Let’s face it, making friends isn’t as straightforward as it used to be. There once was a time when sharing the same sandbox equated to lifelong friendship; but long after the days of elementary school camaraderie, things have drastically changed.
The desire we have for relationships is etched deeply in our hearts: after all, God created us as relational beings! As St. Thomas Aquinas once said, “there is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.”
In a world of hundreds of friend requests and followers, our social cred online is oftentimes very different than the reality we live in. And as Austin continues to live up to its transplant city status, many of us are starting from scratch and searching to find those authentic friendships for which our heart most craves.
The secret? YCP! (All biases aside.) Here’s why: according to Aristotle, the best type of friendship occurs when two people live alongside one another and strive to grow in virtue. And, since a virtuous life leads to true happiness, the best way to do that is in good company! In the words of St. Maximilian Kolbe, “God sends us friends to be our firm support in the whirlpool of struggle. In the company of friends we will find strength to attain our sublime ideal.” YCP is fertile soil for building those types of relationships, because we have the common ground of our faith behind us. No matter where one is on their faith journey, we’re all striving to live it authentically in the workplace and in our everyday lives, and we can learn from each one of our fellow YCP peers!
How does one cultivate such friendships? One way to start it is with some libation and a little initiative. There is something intimate about sharing food and drinks together. In a fast-paced world, sitting down to have a one-on-one meet-up with a stranger can be a breath of fresh air! In fact, if it had not been for a couple of friend dates scheduled over happy hours, two acquaintances would have never become two of my best friends.
Expand your existing circles
You don’t need to change your lifestyle to make the new friends you want. Invite new acquaintances to your already existing social activities and friend group! You might find that it’s a sincerely welcome invitation to someone looking for the same things you are. Whether it’s a hiking trip to Enchanted Rock or the search for the best BBQ in Hill Country, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and share the fun. You might stumble on an opportunity to practice virtue along the way 🙂
We all crave the intimacy that true friendship brings. God has written that desire in our hearts, and now is the perfect time to forge those authentic adult friendships. Challenge yourself to take the initiative and connect with others at YCP events these upcoming months; you might just find that those cheerful, kind-hearted acquaintances are expectantly waiting to build lasting, Christ-centered friendships.