Making Friends At Monsters University
First comes high school, then comes college, then comes the stress of adulthood. Like Sully and Wazowski in Monsters University, most of us find surprising friendships and build lifelong relationships when we attend college. After that, every minute of the day becomes consumed in meeting deadlines, skill development, taking care of the kids and balancing life in general. Amidst it all, what happens to friendship? Real Simple and Families Work Institute found that on average, women between the ages of 24 and 54 reported having less than 90 minutes a day of free time. In addition to lack of time, in person relationship building is being replaced with social media and texting.
The more society devalues friendship, the more it happens on a personal level. Or maybe that is in reverse. Whichever the order, news sources like USA Today have touched on the topic of dying relationships and shallow friendships. This is a saddening evolution in human culture. When did something so important become obscure? While shedding light on the root of this problem is helpful, perhaps it is best to focus on changing for the better.
Monster University Tips for Friendship Building:
- Don’t overlook friendships that stem from working relationships. British writer Mark Vernon suggested that our closest friends are those that mirror ourselves; they help us realize we are not alone. It is isn’t surprising that you would have a lot in common with someone who spends their days on a similar career path or at the same company. Often workplaces today are seeking to foster work friendships. In Friendships and Work: A good or bad partnership, published by USA Today, Natasha Burke and Zipporah Dvash serve as a prime example of successful work friendships. For that matter, the friendship of Steve jobs and Bill Gates also supports the theory. The importance of work friendships directly correlates to daily happiness, so utilizing professional team building and communication training can go along way to boost progress.
- We should not let 90 minutes of free time a day act as a cage. Friendships might not be possible to squeeze around a tight schedule, but why can’t they fit in a tight schedule? Make friends when you hit the gym, within a professional organization or make connections with the other parent’s at your child’s school. Sometimes you just have to light the friendships that are already waiting for you.
- Dedicate one evening a week to joining a band, attending a Meet-Up group, becoming part of a soccer league or volunteering. Add something you love to your schedule outside of your normal routine and bond with people of similar interests.
- This is not an easy venture for anyone and sometimes professional work life balance coaching can help. You can always learn to prioritize, balance and grow. No matter your title or your circumstance, friendships should be an important part of your life.
William Shakespeare said that “a friend is one who knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become and still, gently allows you to grow.” The ball is in your court; now go find someone to play.