Comments

1
Maybe hang around the U-District?
2
I know at that age it's hard to sit still but wait,think about the things you like to do ( like soccer, cooking, comicon... or whatever). Then go do them ...alone. You will meet people who share your likes and such. Be patient otherwise you'll settle for people who may take advantage of you. Good luck.
3
Move to Canada for 18 months, eh? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcoholic_…

But seriously, it sucks to be an under-21, especially when most people you interact with are over-21s. Sean's suggestion seems spot-on.
4
@1: I suggest not.
5
Oh, for God's sake, WSS! You need to be in school and you know it. School is where bi women your age are learning great stuff, meeting each other, making friends and pair bonding. I suspect that you didn't do great research when you went shopping for schools and/or programs. Do it now. Visit the various campuses. Look into your program of choice at the places you didn't already go.

SLOGGERS, help me out here!
6
Get a part time weekend job working in a fun restaurant that has a lot of young staff. You'll make a few bucks and you'll meet people who like to party. Turnover is high, so if you don't click with anyone in your first week, stick around a couple of weeks to see who else gets hired.

I didn't go to college, either, but that kind of job is great for making work friends.
7
Depends what you like to do. I like programing and technology. There are tons of free meetups each month for all ages. Try meetup.com. If you like the outdoors join a WTA work party. You're gonna have to put yourself out there and it might be uncomfortable without any structure, but once you do something a couple times you'll get much more confident and meeting people without that structure will get much easier.
8
First, the obvious suggestion...get a fake id. I'm 41, is this something millennials don't do anymore? I thought fakes were a time honored tradition.

Also, I'm with @5, at least sort of. While college isn't necessarily for everyone, the LW doesn't seem anti-school...just anti- the particular college she first chose.

So, looking for another school would seem like another obvious answer. I know she says she has a great job, but I have to wonder how great a job it can be in the long run if she's 19 and doesn't have a college degree. Go get that degree while you're young....with these warnings

Don't spend a ridiculous amount of money on school or major with no career prospects. Maybe look into a trade school or apprenticeship.

I guess maybe these aren't good socializing suggestions...but again, I'm a 41 year old dad. Guess I cant help being fatherly.
9
@2 is right. Build on hobbies you already have, want to have, or used to have. I would add that it will help to make a rule for yourself to do *something* every day for an hour (at least) where there are other people, whether it's going to a coffee shop instead of your couch when catching up on email, reading in a well-attended park, taking transit just to walk around a part of the city you haven't been to, or going to a neighborhood weekly farmers market. The first few days you do it, you'll maybe be disappointed you didn't find all the new friends you want to be social with, but after a while you'll enjoy your outings for what they are, and at some point you really will meet people. (I also agree with @4: people your age in the U-District are there for a college experience, and there is no reason to subject yourself to every single conversation starting with "what are you majoring in?" and feeling like you have to apologize for taking a break from school. You shouldn't have to apologize, and the U-District is a weird little bubble where it'll be too often expected.)
10
Seriously, if you have some sort of interest or hobby: computers, art, theatre, music, gaming, gardening, whatever - there's probably an under-21/young adult group or network out there you can tap into and you should seek them out. Name the subject and there are subject-nerds who also like that thing, and you should get to know them.
11
Move to Canada. We have lots of young people here.
12
@5: I'm a little biased because I want to spend my entire career in academia, but hell yeah, go to school. Find one that works for you!
13
Vera Project?
14
Not to seem unsympathetically Cretaceous , but just doing the arithmetic here, you're 19, it's not quite June, so you would be just finishing your first year of undergrad if you'd stayed, yes? So you've been out of high school for about 10 minutes, give or take a few months. Take a deep breath, hang out someplace non-alcoholic for a few weekends, maybe get that part-time job Number Six suggested, and just relax. You've got the rest of your life to wear a suit.
15
volunteer. meetup.com.
16
omg, don't listen to these dorks.

