How to Make Friends in Your 20s and 30s

The Surgeon General has stated that loneliness and isolation are an epidemic in the United States. Loneliness and lack of community can negatively impact our physical and mental health, which means making connections and forming friendships are more important than ever. But making friends as an adult can feel challenging. 


You don’t have to give up hope, though! Whether you just graduated college, recently moved to a new city, or simply want to expand your social circle, check out our nine tips for how to make friends in your 20s and beyond. 

Why Is Making Friends After College So Hard?

In high school and college, you have structure and consistency. You’re surrounded by people your age, see them regularly, and have tons of free time to chat and forge connections. Once you leave school, you no longer have hundreds of peers around, drastically shrinking your pool of potential friends. Throw in commitments like a career and family, and finding time and energy to make new friends can be difficult.


How to Make Friends in Your 30s and 20s

Making friends in adulthood might take a bit more effort than getting coffee with a classmate or hanging out in the dorm common room, but it’s still possible. Try some of these nine tips for making friends, and you’ll be redecorating your guest bedroom for a sleepover in no time. 


1. Join local social media groups. 

Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms are full of groups dedicated to meeting people in specific cities. Sometimes, these groups are geared more toward newcomers, while others are open to both city natives and transplants. 


You can’t just join a group and passively scroll, though. You’ll need to get outside your comfort zone and interact with others, whether that means leaving comments, RSVPing to events, or creating your own introductory post. These groups offer an excellent opportunity to find people with similar interests, and you can chat with them right on the platform to get to know each other before meeting in person. 


Host your own event.

Social media groups often have people planning and hosting events. Sometimes, this is getting a group of folks together for a local happy hour or opening their home for a Galentine’s Day party. If you don’t see events you’re interested in, don’t be afraid to host your own! 


2. Start volunteering.

Cities are full of volunteer opportunities like walking dogs at the local shelter, planting trees with a conservation group, or committing a few hours a week to a nearby hospital. Volunteering is not only a fantastic way to give back to the community, but it can also open the door to new friendships. You’ll probably see some of the same people regularly, and frequent interaction is key to making social connections.


3. Join a hobby club.

Clubs are a tried and true way to make friends. Scour internet listings and social media pages to find clubs relevant to your hobbies and interests. You can often find clubs for running, walking, knitting, crocheting, and board games. You’ll also probably come across tons of book clubs for different genres. Silent book clubs are even a thing! You can go, chat with fellow book lovers, and spend an hour of quiet time reading the book of your choice.


Start your own club.

Are you really into chess but can’t find a local club? Or do you exclusively read thrillers, but all the book clubs near you seem focused on romance? Kickstart your own club! There will surely be other people in your city with the same interest who will join. You can host your club at a local cafe or your home. Depending on the group size, you might need to rearrange your living room seating to fit everyone. 


4. Play a rec league sport.

Are you part of the pickleball craze? Do you miss your days of varsity volleyball? Have you always wanted to get into soccer? Look for adult social sports in your city. These groups often require a small fee but are a great way to meet people. You’ll already be surrounded by people with a shared interest, which can ease the friend-making process. 


Don’t get discouraged if you don’t leave the first practice with a new bestie. Friendships take time, and you’ll likely connect with a few folks the more you get together. 


5. Become a regular at a local cafe or brewery.

Making friends requires seeing people regularly. If you love coffee, find a local cafe you enjoy and can visit for the same few hours every week. If IPAs are more your thing, do the same for a brewery you like. After a few weeks, you’ll probably notice a few of the same people. It might really require stepping outside of your comfort zone, but approach other regulars to strike up a conversation. It could be about a book they’re reading or simply asking what drink they have and how they like it. 


If you’re interested in how to make friends in grad school, become a regular at a popular study spot — whether that’s a coffee shop, library, or other quiet workspace. You can connect with other grad students and study and do homework together. 


6. Take your dog to the dog park.

Your dog can give you a leg up in the friend-making space. Dog people love to meet other dog people — and there’s no better place to do so than at the dog park. Regularly take your pup and start chatting with other dog parents, especially if you see them repeatedly. These interactions can lead to puppy playdates and friendship between humans. 


7. Try a speed friending event.

You’ve heard of speed dating, but did you know speed friending also exists? These events follow the same concept as speed dating but focus on platonic relationships. You’ll meet with a bunch of people for a few minutes each and can match with those you felt a great connection with. Do a quick internet search or view the events pages for local breweries and bars to see if there’s an upcoming event near you.


8. Sign up for a class that interests you. 

As we’ve said, making friends is all about repeat interaction. Classes are a great way to see the same people with similar interests on a regular basis. Fitness classes like cycling, yoga, pilates, or dance are always great options. You can also give cooking, pottery, candlemaking, and improv classes a try. 


9. Use friendship apps. 

People often associate apps with dating, but there are also apps dedicated to making friends! You can try apps like Bumble BFF to scroll through profiles and swipe on the people you’d like to be friends with in hopes of a match. Chat for a bit on the app to get a better feel for each other, and then make plans to hang out in person. If you’re making a lot of connections, you can even throw together a group event — like inviting folks over for a weekend brunch at home. One of your matches could turn into a lifelong best friend.


Prepare Your Space for Hosting with CORT Furniture Outlet

Making new friends can be tough. People are busy with young families, work, and other obligations. And in this era of loneliness, finding community can be even more important than ever.

If you’re ready to revamp your home for better hosting, but still on a student loan budget, turn to CORT Furniture Outlet for great pieces that won’t break the bank. At CORT Outlet, you’ll find discounted furniture pieces and sets at a fraction of retail prices that you can take home same-day. That means when it’s your turn to host for your new bookclub, you can make a great first impression – and make sure all of your new friends have a comfortable place to sit. Browse online or visit your local CORT Furniture Outlet and see what our ever-changing inventory has to offer you today!

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