Life after college can suck. It can suck in that it's hard to reproduce the friendship and camaraderie you get for free in school. I derived meaning in college from my friendships, especially from the engineering fraternity I was in. But after college I had to find meaning from other things, for me mostly my hobbies.
But a friend of mine has worked hard and built great friendships and a community around him. I hung out with him and his friends a lot recently and it made me think: wow a soul-filling sense of community is possible after school.
He nails a lot of things. But one of the most important thing he nails is the frequency at which he plans and organizes hangouts. I got to know him and his circle so quick because they hang out so often. Once I hung out with them 4 evenings in 8 days, and they hung out outside of that more too.
A lot of friend groups only hang out once a week, and that makes it hard to form deep relationships. You need frequency for depth.
He also nails other things. He and his friends invite new people to hangouts too, so there's always fresh faces. I can't articulate it yet, but that feels important to me. My fraternity always had new pledges, and that was a big part of the social fabric.
One format for his hangouts that works well is the walking tour. Imagine 6-8 people hitting a spot for lunch, and then shopping and walking between various stores, or walking between various food spots, or walking between various book stores. This is a nice format to bring in some fresh faces.
He also maintains a slight social pressure to keep showing up. There are jokes about how often you show up / come through. I'm reminded of my frat again, in which being "active" was a desirable quality, and being "inactive" was an indesirable quality. You need some social pressure to keep a community going.
Also, he's intentional about the people he chooses to bring together. I'm reminded that though I love hanging with all kinds of people, I thrive in friendships where people talk more about ideas and "deep shit".
Finally, he treats this community building like his day job. As in he approaches it with intention and intensity. There are Notion pages involved. And it pays off.
The biggest takeaway: if friendships are the stuff of life, shouldn't you work as hard at them as you do for work?