just start going to all the shows at Black Lodge.
17
AND Hollow Earth Radio!
18
@5 and @12, that was also the first thing I thought of. You can keep your job and just take one (useful or interesting) class if you don't know what you want to do yet. Most classes will transfer even if you do end up going to a different school.
19
VERA PROJECT!
and what noddy says in 16, 17.
20
Evergreen
21
Gonna have to second meetup.com. Just find some activities around your interests and go meet people.
22
Take up roller derby -- no, wait, don't dismiss this out of hand. Roller Derby is a sport with a massive community-based feel to it. Joining a league (Seattle has several) will instantly introduce you to a close-knit group of 20-30-40 women (and some men). They'll teach you how to skate and to play, and they'll be more than happy to match you up with single men and women. You'll also find a large percentage of the skaters identify as LGBT. You can't go wrong. (There are also referee and off-skates officiating opportunities if you decide you don't want to play.)
23
Also, volunteer for SIFF or the zoo or the aquarium or a museum or an animal shelter. There will be people of all ages, including your peers.

And adopt a shelter cat.
24
Whatever your hobby is, engage in it deeply
25
The gym, the swimming pool. Classes of hobbies that might interes you. Reading groups. Indoor climbing. Yoga. If there's a sport you were good at in high school, apply for a team.
Go for a jog, go hiking (I met a lot of people on a hiking group I was added on on facebook. This is how I met my actual boyfriend too). Go to the library.
If you like to, say, sew your dresses yourself, start a blog or a facebook page about it.
You just need to do something that involves people.
26
Hi, there ~ I know it sucks ass (and not in the nice way) to be stuck in a work and social situation that leaves you lonely. Here are my hopefully practical suggestions for how to get out there and meet people to add to the ones already posted by other folks in this thread. Sorry if some are dupes; others were answering while I was composing this behemoth!

1) Full-time college might not be for you right now, but you might not always feel that way. Consider taking a class with transferable credits at a local community college. Or if possible, take a class for credit at the same college your friends are going to (I say "if possible" because some schools require you be accepted into a degree program to take any for-credit classes, even part time).

But even if you can't take a for-credit class (or if you don't have the time or inclination for intense schoolwork), you could take a class in their continuing education department – if not something practical and career-related, how about photography, creative writing, a foreign language, figure drawing, etc.? – something fun in which you'll find people with a common interest in a specific topic. I don't know Seattle very well, but for UW for example, it looks like the Continuing Ed campus (https://www.pce.uw.edu/about/locations) is much closer to you than the main campus (although some classes are either online or at the main campus). But the best part of taking a continuing ed class is that you get full access to many of the same student benefits as full-time students! So again using UW as an example, even just as a continuing ed student, you'd get access to the dining halls, libraries, campus events, museums, and the IMA (which looks to be an athletic center with workout equipment and pool), student discounts to sporting events and shopping, access to parking, etc. (full list: https://www.pce.uw.edu/help/resources-po…). This would make it so much easier to hang with your friends, plus meet new people! (UW's continuing ed main page: https://www.pce.uw.edu)

2) Spiritually-inclined? If you're down with God, join a church of your denomination, or if you don't have one, perhaps you'd find a home in a super-liberal and totally-okay-with-LGBT-people-and-their-practices Quaker meeting. Not so down with God? Look for a Unitarian-Universalist church, or if meditation interests you, my personal recommendation: a Buddhist meditation center (full disclosure of bias: I'm a Buddhist!). The organization I have participated in for 25 years is Shambhala International, which is based on traditional Tibetan Buddhism, but Westernized and fairly secularized. Here is the Seattle center's main page: http://seattle.shambhala.org, and they also hold meditation programs nearer to you: http://seattle.shambhala.org/west-seattl….

3) Meetup (http://www.meetup.com)! Meetup is where you can find 1001 social get togethers based on nearly every demographic, activity, profession, or interest you can imagine. Bonus: Many are geared to young singles. You should have no trouble finding ones that do not require 21+.

