How I choose to integrate more social back into my daily life

Ella Schuellerman, Arts & Life Editor

This week in E’s Editorial, I give readers my top tips for getting ready for a little more of a social life and how to be comfortable meeting new people. (Ella Schuellerman)

It is safe to say that the last year has socially stunted us all. The world took a pandemic pause and so did our social lives. While this pause was needed to protect ourselves, friends and family from COVID-19, returning to any level of social interaction is difficult now.

As I try my best to integrate a little more social life into my daily life, here are some of my personal tips I remind myself each day:


Check Your Motivation

Why is it that you want to be more social and get out there? For me, I had less than two months back in the states from a semester studying abroad, then the pandemic hit. Now, I want to make new friends and foster new relationships. 

According to Healthline, “More than anything, you’re under no obligation to fulfill other people’s expectations, and this includes how you spend your time.” If you are unsure whether you are ready to jumpstart your social life, ask yourself, “Am I looking forward to this?” or “Will hanging out with these people bring me joy?”


Pick Up The Phone

This one was  difficult for me to do this year. There are old friends that I have not seen in one year, maybe two. I thought to myself, “No, it would be weird if I just picked up the phone and suddenly texted them.”

Don’t tell yourself this! Pick up that phone. 

While being the first one to text, call or initiate any sort of hangout might seem scary, showing people you want to be their friend makes a difference. It does not matter how much time has passed since you last saw each other, chances are they are in the same boat.


But Also… Get Off The Phone And Get Out

While this may contradict what I just recommended, I highly suggest turning off TikTok and Instagram notifications and living in the moment. If you are hanging with new or old friends, there is no need for you to be sucked into your phone 

The amount of nights I have sat on my couch — swiping through fashion videos, virtual concerts and even making a few videos myself — has drastically decreased. I need to curb my obsession with social media and actually be social. I have started to leave my Apple Watch at home, so I am not aggressively checking it every time it lights up. I also work on turning off notifications when I am with a friend to avoid the temptation of picking up my phone.


One engaging way to meet new people is by reaching out to friends of friends. It may be nerve-racking at first, but chances are friends of friends have similar interests and values as you do, because you share friends! (Canva)

Make Friends With Friends-of-Friends

This was tricky for me because I always stuck with the same crowd. But as college went on, I started to meet people from different clubs, classes or groups. I met people who had other friends besides me and my friends. 

There is no reason that mix-matched people can’t hang out! Making friends with friends-of-friends is a great way to get to know people that you wouldn’t likely know otherwise.

According to Personal Excellence, there are three categories of friends that people should try to have. There are the “Hi-Bye” friends, who you see in a glance at school or while out and about. Their acquaintance energy is short and sweet but sometimes all you need. Then, there are your regular friends, the social pals you meet up with every once in a while for a good catch-up. Lastly, you have those soul friends, or best friends, who would drop everything to help you in a minute. With soul friends, you can talk about anything under the sun. 


Don’t Corner Yourself

I have noticed people are never interested in expanding their circle of friends. John Carroll students have a few of those cornering tendencies. There is nothing wrong with having your “people,” but remember that  making new friends with people not in your circle can be exciting and rewarding. 

It sounds like a silly reminder, but I often think we forget there is no limit to how many friends we can have. I think the pandemic pause unintentionally caused many people to corner themselves into their own little bubble. 

I am here to tell you that it is time to pop your bubble. The fear you have of the potential new people that may enter your life should not intimidate you. Reverting back to our social norms is going to take time.