Sunday, October 12, 2008

Wanted: A Social Circle

Today is a day of big thoughts. I have spent most of my day being nostalgic and discussing life with Em. Tonight she reminded of what I wish to remember everyday, which is that the first year out of college is the toughest transition. I am in the biggest transition year; some say it is the biggest of your life, which also means it is one of the hardest. The strangest thing is that I am almost out of my transition year, so it will be interesting to see what changes happen afterward.
My most difficult transition is the lack of a support system. I have been having a hard time since I graduated with feeling like I have friends, not causal friends because I have those and should actually spend more time with them, but I am missing strong, deep, “best” friends. What I am really missing is a friend group. That is my problem. I felt this as an undergrad too, but was so busy I didn’t have time to really dwell on it. I had friends in college – many of them very good friends – but no group. I only had one-on-one friendships, which I admit, those are much easier for me because I don’t have to be so out-going and can cultivate deep conversations, which I love. However, now I am really missing a group. I think I miss it so much because I actually knew what it was to be a group in high school.
In high school I had a solid group of girlfriends who I spent every minute with at school and then hung out with every weekend as well. We spent at least six days a week together. Every Friday was full of making plans for that night or the next day. It was a great life. A busy and full life, but busy and full in the best possible way, the kind where you’re busy shuffling from one fun activity to the next. I don’t have weekend plans these days. I don’t have a set group who I can call up and five of us can go to the movies or dinner or have a sleepover. I am still a busy person and I still have some friends, but none of them know the others. I want a steady group of friends. I want a defined social circle and support system back. My roommates feel very similarly and I have been told this is a very normal feeling for my demographic. The biggest question we all seem to have is where to find those people to start that group?
I remember this T.A. I met back in high school who told me he wanted to write a book about how difficult the transition is for people who just got out of college. I remember telling him that the hardest transition was leaving high school and the first year of college. I still stand by that answer in the sense that during that year of my life (my first year out of high school) I was more lonely, depressed, unhappy, and hopeless than I have ever been and ever want to be again. However, I would say that this time of transition, the first year out of college, is the most socially empty. I am more secure in who I am and what I am doing, but I don’t have that group to experience it alongside me. I am envious of the TV shows that depict that group, from “One Tree Hill” to “Friends” to “Sex and the City.” I don’t believe this is a media fairytale either, because my own parents met their core group of friends around my age and spent the next ten years (give or take) making plans and hanging out with them. Many people cultivate their own social circles and that is what sustains their 20s and usually goes on to be the same group of people they raise their families and grow old together with. I just want to know when my will begin and how I find it. I guess we’ll all just have to have faith and wait and see…

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