Realization: Graduating College With No True Friends In Nyc

*Note: First Story on this Website*

Where do I start? I'm from Massachusetts and attend college in New York. Actually let me rephrase that: I'm about to GRADUATE from a college in New York this Sunday. However, I have come to the sudden realization that I'll be graduating with zero true friends. My story is a little different from some of the others, as I never lost my friends due to one situation, but just slowly over time. Here's my story:

I have always had a group of friends back in Massachusetts and a big loving family. Many of those friends, however, decided to go to colleges in New England. My dream has always been to live and work in New York City, which is why I went to school there. In fact, I have set up everything so that I can fulfill this dream: I worked internships in NYC, performed very well in school, and I have even purchased a sublet in Brooklyn so that I can focus on finding a job.

I have remained in touch with many of my friends from back home and although some have fallen off the radar, there's still a solid connection between several of us. And that connection is mostly seen when I'm home and not at school. And none of them are moving out of Massachusetts, so they will be staying there.

My college career has actually been quite decent: I've gone out a lot, made several friends, made a few "close" friends, and have met a lot of acquaintances (the people you simply have short conversations with). There are some great memories that I'll truly cherish. But there have been dark areas in my college career that have severely impacted my relationships with friends and acquaintances. For one, many of my friends transferred to other schools far away. Another reason I lost friends is because some of them decided to focus on different things (my priorities were my studies while theirs was partying). Also, a few times I had involved myself in seemingly good relationships that, in the end, backfired because I spent so much time with each of them to only have it end. And then I had a few friends who I always considered close, but were the types who used me for advice or help, and, for the most part, never really asked me to hang out besides a handful of times (you know those nasty types). A couple of my friends are moving back home to the west coast.

And finally for the cherry on top: last month, I found out my one, true friend here in college, was sleeping with my ex. That alone, was a hard realization that I had to overcome by choosing not to be friends with this guy. He did other very shady stuff too, but that's another story. Bottom line was that I shouldn't be friends with him as much as I want to. The isolation I have been experiencing has made me want to connect with him, but I know it's wrong.

I'm confused. I'm an extrovert, and have always been a funny, outgoing, nice guy. I have even been told I'm very attractive (not sure how that fits in but thought I might mention it). When I actually do go out into the city, I meet people, but not enough to be close with. But I slowly lost all of them. Why did this happen to me? How did I deserve it? Maybe I fell into the wrong crowds? Did I focus too much on myself? Or maybe I focused on others and not myself? I have no idea.

I'm lonely. I'm about to embark on a whole new life and I don't have any support from my current friends in New York. My friends from Massachusetts are situated there, so they're not of much help. My family doesn't support my decision—they want me to live at home. Graduation should be happy, but I feel the opposite. I feel like I'm starting a whole new life and for some people that's exciting because they get to craft and mould it to their satisfaction. But I have no idea where to start, as it's difficult with no one's support.
NeedAwakening NeedAwakening
22-25, M
6 Responses May 18, 2012

Hey there!
Congratulations on graduating!
New York is place where you are not the only one starting out a life without a single friend.
When I finished college (in the Midwest), I went straight to grad school in NYC. Over the 2 years that I was in grad school here, I've managed to accumulate the grand total of 1 person whom I can call a friend.
Now, however, after graduating from grad school, that friend and I have become more distant simply because she's still studying and I am already finished with my coursework - we don't see each other anymore in class and the library.
So, after 2 years in NYC, at the ripe old age of 24, I am still at square one as far as local friends are concerned. I've maintained close ties to my family and college buddies (in the Midwest), but neither one of us has the kind of budget that allows us to travel to see each that often.
I'd recommend that you try going to so Meetups (meetup.com), to find some new people with whom to spend your off-hours.
Your question, however, of whether or not you brought yourself into this "friendless" state because you focused too much of your energies on pursuing your studies and the dream of moving to NYC is one with only one answer: Go wherever your heart calls you, and the right people will appear at the right moment in your life.
Good luck! And have no regrets about your past acquaintances. As far as your family is concerned - stay in touch, visit as often as you can.

Nyc can be a fantastic vibrant thrilling playground, and it can be so lonely ... I have experienced both there. Some sugesstions: join a book, film, or other similar group. Become a member of a museum and go to their functions. Volunteer somewhere. Go to Washington square park and learn street chess. Take guitar lessons and practice in central park. Check out activities on craigslist. Walk down Columbus and force yourself to say hi to ten people every day. Hit on all the girls in all the little cheese shops. Take up sketching and ask the ballerinas at lincoln center if you can draw them, they are crazed for straight guys...Building a new life takes time, you'll get there. Give my regards to Broadway.

If I have anything to say, the first thing is: Congrats on graduating! Any other things, Im not quite sure how to put them at the moment. But maybe they will find a way to come out...

It sounds like New York is not as friendly as Massachusetts.

I'm sorry that you're feeling lonely right now but honestly this doesn't sound like a permanent state of being from here on out. I know it seems hard to imagine when things will look up but I really think given your entire post and the fact you're an extrovert, this is just an unfortunate part of growing up. I don't mean that rudely, it's just you have this network of people growing up that assuming you don't move, you have from probably elementary school all the way through high school. So you feel comfortable, it's easy with them. But then you either go for your goals and risk leaving the comfort and safety of the group or you stay there and are happy relationship wise but your education and career goals aren't a priority and you settle. So for lack of a better word, it sucks. I'm sorry your good friend you made in college betrayed you by sleeping with your ex and doing shady things, and you're right to cut him out of your life. If you feel like you're just staying friends to avoid feeling alone, that's silly. So good for you for ejecting this negative person out of your life. Someone who made you feel less on your own but who did hurtful things a friend shouldn't do. I do think people make mistakes but it sounds like you judged his mistakes as unforgivable and I think you know best because you just go with your gut. I mean if a friend hooked up with an ex I might be able to forgive it given certain circumstances, but in most instances it's too hard to bounce back from and have trust, but the fact he did other stuff as well, this just sounds like a fair weather friend, a user. Someone who might be fun to be around but deep down he's only out for himself. Don't let that feeling of loneliness right now get you down. You have such a promising life ahead of you career-wise, friendship-wise, and romance-wise. This is just the growing pains from young adulthood into adulthood. You'll make new great friends, and they might be fewer in number than your childhood friends, but that seems to be the way it goes as you grow older, you find a good yet smaller batch of friends to count on and hang out with. Just don't forget to be yourself and the extrovert you already are. Be the friendly outgoing person who says hi and is nice to people. So what is you smile and say hi and someone doesn't reciprocate. Someone for sure will and you'll have a jumping off point to strike up a conversation. I'm an introvert and I lost my core group of friends a long time ago and it's way harder for someone like me. You'll do great. I'm sorry you're lonely now but I promise I can tell just from reading what you wrote that this will be a blip on the radar. A small segment of your life in the grand scheme of things. Just be yourself and put yourself out there and the good people that really are out there will come to you. :)

Sortasad - Thank you, thank you, thank you. Your response gives me so much hope and optimism. It calms me down and lets me realize that there's a lot of opportunities to make friends by just taking more chances. And thank you for understanding the situation. I look forward to hearing more of your helpful and much needed advice in the future.

I think we're in the same boat, except I just started college last fall. I can definitely relate to your problem of no REAL friends, which is followed by loneliness, self-doubt, and regret. <br />
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Don't have much concrete help, I guess. Just want to say that you're not alone in how you feel and that I'll be pulling for you. Plenty of good people out there, I guess both of us need to find them. :-)