"I like fiery passion, actually." - Olympus
Question #91186 posted on 04/23/2018 12:42 a.m.
Q:

Dear alumni and current writers of the 100 Hour Board,

How do you make friends? How should I make friends? Seeing as I am moving to a location with a small (or, perhaps, no) YSA ward immediately after finals for a summer internship, I would particularly love to hear non-LDS answers. However, answers of all kinds would be great (like: how to make friends as a college student, as a summer intern, as a long-term & full-time employee, as a busy stay-at-home-parent, as an extrovert, as an introvert, as a poor person who can't afford to go to the movies every week, etc).

This question was inspired by #47090, which I recently stumbled onto #imboard! #random #loveit

-My Name Here

A:

Dear Aziraphale,

As explained in Board Question #91185, it is not alumni week. So you're stuck with the regular crew of writers.

For the majority of my life, I've struggled with making friends. In fact, this is the first year I feel like I've actually had a group of good friends consisting of more than like, one or two other people. I think the key differences in my newfound success in making friends has to do with the kind of people I've been spending the majority of my time with: my ACME study group.

Since the beginning of last Fall semester, we've spent generally over ten hours a day together every single day, excluding Sunday (I suppose we don't spend as much time together on Saturdays either, but still). Despite the majority of that time being devoted to doing homework, you don't spend that much time around other people without getting to know them pretty well, and becoming familiar with their idiosyncrasies. Through this experience, I've found that simply getting to know other people well makes me more inclined to like them, and by extension, become friends with them.

Another thing that's helped a lot in my making friends within my study group is the fact that people who decide to major in ACME tend to share certain characteristics. We like a challenge, don't give up on things easily, and all seem to have a penchant for learning in general. This leads to lots of interesting conversations about etymologies of words, foreign politics, gospel doctrine discussions, personal philosophies, weird random YouTube videos, and even one time researching the history of beer. And of course, we're all interested in math.

The real clincher to these friendships, though, is the shared experience we have. ACME is pretty dang hard, and it's the kind of thing that's impossible to really describe how it feels. My ACME friends understand what it's like to do incredibly difficult math day in and day out. They know the feeling of studying your brains out for an Evans test (trust me that these tests are different from any others), and then spending an interminable amount of time taking that test. They relate to studying literally 300 pages of super dense material for one class. They understand deciding to keep on doing ACME anyways. Best of all, when I talk about how my life is hard largely due to ACME, they don't look at me like I'm crazy for doing this to myself (like literally every other person does).

I guess the bottom line of this is that I make friends through spending time with them, having shared interests, and having shared experiences.

~Anathema

posted on 04/23/2018 6:03 p.m.
As somebody who has moved around a lot, I have a few pieces of advice on this subject. If you’re not going to be in the intense situation Anathame is, I hope you’ll consider trying a few of these suggestions. They’ve worked for me more than once.

First, say yes to every invitation, at least at first. Never miss a ward FHE, co-worker happy hour (you don’t have to drink), weekend hike, or anything else. Don’t feel bad about being That Guy who invites yourself to these things—people probably aren’t trying to exclude you, they just didn’t think about you.

Second, don’t limit yourself to the kind of person you’ve been friends with in the past. Who knows if you’ll get along with the programmers, or the cool kids, or the girl with tattoos? If you don’t set up mental barriers before getting to know a person, you’ll be surprised at how many people you can be friends with.

Third, don’t compromise your standards. A friend will support you in them. You don’t have to drink alcohol at happy hour. You don’t have to stick around the BBQ once people start to get a little sloshed (that usually happens about 45-60 minutes after the party starts, fyi). You don’t have to go hiking on Sunday. You’ll be surprised at how willing good people of every or no faith will be to help you keep your standards! And if they aren’t, look for other friends. You’ll find them.

Fourth, and finally, make small talk. I know, it’s awful. I’m not saying you have to run into a party and start working the room. Far from it! But you do have to open your mouth to the person you sit next to at orientation, or break the fast, or RS/EQ. It can be as simple as saying, “Hi, I’m me, and I’m new. What’s your name?” Or, “Wow can you believe this is taking so long ugh.” Most people will respond in kind, and you’ve got a baby spark for a maybe friendship. Do this a few times, obey the first three rules, and before you know it you’ll have friends.

Good luck and have