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I hate to break it to you, but after you’ve developed into an adult with actual inhibitions, making new friends can be a traumatising experience.

Long gone are the days when you’d let another kid insult your bowl cut in exchange for a dim sim and lifelong friendship – these days, adults simply judge your haircut and continue to go about their day, leaving you no friend or dim sim richer.

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So how do we navigate the cutthroat world of adult friend-making? Well, as someone who boasts a healthy 12 friends on LinkedIn, I can tell you that there are genuine techniques to help you make new pals right up until the day you die.

(Bonus points if you can rope the fresh new friends into chipping in for your super lavish funeral – may as well go out with a bang, not a whimper.)

1. Don’t be too selective

Friend-deprived beggers cannot be choosers, and sometimes we need a pal more than we need our dignity.

If you find yourself entering a lecture on your first day back at uni, scope the place out. Who do you see with an available seat next to them? Anyone? Literally anyone? Jump on it. I don’t care if they’re rocking a t-shirt that says Seinfeld is far superior to Friends, you swallow your undying love for Friends and the temptation to punch them in the throat and you fucking sit next to them.

How To Tackle The Daunting Exercise That Is Making Friends As An Adult

2. Make compromises

If you tend to fall into the ‘stubborn asshole’ side of the gene pool, you may severely struggle with this approach but it’s effective nonetheless.

Say, for instance, you strike up a conversation with someone and it’s flowing freely, you see that conversation out by any means necessary. If they say they’re going to the campus bookstore to get supplies, you lie and say you have to go there too. Depending on how committed you are to the lie, you might have to take up the same classes as your new chum just to really lock down your friendship status. Just be careful that it doesn’t come across as creepy – it’s a very fine line.

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3. Bond over your mutual dislikes

I tend to find it much easier to think of things I dislike rather than things I like. Snakes? Hate ’em. Trick-or-treaters? Not in this lifetime. Getting arrested for trying to break into your own apartment after losing your keys on a hectic night out? Strongly oppose.

As for things I like? Well, I don’t mind it when the weather is above 18 degrees but below 24. I also quite like supermarkets, except when people are pissing me right off with their inability to remember their pin code. You’ve had the same pin code for 30 years Janet, don’t start with your timewasting bullshit.

So, all you have to do is find out what other adults dislike (everything, mostly) and join in when they go on their rage-fuelled rants.

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4. Keep up to date with current affairs

Not everyone can have 11/10 personalities – some people are just destined to go through life as a wet blanket, constantly making everything they touch just that tad duller.

For all of you boring-as-batshit 3/10s out there, there is a solution. You don’t have to be the life of the party to keep a convo going, just as long as you know the general shenanigans going on in the world at any given time. If you meet someone and you sense the conversation’s dying because you have literally nothing to talk about, drop the most recent natural disaster on them – bam, instant conversation starter.

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5. Let it come naturally

Sometimes, the easiest thing you can do to make adult friends is to go with the flow. One of the very few redeeming aspects of being an adult is that you have complete freedom to hang out with who you want instead of being forced to hang out with someone because your mum blackmailed you with money and food.

If two adults like each other’s company, they’ll be inclined to see more of one another like actual, real-life, friends.

If that doesn’t seem plausible, try to get your core group of friends before you finish uni. If you are in uni, sign up for a UNiDAYS membership so you can cop a bunch of student discounts, plus then you’ll have something else to talk about when you’re doing that scary as hell icebreaker activity in the first week.

Meanwhile, if you want a bunch of Apple products, UNiDAYS are running a comp and you could score a Macbook Pro and an iPhone 8.

Head here and go nuts.

Image: Instagram / @justintimberlake