And that kids is the story of how I met…. Part 3!

We now continue our quest to learn how to make friends in college, in life, and beyond with a few more words of wisdom from some Barnard staff and administrators, including Well Woman’s own Jessica!

Natalie J. Friedman,Dean of Studies

Right after graduation, I moved back in with my parents in order to save money while attending graduate school. I thought that would be the end of my social life! I was happily wrong: I met some of my closest friends in graduate school, and they saw me through the ups and downs of graduate study, my first real love, and my first job post-Ph.D. Much to my delight and surprise, amazing friends came along when I became a mom — other moms I met through schools and daycares, or even at my workplaces, became close friends who taught me about parenting, working, and womanhood. Just the other night, I spent an evening talking with a woman I met through my son’s friend, and although we started out talking about our kids, we ended up talking about what it means to be a woman in the 21st century and how different it is from the experience our mothers and grandmothers had. Sharing a conversation and a glass of wine with this woman made me realize that you never stop making new friends along your path, and these new people are important for seeing you through life’s transitions and direction-shifts.

Abigail Sara Lewis, Athena Center for Leadership Studies

My first job was in a new city, where I knew two people.  I got off to a rocky start with one staff member, who encouraged the rest of the staff not to be friendly with me. I was pretty lonely the first month.  So, I threw myself into my work and I soon impressed my boss – who was very vocal on the good work I was doing.  This lead to a serious thaw at the office, and I soon made friends with all of my co-workers.  Eighteen years later, two of them are still my best friends.

Heather Van Volkinburg, Associate Director of Learning Initiatives and Data Services 

Most of my friends I’ve met through work and the networks I’ve developed as a part of my work. For example, I used to teach English as a Second Language in Madrid, Spain. I met one of my best friends while we were both teaching English. Even after we both left Madrid and we never lived in the same city again and sometimes we didn’t live in the same country, we still managed to remain very close. We travel to see each other and sometimes meet at places in between. She’s a closer friend than some of the friends I made in college!

Jessica Cannon, Program Director, Health Promotion and Education

Graduating from Barnard and staying in NYC, I was lucky enough to have a number of my college friends close by in my first post grad years. But after a bit, many of those folks moved farther away. And when they did, I made new friends through…a book club! I found the book club in an interesting way–I wrote a fan email to a Brooklyn-based blogger I thought was fantastic, telling her that her posts had helped me feel cheerful in a tough time. She wrote back to say thank you, and after a few more emails back and forth she asked if I would like to join the book club she was forming. There were eight of us–all total strangers–at the first meeting, and we met every month for almost four years. I still remember walking out of the very first meeting, feeling so excited about the people I had just met. We’ve stopped having official book club meetings (a few folks moved and a few others had babies!), but three of the women I met, including the original blogger, have become some of my closest friends. So I definitely recommend book clubs, and just taking the plunge and introducing yourself to people who seem like they’d be fun to know.


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