Like most of you, I’ve been meeting people my whole life. So I thought I’d share some of the key differences I’ve noticed when trying to meet people in college and trying to meet people after college.
Meeting People: Monday-Friday
In College: Class
In college it’s easy to relate with most other college students, because everyone is pretty much on the same general life path of trying to graduate while still getting drunk on as many Tuesdays as possible. Your class will be full of peers that are your age, excited to be on their own for the first time in their lives, and everyone will be very open to meeting new people. Everyone except that weird old guy, Steve, who doesn’t know how to use Microsoft Word and is trying to major in computer science.
After College: Work
Unless you work in a select few professions after graduating (waiter, hospitals, or relatable ’90s internet journalist) most of your fellow employees are going to be older than you by at least a few years. This means that most of these people will already be married or have a kid or two. Both of those factors make meeting and relating to this person much more difficult. A
dumb kid beautiful miracle is why those crazy nights on the town become night spent falling asleep next to your kid, who’s watching Frozen for the third time in 24 hours.
Meeting People: Where You Live
In College: Dorms
Meeting new people when you live in the dorms is easier than breathing while you’re asleep. All you have to do is leave your door open, play some music, and people will stop by to meet you. Most of your best friends you’ll ever have will live on your dorm floor and all it will take to bond with them immediately will be playing a round of Beer Karts on Mario Kart 64.
After College: Apartment
Meeting people in your new neighborhood or apartment complex is ironically far more complex than meeting new people in the dorms. When you’re not in a college atmosphere, it’s hard to introduce yourself to someone you live next to without sounding creepy. Saying, “Feel free to stop by sometime” when you’re in the dorms makes you sound laid back, but saying it to your new neighbors implies that you want to see them naked regardless of their make or model.
Meeting People: At Bars
In College: Any Hour
You have a guaranteed conversation starter with every single person on campus, including the phrases “What are ya studying?” “What’s your major?” “Want to get drunk watching Cops?”
Meeting new people at a bar when you’re in college is easy as long as you can talk-yell and kind of dance. A lot of your time spent out at college bars takes place after midnight and after a solid pregame session. This means most bars will be playing loud dance music that makes it almost impossible to have an actual conversation. Doesn’t matter, because all it takes to meet someone in that loud and hazy atmosphere is a moment of eye contact followed by a, “You look familiar. Where would I have seen you before?” Unless you’re a total creep, you should be off to an oddly volumed talk-yell conversation with your new friend. Meeting people drunk in college is so easy that you can go out, get blackout drunk and when you’re walking around on campus the next day someone will say, “Hey Your Name” and you’ll have no recollection of even meeting that person the night before.
After College: Happy Hour
Going to bars after college becomes less frequent, and more conversationally oriented. Being able to have a conversation is a good thing for meeting new people, but oftentimes people go to a bar to meet and talk to specific people they planned on meeting there ahead of time. This makes sliding into a conversation difficult without sounding forced. Saying, “You look familiar” or “I’ve seen you before” comes off stalkerish when you’re introducing yourself to a stranger outside of a college atmosphere.
Meeting People: At Events
In College & After College: For the most part, meeting people at events is going to be a fairly similar process. You go to a sporting event and can meet people that are rooting for the same team, or you see a comedian with people that are laughing at the same comedian. he only main difference is the age of the people at college events is usually going to be younger, (minus Steve, the aged and technologically handicapped Computer Science Major) and the fact that you no longer get that magical student discount that made everything like five dollars, even though you didn’t have five dollars to spend.
People are people and there is going to be some differences in the way you meet people throughout your life, but try to keep an open mind, you just might meet someone you’ve never met before.