Let’s be honest. Making friends as an adult isn’t always easy. In fact, it can be overwhelming, confusing, and awkward. Where do you find friends? Is there an app for that? When you do meet people, how do you know if you have anything in common? There are a million questions you might also have, but it’s possible to figure out how to make friends after college without losing your mind—my story is proof.
I had been out of high school for a few years and was in the process of transitioning between colleges. My friends from home had moved away, and I was in an extremely lonely season. I’ve experienced loneliness before—there is an almost unbearable ache when you’re lonely for friends.
My all-time favorite TV show happens to be Friends. I’ve watched every episode of every season—multiple times. One of the things I love most about the show is how close everyone is—almost like a family. I desired that. I craved having a group of people I could go through life and be my complete self with.
I struggled with thoughts that it would probably never happen. For months, I questioned whether it was possible for me to make friends after college. I even started to believe something was wrong with me. Everyone else had friends—at least according to social media. Why wasn’t I good enough?
God created us with a need for people to go through life with. When that need isn’t met, it feels like we’re missing something—and I know that feeling all too well.
There’s a story in Luke chapter five where Jesus performed a miracle and healed a paralyzed man. Because he couldn’t walk, the man was unable to make it to Jesus on his own. So how did he get to Jesus? His friends carried him. And not only that—they literally cut a hole in the roof to lower him to Jesus.
That’s the kind of friendship I was praying for—friends who would be willing to carry me to the feet of Jesus when I wasn’t strong enough to make it there on my own.
As a Christian, I knew that I was never truly alone, because Jesus is always with me. But Jesus also created us for community. He knew we would need one another to help carry burdens and celebrate victories.
It wasn’t long after I started attending Life.Church that I was invited to a LifeGroup, then another. While these groups were wonderful and filled with great people, there was still something that was missing. I knew neither group was quite where I was supposed to be.
I felt God place it on my heart to start a LifeGroup of my own. But I was terrified. Who would come? Where would we have it? What would we talk about?
Remember the story in the Bible about the five loaves and two fish that Jesus multiplied to feed five thousand men? That’s essentially what He did with my group, too. I felt like God was telling me that if I provided the space, He would bring the people.
Over time, I began to see God fulfill His promise. He did bring them! He brought together an incredible group of imperfect women to go through life with—women who love and support one another in ways some of us have never experienced before.
This group has been there to carry one another through some of life’s toughest challenges. I laugh and cry my hardest with them. We’ve also been able to pray for miracles on behalf of one another and see God answer them in His perfect timing.
Now, almost three years from our start date, we are walking through some of the sweetest moments together. Babies entering the world, weddings on the horizon, graduating from college, and landing dream jobs. I prayed for these friends, and because our God is the God of abundantly more, He gave me so much more than I could have ever prayed for or imagined.
As if I weren’t already blessed enough, a few years later God also gave me a co-ed group of friends who took me into their LifeGroup without hesitation.
It’s not easy joining an already established group. But my story is proof that it’s possible and that there are people out there who genuinely want to welcome you in with open arms. We laugh hard, loud, and often.
There’s a fun dynamic in a co-ed group that I think everyone needs in their life. I have a group of brothers and sisters who have dropped everything when I need them. Life got sweeter when God gave them to me.
Want to know how I stumbled upon this awesome LifeGroup? I asked someone. And yes, I was nervous and uncomfortable. However, I felt God encouraging me to go for it. And my advice? If you want to make friends after college, you’re going to have to put yourself out there.
Was it awkward that first night? Yes! If I can give you a piece of advice, lean into the awkward. If I hadn’t, I never would have experienced the gift of doing life with some of my very best friends.
Sometimes I look at my life and these groups of people who surround me, and I can’t help but stand in awe of the God who answers our prayers—maybe not in the way or timing we expected Him to, but in the time and way that is perfect.
So, how do you make friends after college without losing your mind? Friends who will sharpen you the way iron sharpens iron?
First, pray about it. God hears your prayers, and He wants you to have godly friends! We weren’t created to do this life alone.
Next, step out of your comfort zone and follow God’s prompting. Maybe He’s asking you to be brave and text that LifeGroup leader about trying their group. Maybe He’s asking you to start serving somewhere. Maybe He’s asking you to start your own LifeGroup. Follow that prompting—it just might lead you to your forever friends.