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On Growing Up and Branching Out

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Nobody ever told me how hard it would be to make friends after college. Maybe you're working a weird job and have nothing in common with your colleagues. Maybe you went to grad school and took half of your courses online; or maybe, shortly after, you met a handful of wonderful people at your office but then moved to Minnesota a year later.

I have always been blessed with great friends. When I get married in a few months, I'll have seven amazing women standing right behind me, and I feel like much of my life has been that way. Emma is the sister I never had, Tina is the one I can always count on, Shawna has the most amazing spirit and can make me laugh like no one else, and Elena and I have been separated by oceans at times, but always manage to find our way back to each other. These women have been in my life since we were girls, but the list goes on (and isn't limited only to my wedding party). I think about all the people who will be seated there as Rob and I stand in front of them, and I just can't believe it. It's overwhelming in the very best way.

This is all wonderful, but these people live really far away, which is why I've found myself meeting up with wonderful strangers in coffee shops and restaurants lately. I've been dating a lot of girls over the past few months.

The internet has been sort of amazing in bringing us all together. Someone who once read my blog when I was writing my master's thesis in Charlottesville is now the person I refer to as "my best friend in Minneapolis." An Instagram connection and I are going to start our own little writing group. Food bloggers and photographers who I never knew until October, or yesterday, are now people with whom I make plans. Blogging has really made this big world (or country, or state, really) a lot smaller, and for that I'm thankful.


I wrote this a while ago:

I remember leaving for college.

I stood in my driveway with Emma's arms wrapped around my neck and thought, "Never." I would never find another friend like her, and I would never be the same because of it. It was August and despite the early hour, the hot Virginia morning already fell, muggy on our bare shoulders. Thick brown ringlets and freckles merged as our embrace tightened. 

My dad put the final box of my stuff into the back of our black Suburban. "I'll visit you every weekend," she sobbed into my ear. I let go of her and got in the car. I remember feeling like I'd never have another friend like Emma again.

And then, seven years later, she was hugging me goodbye once more as I packed my stuff to move to Minnesota. So much has changed, but a lot has stayed the same. You can't replace your best friends, but you don't have to be alone.


Photo: Me, Shawna, and Emma in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Blurry, but one of my very favorites.


  1. love this!!

    so true. finding friends after college is HARD. but blogging sure does help ;)

  2. I know just what you mean! My list of "actually get to see them" friends has changed so much over the last five years. In one way, it is sad....but, I know I'm really glad for the new friends I've made!

    I love blogging!!! The friends I've made because of it are people I probably wouldn't know otherwise. Write about your writing group, I'd love to hear about it!

  3. This is truly one of the reasons why I love blogging. The community and friends you make. It is so, so hard to make friends outside college (um, that whole weird job with nothing in common with colleagues? yep.). I just wish I could find some like-minded (read: similar ideals) people who blog near me! I've yet to have success in Raleigh. I love this about blogging though.

  4. Aww good friends can be hard to come by. That's what is holding me back from loving away, it'd be fun but I can't imagine being so far from everyone I love.

    Do you plan on going to any of the MN blogger get togethers? I would love to meet you!

  5. YES! It's so hard to find like-minded people. There should be a blogging website that is community based where you can meet people in your area who blog. That'd be wonderful!

    Or a girl dating service as you call it: calling all female friends!

    Most of my friends after college are all at least an hour and a half away from each other. Not a tremendous distance but not anything where we can hang out after a long day of work.

    I'm glad you're finding new connections in your area since that can be such a difficult transition! Hope you have a great time with your gal pals!

  6. Post college life can be quite intimidating. In between job hunting and moving and just trying to find yourself, finding friends is sometimes the last thing we prioritize. Girl-friend dating sounds like a great solution. Good for you!

  7. AH. I remember us talking and talking about this a few months ago right after you moved to MN. Making friends after graduation is hard. Making friends after moving is harder. You're doing so well and I'll admit I'm a little envious of you! You are so good at this friends thing :) Glad you're doing what you love and making friends who support you on your way!

  8. Great post! I love the piece at the end in particular. Such beautiful writing. :)

  9. I love this! I am still in college but I have a friend from high school that seems to be going the same way.


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