Being a young adult can make finding (and keeping) friends challenging. Everyone you know will be in a different life stage. Whether you’ve just finished school, still studying, started working, or become a parent, building real connections is important. 

The good news is there are lots of tips and helpful advice to help you make friends that stick around, no matter what life throws at you.

Why making friends matters

During the transformative phase of young adulthood, building a supportive network of friends that provide companionship, understanding, and a sense of belonging can help you navigate the challenges and uncertainties of life.

Friends offer encouragement, provide different perspectives, and help you celebrate your successes, creating a sense of connection and resilience in times of difficulty. 

Additionally, healthy friendships contribute to your mental and physical health by reducing stress, combating loneliness, and promoting a sense of purpose and fulfilment. 

By investing time and effort into forming and nurturing friendships, enriching your life experiences, creating lasting memories, and laying the foundation for a fulfilling and meaningful life through adulthood and beyond.

Key Considerations for Making Friends

There are a few things you need to know and take into account when it comes to making new friends.

– Embrace an open mind and put yourself out there with an approachable attitude.

– Be willing to take the first step and be prepared to step out of your comfort zone; initiating contact often falls on you.

– Friendship challenges are universal and understand that building connections can be challenging at any life stage.

– Identify what you want from new friendships, whether it’s a social life, improved mental health, shared interests, or a larger social circle.

Attend local events

Attending local events can be a goldmine for making friends as a young adult. Whether it’s local community centers, markets, or festivals, these occasions offer a relaxed setting to connect with like-minded individuals.

Attend talks, join workshops, or participate in group activities to naturally find potential friends who share the same passions. 

The bonus of attending local events is that it’s highly likely that the people you meet are also local!

Join a new sports team

Joining a sports team is one of the best ways to forge friendships.

Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or a newcomer to the game, sports teams create a supportive environment where connections thrive.

The shared physical activity not only promotes a healthy lifestyle but can also establish an immediate connection with teammates. From team practices to games and post-game gatherings then the shared victories, challenges, and laughter on the field or court often translate into strong bonds in the sports arena.

Get to know your coworkers

Building friendships at your workplace is a valuable opportunity to enhance both your professional and personal life. Take the initiative to engage with your colleagues by attending work-related events, participating in team-building activities, or joining workplace clubs and committees.

Strike up casual conversations during breaks or lunch and show a genuine interest in your co-workers’ experiences and perspectives.

You can find common ground through shared projects or interests, and consider organizing informal gatherings outside of work hours. 
Be open, approachable, and willing to invest time in getting to know your coworkers beyond the office setting, creating connections that lead to lasting friendships.

Join a book club

Literary gatherings provide a platform to share thoughts, ideas, and insights about the books you collectively explore. Beyond the literary discussions, book clubs often evolve into a social space, offering opportunities for casual conversations and shared interests. Don’t be afraid to initiate conversations outside the club meetings, whether it’s grabbing coffee or organising other book-related events. 

Reconnect with old friends

Take a trip down memory lane by reaching out to friends from your past, be it from school, high school, or previous jobs. 

Nurturing existing relationships can provide a comfortable and familiar foundation, making it easier to navigate the challenges of young adulthood together. Whether it’s through virtual catch-ups or in-person reunions, the shared history with old friends can transform into a supportive network that adds value to your life.

Take a class

Enrolling in a class not only offers the opportunity to expand your skill set but also provides you with new experiences and 

Whether it’s signing up for a yoga class, an art class, a pottery workshop, or a language lesson, shared learning experiences can pave the way for meaningful friendship.

The shared pursuit of knowledge provides a natural common ground, making it easier to make social connections with people who share similar interests. 

Our friends advertise the kaleidoscope of ways we can live. They expose us to new ways of being in the world, showing us another life is possible.

Marisa G. Franco. Author of Platonic: How the Science of Attachment Can Help You Make – and Keep – Friends

Use an app

Friendship apps provide a platform specifically designed for connecting individuals with shared interests or similar lifestyles and can be a dynamic way to expand your social circle.

First, create a genuine profile that reflects your personality, interests, and what you’re looking for in a friend. Then, be proactive in initiating conversations with potential matches and participate in activities or events organized through the app.

An app can be a great way of meeting others, especially when you are in a new city or even a new country. Some apps to try:

  • Bumble BFF
  • Meet my Dog
  • LMK

Facebook groups or subreddits are also great places to meet real friends. Check out a local group for meet ups for special interests like parenting, crafting, geo-caching or hiking.

Other online platforms like online games provide a platform where you can interact with individuals from different countries and cultures who share a common interest in gaming. Through teamwork, communication, and shared achievements, these friendships can transcend the virtual realm. And lead to lasting bonds that can create the best friendships.


Volunteering not only allows you to make a positive impact on your community but also provides an excellent avenue for meeting new people. Find a cause or organization that resonates with your values and interests, and dedicate your time to volunteering.

Some places you can volunteer are:

  • community groups
  • social events in your local community
  • food banks
  • animal shelters
  • homeless shelters
  • seniors centres

Volunteering not only enriches your personal growth but can also lead to true friendships with those who, like you, are dedicated to making the world a better place.

Connect with your neighbours

Start by introducing yourself with a friendly smile and a simple greeting. Mention a few things about yourself to get the conversation started. Things like if you work from home or night shift, have kids or pets or obvious hobby that you will be seen outside your house doing.

By taking the initiative to build connections with those living nearby, you’ll likely discover a supportive network of people right on your doorstep. They can help with:

  • keep an eye on your house while you are away
  • you won’t have far to go when you visit for dinner
  • they can collect mail and put your bin out when you are unable to
  • you can borrow things from them
  • mutually help each other maintain their properties

Family and family friends

Building friendships often extends beyond your immediate social circles and includes family and family friends.

Similar to family friends, friends of friends or a mutual friend can offer great opportunities to meet a potential new friend. Even with diverse backgrounds, shared associations can also mean shared interests and values. After all, you both share a connection with the same person, which can serve as a solid foundation for expanding your friendship groups.

Start something

If you’re still having trouble creating good friendships, you might need to be the one to initiate something. Start something to meet the type of people you want to spend your free time with.

Consider your interests and talents, and take the initiative to create a space where others can come together and share those experiences. 

  • book club
  • brunch club
  • photography group
  • film nights
  • gardening group
  • board game night
  • social media profile on a topic you enjoy

Problems in young adult friendships

You might come across a few problems when it comes to meeting new people as a young adult.

Friendships in young adulthood can be hard.

We each have our own lives. We likely work different hours. We live in different areas. And have different hobbies. Plus, you might have kids or other family commitments. 

And we often have different friendship circles to keep up with. So consider lowering your standards, at least to begin with.

Take advantage of opportunities to step out of your comfort zone, explore new interests, and engage with diverse communities.

Be open to initiating conversations, having new social interactions, and trying new things.

Remember that making friends is often a gradual process that requires patience, authenticity, and occasionally, vulnerability.

By prioritizing genuine connections and nurturing relationships, you’ll discover new relationships that enrich your life and journey through young adulthood and beyond.

Embrace the opportunity to meet new people, and remember that, much like in-person interactions, the key to fostering meaningful connections is open communication and shared interests.


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