Transitions are hard.

Especially after college.

My big question …”What do I do now?”

The things I’ve learned about myself after college have altered my plan in life. How do I cope with change? I read.

“MWF searching for her new BFF” was a book that was listed in Pinterest.  Like many other females, I love pinning ideas of home decor, work out tips, recipes, but most of all I love pinning reading lists. I came across “Top 10 books to read Post Grad”.  What a perfect list of books for me, as I began to figure out what to do after college.  So what did I do next?  I ordered almost ALL of them off of Amazon.

I couldn’t wait for my shipment to come in.  The first book I would conquer would be “MWF Seeking BFF” by Rachel Bertsche.  Now what does that stand for you ask?

Married White Female seeking Best Friend Forever.

During this book Bertsche speaks about her journey for new friends.  Being newly married she moved to a new city and began a new job.  All of her close friends lived in other cities, had careers and began the next step of their life.  I related to her as I just graduated college, was newly married and began working at my ‘big-girl job’.  Trying to mingle with other successful women, beginning to attend networking events and trying to increase attendance at the gallery, I was going through a transition. I was changing as a person and trying to remain a little bit of the old me at the same time.

It is okay to change.  Everyone goes through different phases of their personal self.  So I accepted that I was changing to grow into the next me.  This will not be the last time I change.

So back to the “searching”.  The narrator gives herself the challenge of going on a friend date once a week for a full year.  52 dates with people she has never known.  52 “asks” to those people that could tell her no.  Taking her journey as inspiration, I began my own.  Deciding to let fear aside, I began asking people I hardly knew to go out for coffee, or a drink, or just for a conversation.  If I wanted to make new friends I needed to accomplish that on my own.  Things went well and they didn’t.  I was denied by some and accepted by some.  Some gals I didn’t mesh with, but some I really did.  The best part was that I made a few friends and I’ve learned so much from.

Taking the Leap

I decided to take it a step further and join a book club.  With a love for reading I knew there was others out there that had to share this passion!  There was a problem though, I didn’t know how.  I looked around and asked around and didn’t find a club that fit my needs.  What did I do? I made my own.  I now have a group of friends (some old and some new) that meet monthly.  Not only do we read, but we talk about life, problems, happiness and of course drink a little wine.  For almost two years we have been meeting. I have new friends that I hang out with outside of the club and I look forward to that one night a month as girl time.

This challenge of ‘friend dates’ open up friendships personally, but it also was a great way to expand my professional network.  Through this I’ve been asked to sit on multiple boards and have made connections I wouldn’t have made, if I was too afraid to ask.

In conclusion my advise for you, is to reach out and begin. Don’t be afraid of rejection and keep an open mind for acceptance.  Read “MWF Seeking BFF” for a good laugh, reflection and advice on how to put yourself out there.  You just never know what great friendships are waiting for you.

Cheers to new beginnings,

Tara Welch

If you are interested in reading more of the “Post Grad” list here are the remaining titles:

“Girls in White Dresses” by Jennifer Close 

“The Devil Wear Prada” by Lauren Weisberger

“I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This” by Kate White 

“The Giver” by Lois Lowry

“My Sister’s Keeper” by Jodi Picoult

“Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley 

“Something Borrowed” by Emily Griffin 

“Overqualified” by Joey Comeau 

“The Sun Also Rises” by Ernest Hemingway 

Guest Blogger Tara Welch was born and raised in the Great Lakes Bay Region.  She is an SVSU grad with a Bachelors in Art & History.  She began her career at Marshall Frederick’s Museum and then began teaching in various places around the GLBR.  An opportunity opened at Studio 23 / The Arts Center and the rest is history.  Tara has been Executive Director of Studio 23 for over 2 years and is involved with her community.  She is a proud Rotarian and serves on local boards; the YWCA, Downtown Management and the Rotary Club of Bay City.  She currently resides in Bay City with her husband, Brent and her Springer Spaniel, Sadie. She is an avid reader, passionate volunteer and outdoors woman.