PAST ISSUES, EVERLASTING TIPS:
#45: You’ve got the power — At some point, literally everyone is trying to make a new friend. How can you best approach that situation when that’s you … and when you’re seeing others feel that way?
#44: What are your intentions? — Heading into the last chunk of the decade (!), a reflection on how we can set goals and make plans for friendship, while also being purposeful in the questions we’re asking and the ways we’re getting to know each other.
#43: Say “we should be friends” out loud — Group project time! Sowners share their tips for how to make friends in adulthood.
#42: Marie Kondo didn’t warn me about this — Cleaning out the closets made me a bit more reflective and didn’t just spark joy. Group project, activate.
#41: “We met on the apps” — Ana and I have officially been friends for over a year, and we have Bumble BFF (and our hometown hockey team) to thank. Here’s my how-to.
#40: Read me like a book — Why doing a read-along might be the best addition to your social schedule, once you work up the courage to go to one.
#39: Stop adulting and relive sleepovers instead — Inspired by Caroline Kitchener’s musings, we contemplate what’s lost when )(platonic!) sleepovers get aged out, and how to recapture that in adulthood.
#38: It’s okay to back away from the screen — Why connections, not content, should be prioritized in the wake of National Unplugging Day and in recognition of our millennial loneliness needs.
#37: Millennial loneliness is real — In the midst of the millennial burnout cultural conversation, I propose another element of the exhaustion. We’re inherently lonely and it’s time to talk about it (including one potential approach/solution).
#36: And a happy Friendsgiving to us all — Celebrating our first year together through Sown, with a special subscriber spotlight.
#35: How to make friends while VOTING — Making friends is important, and so is participating in your democracy. Kansas voter Amy walks us through engaged your friends (and finding new ones) while prepping for the ballot box.
#34: How to make friends via Meetup — How do you build a Meetup into a robust, inclusive, not lame-o event year after year? Boston-Area Beer Drinkers leader Kristen points us in the right direction.
#33: How to make friends on a budget — Brunch with a potential new friend or a hobby to meet some folks can add up. Financial guru Rachel Richards takes us through her process of how to find friends without cracking open the piggy bank.
#32: Read between the lines — Inspired by Cracker Barrel printed maps, the New York Times’ look at a Facebook friendship map, and the electoral map (you should always register to vote, if you can!), we take a look at friendships and connections across the map.
#31: Let it shine — As the content strategist behind the daily motivational Shine text, Haley has been elbow-deep in psychology research and self-care best practices. After moving away from her friend and experiencing hardship with her own mental health, she shared the lessons about friendship she learned along the way.
#30: Galettes and gals — Facing a milestone birthday head-on, Tanya was whipping up a lot of experiments in the kitchen. But she also had the chance to whip up some thoughts about friendship in adulthood as she approached her quarter cup crisis.
#29: Dance like your true friends are watching — After moving to a new state from her friends (not to mention her family in another country), Seema broke out of her shell and her outgrown friendships by pursuing her dancing passions.
#28: Giving Junior League a chance — I, admittedly, had preconceived notions of the work that Junior League does. Alejandra helped me break them down by explaining her experience with the Junior League of Phoenix.
#27: Who says you can't go home? — After grad school and six years in the "real world," Molly seized the opportunity to return to her home state of West Virginia with Report for America. How do you adjust?
#26: Talking it out — "oh Jesus this is terrifying!" — Hanna shares what she's learned in her personal experience of making friends in adulthood ("I thought you had to get really good at being alone. But that's not really what ended up happening") and how she created a podcast around this topic.
#25: Thank you! — A blast from the 24 issues (not so far in the) past as a thank you to readers who've stayed, joined, and worked with me on making friends in adulthood.
#24: How the Internet can help make friends IRL — Inspired by the story of the women who helped build the Internet, I take the mic for a week to share how I've been working on making friends these past few months, from Bumble BFF to volunteering to hobbies to Facebook Groups.
#23: How to make friends when you're not 9-5 — Travel nursing is the kind of absurd job where you work 12 hour shifts (sometimes overnight) in places all over the country. Here, Julie talks about how she takes advantage of the nutty schedule to make sure she's working to live, not living to work.
#22: 12 months, 10 countries — 48 instant new friends? — Anneka is in the midst of a wild adventure. She's traveling the world as part of the Remote Year program, but she's also figuring out how to adjust her friendship expectations to the group's and just being yourself.
