Keeping up with the theme of "Things that I have learned since moving to Traverse City," this blog post is going to touch on the topic of making new friends.
I should start by letting you all know that I am a huge advocate for the saying "Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other's gold." Cheesy, I know, but still pretty accurate. The only part of the saying that I somewhat disagree with is the part where it insinuates that new friends will ever only be "silver"- I personally think that a handful of new friends may absolutely have the potential to become gold one day.
What I'm getting at is that leaving my friends in another state was not easy. In fact, it was terrifying and somewhat depressing at first. Picture this: Me, boarding a plane to leave Florida on New Year's Eve (where the weather is still a balmy 80 degrees) for Michigan, where I know...no one and am completely unprepared with my single coat and fashion-not-function boots. Five days later, I celebrated my 22nd Birthday at Right Brain Brewery with my parents. Then my parents left, making my friend count a whopping 1: my boss.
So, it is safe to say that at first, I was a little worried about finding people to hang out with after work. I'm a very social person, but I had never been in a situation where I was "the new girl" and I have to admit: I'm not very good at being new.
Thankfully, Allison Beers (my boss) threw me right into as many socializing and networking opportunities at possible. I can honestly say that without Young Professionals Events and networking opportunities like Business After Hours, that I would not have met half of the wonderful people that I have. That is also a huge reason as to why I'm such a promoter for Young Professionals Events- because they really are a superb way to meet people who are around the same age as you who understand what it's like to be a Young Professional in Traverse City. They get it. They're in the same boat, and it's so much easier to row that boat when you have people in it with you who are headed in the same direction you are: forward.
With that said, let's switch over to present time. I still miss my friends back home, I still willingly hang out with my parents, and I still hang out with my boss after work... but my friend count has raised significantly. I can thank Young Professionals Events and Volunteer opportunities for a significant amount of those new friends.
I'm also pretty certain that a good number of those new friends have the potential to go from being "silver" to being "gold" in the future.