Like many of you, I made the decision to move to a new city post-graduation. In a toss-up between Los Angeles and New York, I chose crowded subway stations over endless miles of car traffic. Any hesitations I had about moving to a new city were overshadowed by my overwhelming desire to flee Boston. I will forever be grateful for my naive spirit, because moving to New York wasn’t as seamless as I’d expected. To my surprise, one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced has been building a group of friends. When you don’t have friday night plans, it is not comforting to think about the 8 million people hanging out without you.
In the past, friends have probably fallen into your lap. In elementary school, you fearlessly called your classmate’s landlines and asked their mom if they were avail to hang. Freshman year of college, you opened your dorm door, played some music, and watched the new besties roll in. Even if you were socially awkward AF in middle school, there was most likely a lunch table full of friends for you.
Long before I found a social life, I found excuses. A few examples: recreational sports teams are for retired D-3 athletes. People in relationships are fun-murderers and not appealing friends to have. Clubs and meetups are for intense people with hardcore interests. Walking up to strangers in public is something only a sociopath would do. It’s easy to fall into the habit of watching 6 consecutive episodes of Law and Order: SVU, when you convince yourself there’s no other viable option. Olivia Benson has served as my best friend on a number of occasions.
In college, you could be broke as a joke and still have a poppin’ social life. At 19, you’d spend your last $15 on a box of Franzia without hesitation. By 23, you’re probably paying your own rent and you are most likely swimming in student loans. You aren’t going to invite a stranger to your apartment for a first friend-date, like you would in your freshman year dorm. Fortunately, sites like Timeout and Brooklyn Vegan can assist you in finding inexpensive activities to do with your new besties.
It’s not always easy making friends, but it doesn’t have to be hard. Reach out to people you haven’t spoke to in awhile. Go on Facebook and search “Friends who live in [CITY].” DM someone whose instagram you like, I’ve met a handful of friends this way. I’ve made friends on Twitter. One of my closest friends in NYC, I met on Bumble BFF. There is no traditional way of making friends once you’ve graduated college, and it can be really intimidating. One thing is for certain; every friendship you’ve ever had started with an introduction.
SO, here is mine: Hi, my name is Mackenzie, and I take really cute candids of my friends. I’ll be your Saturday afternoon personal shopper, and your Sunday brunch therapist. I’ll go to da club with you until 6am on your birthday, but unlikely on a Tuesday. I’ll cancel our plans when it’s snowing outside, but I will always tell you the truth when you come out of a dressing room.
Here I am with my bumble BFF Sarah, her sister Victoria, and her cousin/roommate Lauren. This is a photo from the day we went to brunch twice.
I KNOW, I’m wearing the wrong shoes with this outfit. (dress DVF)
If you live in NYC, hit me up! Say “hi” to Mackenzie@Mackinstyle.com — Bonus points if you’re up for double dating.