Social Life After College
It’s 9:30 p.m. on a Friday night. My iPhone lights up with a text message from my friend Bridget.
“Hey I’m home for the weekend and we’re planning on going out tonight. We’re meeting up at my apartment and then going out around midnight. See you then?”
Midnight? What does she think this is — college?
I can barely keep my eyes open as I watch an episode of “Say Yes to the Dress” with my mother. I highly doubt that I’ll want to take off my pajamas (that were put on as soon as I got home from work), do my makeup, and actually be sociable. Last time I checked, I was a young and personable girl who enjoyed going out with friends and socializing. So why do I find getting out of my house and seeing other people to be such a chore?
“Getting up at 7 a.m. every morning to work an 8-hour day is totally what is making me tired,” I thought. Then I realized that everyone else is doing the same thing — some even get up earlier because they have a longer commute — so I couldn’t use that as the only reason.
I also tried blaming my sudden apathy toward socializing on the fact that no one liked me. Why would I want to go to this bar and see people from high school who probably forgot I existed? Do I really want to run into my ex-boyfriend with his new girlfriend? Will anyone even want to talk to me? Yet my friend was inviting me to go out, so clearly someone likes me.
Then I thought that maybe I was just bitter about not being in college anymore, and that was what was turning me into Ms. Anti-Social. I figured that this “girl’s night” my friend mentioned would turn out to be a bust compared to the epic hot-dog fights, karaoke nights and endless themed parties we had in college. Comparison is the devil.
In college, I was surrounded by tons of other people my age. Here at home, I have about 3 or 4 friends who I see every so often. Most people my age are still finishing up their degree or have moved away from home to pursue their career, so the options seem limited in comparison. During college, there was always a party or trip planned for the weekend. My weekend nightlife now mostly consists of going to 1 of the few bars in my town and feeling like the youngest person there (it doesn’t help that I naturally look young as well).
I’ve come to realize that maybe I can’t pinpoint exactly why I seem to be less sociable after college. I can try all I want to blame it on external factors and other people, but when it comes down to it, only I can choose whether to say “yes” or “no” to that invitation.
You can view my “Social Life After College” article at its original source here.
Wow – I just read your article and couldn’t help feeling like maybe I had written it myself. PJs immediately after getting home? Check. Hanging out with my mom on Friday night? Yessss. Not wanting to run into high school classmates at bars? CHECK.
I am graduating college in a few weeks, but since my university is in my home town, I feel like my 5th year of college social life is far less social than it should be. After living abroad for two years and going out regularly, being back at home and studying constantly makes it hard to go out at midnight. I went to sleep at 11 last night. After watching a movie with my parents and my neighbors. LOOK OUT! So wild.
Thank you for sharing and making me feel like less of a freak! I know I am still fun and sociable – I just need a better way to have fun than drinking with people I don’t really like from 12-2 am…..
Aw I’m glad you could relate and that you feel like “less of a freak”! I
think I just prefer a lower-key lifestyle now that I’m out of college,
and that’s just a personal preference. Most of the people who are saying
they have so much fun on weekends are just trying to put on a happy
face and pretend. Do what makes you happy. Thank you for the nice comment, it made my day 🙂
Aw I’m glad you could relate and that you feel like “less of a freak”! I think I just prefer a lower-key lifestyle now that I’m out of college, and that’s just a personal preference. Most of the people who are saying they have so much fun on weekends are just trying to put on a happy face and pretend. Do what makes you happy!
Loved this post! My Fridays are often “Bridge-days” on TLC. Life after college is much different, but one thing I have noticed is I appreciate my friends and the times we do spend together much more.
Thanks Carolyn! I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels this way.
I graduated 2 years ago and my social life has completely changed! Not in a bad way…it’s just not the same. I see my college friends “partying” it up and I thought I would miss it but I don’t. I am happy where I am in life, I still have friends and a social scene but it is harder to up keep since I have a full time job. Social events consist of weddings, family events, date nights with the boyfriend and girls night vs. the sorority/fraternity life and college parties.
I definitely agree with the “hard to keep up” with part. I think everyone just has the bad habit of comparing their social life to others.
Thanks for reading and following, I’ll be doing the same to yours as well. 🙂
I just graduated from college in May so I can definitely relate. I still live near campus so it’s not quite as different for me. But I must admit, the appeal of going out to bars all the time like I did in college is fading quickly. These days I want to go to dinner and drinks or a play or a movie or a concert. I want to actually catch up with friends instead of yelling over the crowds at bars. And even though I have no homework anymore, I am still just as busy with blogging, an internship, a full time job and an hour long commute every day each way. I’m definitely working on finding the balance between all of these things and a social life (and sleep!). And I totally don’t blame you for staying in some Fridays to watch Say Yes to the Dress. I love that show, too. 🙂
I completely agree with you, Jackie. I think it’s a very common feeling to have- most people just don’t like to admit it. Life after college is definitely very different!
I wish I had this post to read about two years ago! I would have known I wasn’t going crazy that other people feel this way too after college. I am an extremely outgoing person, but moving from Iowa to Minnesota and settling in Minneapolis, it wasn’t to make new friends. Sure there were some people that also moved up there from college or high school, but no one I would have hung out with on a regular basis. Plus, working 8 hours straight each and every day is exhausting! Going out with friends or meeting up with people when it takes 20-30 minutes just to get there is even more exhausting! It has gotten much better and easier since two years ago, but I was in a friend/social rut for a good 6 months. No one really prepares you for what the real world is like SOCIAL life wise. That was harder than adjusting to a full-time job!
Exactly! I’ve had so many readers/friends tell me they feel the same way and were afraid no one else did. The truth is, more people feel this way than choose to admit it. I think that we can still have social lives after college, they just have to be altered a bit.