For the first eighteen years of our lives, we are consistently thrust into social situations. Most people first experience these gatherings as young children, getting together with extended family members or family friends.
Then, come the age of five or six: we enter elementary school. And the possibilities to socialize are endless.
Not only are you surrounded by people your age every day for hours on end, but there are countless opportunities to engage in other organized activities– such as clubs, sports, and even after-care programs.
This continues all throughout middle school, high school, and arguably during college, too– when we are, yet again, grouped in with people our age who have similar mindsets.
But, what happens after we graduate, enter the “real world,” and start working? Overwhelmingly, the largest “culture shock” young adults experience during the beginning of their careers is the loss of friends.
While this may sound super dramatic, though, this loss is much more subtle and gradual. First of all, following college, all of the people you spent two to four years of your life with will return to their hometowns or cities. You will, too.
Then, over time, the people in your hometown who you used to attend high school, play sports, or simply go out with will start to dwindle, also– taking jobs in other cities, meeting romantic partners, and moving away.
So, you may wake up at twenty-five, thirty, or even forty years old and realize that you don’t really have any “friends” anymore.
Sure, you might stay connected with people on Facebook or send childhood friends a Christmas card each holiday season. But do you have anyone you can really relate to, talk to and hang out with regularly?