4) Volunteer! There may be some volunteer-oriented Meetups (above), or just identify an organization that speaks to you. Some ideas include: animal rescue organizations, soup kitchens/homeless shelters, trail cleanup, even occasional office work for an orgsvhf

Sorry to be so wordy, but I wanted to give you as much info as I could, because I know what it's like to be in your situation! The best of luck to you!
27
Oh, this is such a teenager. She wants to find people who share her interests, but she doesn't tell us what those interests are. My first thought was to tell her to get a dog, but what if she doesn't like dogs? She says she'd meet like minded people in school, but what subjects would she be taking? So with little to go on, my ideas are:

1. Dog
2. School- A once/week community college night class
3. School- Volunteer at a high school with a sports team or tutoring or an art class
4. Old people stuff like craft clubs or sewing lessons. Those folks have children and grandchildren.

Note that she says she wants to have fun and find a partner. Those things don't have to be mutually exclusive, but they can be. To find a partner, you ask those old folks who are teaching you to knit to introduce you to their grandchildren. For a hook-up, just hanging around outside a bar should do it.
28
@26: Clear, thorough and well-argued. This is the essay I was hoping to see. A+.
29
I'll second @8. I don't know anything about Seattle, but the only obstacle LW mentions is age. So get a fake ID. You don't have to take up drinking alcohol but you would be able to go anywhere that is restricted by age like that. (I don't know if this happens in your town, but when they raised the drinking age back to 21, most places that catered to the younger set allowed 18-20-year-olds, just stamped their hands differently so they couldn't buy a drink. Are you sure the bars won't let you in? I was under the impression that any adult could go in a bar. The rule applies to drinking, not admission.) Another idea if you're kinky at all; kink events and clubs. (just checked, the Wetspot is 18 and up.) Many kink forums do not include alcohol so they check for "adult" i.e. 18+, not 21.
30
Meeting friends outside of school is hard - under or over 21. I think the basic advice is to find groups or group activities that you're interested in and get involved.

In case you haven't discovered them yet, AutoStraddle is a queer lady blog that's bi-friendly - they have local meetups. And they also have great content about finding community.

I agree with @6 about using a weekend job to meet people. I'd expand it and say to look anywhere with a young staff in an interesting location - coffee shop, book store, yarn shop, sporting goods, whatever you're interested in.
31
Thanks, @28! I just moved to a new city at age 46, and some things just span age gaps. I felt her pain.

However, I took so long to compose my magnum opus that apparently my sleepy head crashed into my keyboard at the end of my second to last paragraph and I wound up with inserted random letters (and a sore forehead). ^_^ The "orgsvhf" there was SUPPOSED to say, "organization that looks like it has interesting people." Derpity derp derp!
32
Earthcorps! They seem to be teeming with young beautiful happy people, all working together restoring nature. They always seem to be having a great time.
33
Same advice as for older people: apps are for hookups, web sites like plenty of fish, ok cupid more for relationships. And very time consuming, might be dozens or hundreds of contacts before you find make a genuine connection. And if you're female and just want to hook up and the apps are not working for you in a major city, something's up. Join a charity / volunteer / political organization (especially election season lots of people there) reach out make friends and get their input. Good luck!
34
Join clubs, like hiking groups, bike clubs, running groups, toastmasters, or whatever is your passion. You will soon sift through the good and bad of these groups, and find bonds with similar people to connect with..
35
and for friends friends (not relationships) try meetup for stuff that interests you. and read Albert Ellis' book from the 1960s / 1970s on overcoming shyness: just walk up to people and start talking.
36
and friends friends becomes relationships sometimes!