#21: A year in America — Laurel dials in from her cross-country road trip, aimed at finding a bigger picture of where we are as a nation, to share how she is staying in touch with old friends and building connections along the way.
#20: And as our lives change...come whatever... — Cue the graduation song, because Caroline Kitchener takes us down memory lane with this look at changing connections in the first year post-college.
#19: Finding a gaggle — Nancy podcast cohosts Kathy and Tobin explain how they worked on finding their gaggles of queer friends, why it's important for LGBT folks, and why "50 percent of it is you saying yes to doing something when somebody asks you and 50 percent of you asking other people to do something."
#18: Beach reads! — "As May bows out and the summer of June sweeps in, I wanted to share some links and resources about friendship in adulthood – all great for reading in bed, on the sofa, on a beach, on a blanket in the grass, in a hammock, wherever is your spot. And no challenge this week, besides giving yourself the space and time to feel your greatest."
#17: I want all your thoughts: Survey time! My pointed call for readers to share their opinion on Sown and needs/wants for where this newsletter could go in the future.
#16: "I'm not like a regular mom, I'm a cool mom" — This Mothers' Day essay by Julie shares how the experience of losing her husband and her children's father gave her a new look at friendship with her son and daughter.
#15: Entrepreneurs of friendship — "I wasn’t all in just for myself. I wanted to support her in a way that propelled her career and her passion, and I wanted the same," says Karen Spears, an entrepreneur and master network builder.
#14: Hygge over here — Elements of this Danish tradition are the perfect ingredients for making the most of a cozy, Instagrammable winter, but "at its core, hygge is about building intimacy and trust with others."
#13: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times — Sometimes you just need a break, and a hug. This meme powered probably too many analogies in this issue about how to be a friend in a tough time.
#12: Looking for (Seder in) Alaska — A Texas native, Jordan has been living in Anchorage, Alaska for the past nine months. Passover was approaching, and she didn't have a nearby network of folks to mark the occasion with. So rather than spend the time alone, she decided to ask for help, via social media — which is how I, having never met Jordan in person, encountered her quest.
#11: Do the random thing — Tips for finding the fun, wacky stuff to do in your own backyard. Never say "there's nothing going on" again!
#10: How to love where you live — "Building social relationships where you live, even with the people who are sort of on the periphery of your life, is a huge part of place attachment," says Melody Warnick, the author of a book on the literal topic of learning how to love where you live (even if you're there for a limited time).
#9: Home friendly home — Craigslist. Random roommates. Confrontation. Eek! I surveyed my past roommates, all of whom I met online before I moved to a new state, to dive into their perspective of making friends with a roommate.
#8: Making the first move (in a friendship) — How do you friend date?? Clara explains her strategy for planning outings and nights in with her new friends: "It is too easy to be passive and expect friendship out of convenience."
#7: Superheroes — Ashley helps out with some tips about how to turn your frustration into action, and Liz shares her experience as a black woman moving to a new place where she had no connections, and was also in the racial minority.
#6: BYO chocolate cake — Ah, Valentine's Day. I sourced real-life tips from three women about four different dating apps: "You can also find friends through the people you click with but don't click with or practice dating without needing an in-person wingwoman. (Just make sure someone knows who + when + where you're meeting!)"
#5: Having fun as a party of one (yes, really!) — An essay from Maggie: "I put on my black leather jacket, looked in the mirror and told myself I was a badass, and drove to the restaurant I used to work at with every intention to walk in there without any fear or hesitation, without any self-consciousness or reluctancy, without anything except sureness and confidence and positivity. I was going to sit at the bar by myself, order myself a drink, and avoid being on my phone too much."
#4: To small talk or to skip the small talk — "Loneliness is not based on how many people you know. It’s actually based on the sense that you have people you feel you can share about your life with," says Ashley Kirsner, the founder of Skip the Small Talk and the Q&A feature for this issue.
#3: How to get political (or not) — What can we do about political differences in the places we call home? Here are some ideas in a Q&A with Eve Pearlman, cofounder of Spaceship Media, which brings people of different political, geographic, and socioeconomic viewpoints into dialogue with each other.
#2: Make new friends, but keep the old — How can I maintain my friendships with old friends who are living in different cities?
#1: Welcome to Sown — Get to know Sown, where we agree that this isn't just a "you problem." The lead researcher behind a study following 268 men for 72 years found that "…the only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people."