’s a word?)
p.s. I’ve been working on an illustrated July calendar to send out all of you who are on my email list for your printing and scheduling pleasure. If you’re not on my list and that’s something you’d be into, make sure you sign up using the form at the bottom of my site or by clicking here.