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Find Friends Through Courses
Here's an idea: find friends by taking courses.
It's hard to form relationships as an adult. At one point in time, you only interacted with people who lived near you and you were limited in who your possible friends were. Now you can talk to anyone in the world, but it's still hard to find friends. Friendships form with the people you spend the most time.
In NYC, social lives revolve around drinking. It's hard to get to know people on a deeper level when most of the time you spend with them is in a haze.
Deep friendships are formed through interests. You relate to people with common interests and you're more likely to find activities to do with people with common interests.
You already have a common interest with your fellow students in a course. You all have an interest in the subject matter, in what you want to do with the knowledge. The course is promising you a future that you like. Other people taking the course have the same aspiration. Therefore, the people taking the course are pre-screened to have at least one similar interest as you.