Five Steps Young Adults Can Take to Manage Loneliness Post-College in NYC
It is no secret that New York City can be a lonely place. Despite its reputation as being one of the most fast-paced and action-filled cities in the world, many of the young people I work with face challenges in establishing meaningful friendships. They may attend many social events, join different young adult groups, and even try to meet up with college friends, but still feel lonely at the end of the day. While everyone can feel lonely in NYC, young adults often face the additional challenge of adapting to a less predictable social environment than they may have experienced in college. Due to the spread-out nature of the city, young adult groups may also lack continuity, and new acquaintances may rarely be seen again. Indeed, NYC is in many ways the polar opposite of a contained campus community, but these five strategies can help you establish friendships in NYC.
- Think Quality Not Quantity
With an abundance of social opportunities for young adults, one can become overwhelmed by meeting new people, but have little opportunity to form quality friendships. While it may be tempting to attend five new crowded events that are well publicized and in your neighborhood, the long-term benefits of seeking out activities and social groups with regular meetings, continuity among members, and opportunities for forming deeper friendships often outweigh the difficulties be inherent in finding such groups.
- Do What you Like.
This city offers many activities through which it is possible o meet young people. Many of my clients complain that they had to leave behind their favorite activities such as sports and the arts after they move to the city. However, if one looks hard enough, he or she can find their favorite activities right here in the city, and doing so at least once every two weeks; These groups can include meetups, young adult religious groups, and even weekend long excursions with other young adults. All of these activities offer the opportunity to become familiar with others who have similar interests, ultimately creating meaningful and lasting friendships.
3. Join Other Young Professionals
Many young adults are entering a professional fields for the first time, which can create challenges as well as a desire to meet others going through similar professional experiences. Therefore, finding a professional group that meets frequently and offers other activities such as evening socials and opportunities to learn about others in the profession is a potentially rewarding opportunity. Examples could include the NASW for social workers, or a legal networking meetup for young attorneys.
4. Make Arrangements in Advance
Unlike College, were it is easy to see friends casually and spontaneously, most young adults in New York have busy schedules and long commutes. Therefore, it is often necessary to plan meetings with potential friends weeks in advance. Creating a regular schedule in which one maintains regular social appointments is critical for developing a consistent and supportive group of friends.
5. Have Patience
It can take many months and sometimes years to establish friendships in New York The city is huge, with lots of different opportunities to meet others, so if it does not happen right away, don’t give up, but continue to think about strategies you can develop to meet other likeminded individuals.