How to Find Tribes Once You Graduate

Joining the right pack molds you into a better you

Photo: @perrygrone

Some of my story

Two perspectives pique my attention in post-grad conversation:

  1. College was the best time of my life.

And

2. College doesn’t even touch how great life is now.

I graduated from college with my bachelor’s degree a little over two years ago, and I usually align myself with the latter group.

Why?

Because I have found tribes that I belong in. Martial arts, specialty coffee, Church, music, online writing forums, and others have all taken me out of my shell and enhanced my life in some way.

Pretty much everyone has the opportunity to find a tribe where they belong, but if you’re not aware of them, they can seem impossible to find.

But don’t worry; they are everywhere, and once you find one, you’ll be well on your way to a more fulfilling existence.

What is a tribe?

The dictionary describes a tribe as “a social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognized leader.”

And I would agree.

These tribes are social or spiritual groups, where everyone shares a common goal and mentality.

For example, I train in MMA. I am only a white belt in Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu (super NEWB). Still, I have found the martial arts community to be a particularly poignant example because no matter who you are or where you come from, all that matters is the training and progress. The gym is a great environment to drop your identity and struggles at the door, and take your frustrations to the mat.

Where are they?

Tribes are everywhere. You may even be in the middle of a tribe environment without knowing it.

Take your coffee shop; have you ever had a conversation with the barista or the guy who orders in front of you EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. ? If not, make today that day.

Have you been going to the same library for like, all of your life?

Talk to the librarian, reach out to the person behind the desk, sign up for that class you’ve been eyeing for four straight quarters.

I hope you can see that finding a tribe is not necessarily difficult, it just takes some intentional effort.

How many tribes can you have?

This is the fun part, there’s really no limit to how many tribes you can join, other than time.

I go from my coffee shop tribe, to my work tribe, to my gym tribe, and finally home to my family (ultimate tribe).

Now, you may be wondering how I consider all of these to be tribes, and the answer is cultivation. I’ve spent years learning the names of the coffee shop regulars, and the hobbies of my coworkers, and various lifting routines from body-builders at my gym.

Once you start, you’re stuck (in a good way)

This may seem like a ton of effort, but honestly, I couldn’t live any other way.

I know I’m not the best lifter, fighter, employee, etc. but joining the tribe FORCES me to be better than I was yesterday.

The big dude on the bench press calling me out for my form, the cafe regular making sure I followed up with my boss, and my boss making sure I triple-checked that balance sheet all blend together and make me a better person.

This is the perspective I learned from adopting a tribe mentality, and I hope you find your own tribe that pushes you to be better than you were yesterday.

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