and for Ellis, here's the tl;dr version
http://practicalsavvy.com/2012/08/08/how…
37
Totally agree with the comments about getting out, using meetup.com to find groups that match you interests, consider more school. The only thing I have to add specifically, similar to the roller derby suggestion, is to try rock climbing at a gym. Rock climbing is a duo or group activity and people are always looking for new partners. It's a constant source of new social interaction in my life even into adulthood when it gets harder and harder to make new friends.
38
Take a course through the mountaineers. After moving to Seattle in my 20s I took their basic mountain climbing course and enjoyed the hell out of it. Enough so I later took a sailing course. Always something to do on the weekends, easiest group of people I found in Seattle to make friends with, and some of the things we did by the end of the course, like climbing Mt. Rainier, were simply amazing. They have all kinds of courses. And yes, there were lots of hunky men and women in the climbing course. Sailing tended to be an older group. https://www.mountaineers.org/about/branc…
39
WSS, I would recommend you study a foreign language. Learning languages forces you to communicate with and learn things about other people, which is a good way to meet someone. I would also recommend taking a dance class, like swing, salsa, bachata, among others. Dancing is fun, and a great way to interact with people too.

What I think is good about doing this outside an academic setting is that taking classes is a low pressure way of meeting people. You can get to know someone over a period of time, you know you already share some common interest, and its easy to feel out someone's romantic feelings for you by asking them to go out for coffee after class.

Lastly, people who are out doing things are also happier and more interesting, which makes it more likely that someone is going to be interested in dating you.

Don't feel pressure to immediately jump back into college if that's not for you right now. Taking a few years off to mature and grow isn't bad. That said, long-term you might find not having a college degree limits your potential pool of partners, so I would keep that in the back of your mind.
40
Volunteer for Planned Parenthood! That's how I met all of my likeminded, amazing feminist friends when I moved to a new state.
41
You are old enough to hit the basement dance floor at Neighbors. Is that not a thing 18-to-20-year-olds do anymore?
42
Do not get a dog or a cat. They will tie you to home in a way that makes it hard to be flexible going out, etc. If you want animal company get a housemate with a dog or cat, or volunteer at an animal shelter or vet.
43
South Seattle Community College is right in West Seattle and filled to the brim with young people in the exact same situation as the LW. They offer academic, trade and hobbyist classes and programs, so you can engage with a broad array of subjects at variable levels of commitment. I'd start there.
44
What do you like to do? You meet people by finding others that do what you like to do. Like to exercise? Find a running/crossfit/etc. group. Like to ride bikes? Plenty of opportunities for bike riding groups in this region. Like to swim? Find a masters team (there's one at UW). Like to play dungeons and dragons? I imagine there are infinite possibilities for groups there. You get the picture. Enroll in something at SSCC as others have commented. Learn pottery. Take a basic bike maintenance class......etc. etc. etc. Tinder and all the other apps you mention are not for developing meaningful friendship networks.
45
School. My suggestion is go back to school. "It wasn't for me?" Okay, go to a different school, or go to school anyway. Go to a community college or go to a 4 year--but go. Seriously. All the problems you're talking about are going to be made worse by not completing your education.
46
Take one class in something you like to do or want to do: pottery, archer, volleyball, join a book club. Going to bars is over-rated for meeting someone. You can hook up for sure, but meeting someone takes something more than a bar in common.
47
Others have said this, but meetup.com is the best! Try a few, and don't be discouraged if you don't like some of the groups you check out-- you never have to go back! I made great friends through an LGBT-themed Meetup.com bookclub when I moved to a new city at 22.
48
As someone who went to school straight through graduate school, I'm going to be contrary to all the people telling you to go back to school just to be in school. There are other ways to kick the can down the road and meet like-minded people. For instance, you can join the Peace Corps! Or, you could just get a different job where you have more rapport with your co-workers.

You were brave to leave your school when you realized it wasn't working for you. Maybe you'll find a school that does work for you... or maybe you can do something that will allow you to have fun and learn and not come out with a buttload of debt with no idea what to do with your life.
49
FFS. The people saying "go back to school" are the worst. Stop projecting your own life choices onto others. School isn't for everyone, and it's not the only correct choice! I recommend never going into tens of thousands of dollars of debt, personally. That worked for me.

