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Of all the side effects of our new normal, one consistent one is the emergence of free time in the evenings. Lots of people have suggestions on how to spend that free time, and one common suggestion is to reconnect with people from your past. I love this idea. I attempted this idea, but I found it difficult to think of the exact people whom I wanted to reach out to. Therefore, I wanted to create a list to get you thinking of potential people you could reach out to!
Project partner from that freshman year gen-ed requirement
Many of us had those classes. They were required, took place in a large lecture hall, and usually not the most engaging. However, they often included at least one partner or team project, and gave you a chance to build some community with other people going through the same experience. These are usually people whose numbers have gathered some dust in your contact list, but their numbers haven’t actually changed! If you secretly always wanted to be better friends with that person, there has never been a better time than right now to make that happen.
High school JV basketball teammate
Athletic, nerdy, musical, or artistic, many people had some sort of club or team in high school. Whether it was yearbook club, choir, student council, or the basketball team, many of us participated on a team with other people whom we’ve probably lost touch with over the years. At one point, these people were your every day friends, and while that may no longer be the case, it’s a great place to start a conversation and see where it takes you.
Your older neighbor who gave you her phone number when she dropped off banana bread when you moved in
Some New York apartment buildings are more communal than others. If you’ve been lucky enough to live in a building that meets this description, you’ve probably met a neighbor or two and have been given their contact information, You’ve also probably never used it. Once again, what better time than now? Whether they still live in your building or not, I’m sure they would more than appreciate a text from you just checking in on how they’re doing. Maybe you’ll get another loaf of banana bread dropped off at your door in the process.
Person you did orientation with and thought was really cool but then work got really busy and you lost touch
If you’ve worked or volunteered for a larger organization and been part of a major onboarding day, you definitely know the person I’m talking about. This is the person whom you might’ve spent all day making little jokes with, or it might be the person whom you glanced at across the room all day, always thinking, “Wow that person is really cool.” Either way, you probably didn’t end up in the same site, unit, group, etc., and you’ve lost touch over time. Send that text or Facebook message, and see what happens.
Type the first letter of your name into Facebook, and whomever comes up, send that message!
Made it through this whole list without thinking of anyone new to reach out to? That’s ok. Here’s one that will surely bring a grin to your face. You have friends on Facebook from all times and places in your life. People you’ve known your whole life and people you maybe met once in passing. All of them are buried in your Facebook friends list. If the first letter of your first name doesn’t work, try the first letter of your last name. If those don’t work, try mine. You’ll find someone. Send that message!
While this is no doubt a time that many of us would rather not be going through, there are tremendous opportunities in it as well. Reconnecting with people you might’ve lost touch with could be the greatest example.