To the letter-writer - meetup.com is good. Otherwise, I recommend you go out to as many local music/art events that aren't 21+ as you can!
50
Find a hobby and join the subculture. Dig into events in your area. Look for meet ups and regular clubs.

Look for clubs are local university - many don't have specific requirements to be a member of the school.

Also go back to school for something. (Trade, online university, part time school, Anything. Having the piece of paper makes you infinitely more marketable)

Also okcupid is amazing.
51
Any Kink clubs that have "TNG" the next generation or other younger-person focused parties. Meet ups that sound interesting to you. An evening college class.
52
I am going to be maybe one of the few people here who say this, but...

DON'T FEEL FORCED TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL. This is a really personal choice that is taken at face value as an assumption that you MUST do or you're not going to be a well rounded adult. You're only 19, you're allowed to take a gap year (or years) before, or if ever, going back to school. College is expensive, and if you don't know what you want to study or you already have a foothold in a career you're liking, it's a huge step back, and to waste that much time and money just to meet friends is just crazy.

I got my GED halfway through my junior year in high school. Got into a great career very young and was in a very similar situation to you at 20, where I was underage and didn't have many friends and was working with people 15+ years older than me. I got a night job as a bartender at a restaurant (my state allowed bartending at 18). Not only did I meet great friends who I worked with, I made a ton of friends with my regulars. Friends I still see 7+ years laters and after moving over 600 miles away. But I would say find one big hobby or one thing you're passionate about (whether it be getting another job, or volunteering) and throw your free time into that. Picking something you love will help you find people who at least have something in common with you. Or get a part time job and just have fun with it.

Yes, eventually (3 years later) I decided to move to the big city and go back to school. But by then I had a better idea of who I was and what I wanted. Now I'm almost 30, among the most successful graduates from my class and right on track with my career even though I started 5 years late, and only have a GED and a couple associates degrees.

You do you and you'll find people who want to be around the genuineness of your nature and the strength of conviction that it takes to go your own way when everyone else is following the herd.
53
Oh, and the restaurant I worked at was run by a lesbian couple and staffed by the best LGBT people you could imagine. Another reason to sway that way... the restaurant industry is filled with all of the best (and worst) and weirdest people in the world.
54
I agree that service jobs can be a great way to make casual friends with other energetic young people. I've never worked in a more charged atmosphere in my life. You probably won't make lifelong friends at most restaurants, but you'll find people to hang out with (and perhaps hookup with).

I also agree that activities related to your interests will help you meet new people. If you volunteer, intern, or join an organization, you'll at least get something to put on your resume--if not also a friend/partner who shares your interests.

School is also a good idea, but only if you're confident about where you want to go and what you want to do there. I teach college, and I find that the students who are the sharpest and most mature/goal-oriented are are the ones who are in their mid-twenties. They've waited long enough to know what they want out of school and appreciate their education, but still have the energy and drive to take advantage of opportunities available to them. For whatever that's worth.
55
Go down to the yacht club (does Seattle have one?), put a sign on the notice board saying 'newbie' wants to learn to crew. You'll have half a dozen offers within a week. You'll be 'rail meat' which means you'll just take up room (add needed weight to the side). You're female in a male dominated fun field. Which will mean male and female friends alike, and half of races (most weekends) are spent doing not much (coupled with bursts of mad panic). It won't cost you much when you're trying it out although eventually you'll need a crew membership. Just take a couple of quells beforehand and your age won't matter. The socialising at the end of each race means that even if you don't have heaps of people your age on your boat (yacht) there will be heaps upon heaps to meet post race.

It seriously is fun and you'll be welcomed and you'll meet heaps of people. Yachts are always short of crew!
56
Yes, Vera Project. It's all ages. Not only do they put on amazing all ages shows, but you can also take classes and volunteer there. http://theveraproject.org/
Also, what about getting involved with volunteering or interning at KEXP? You'll meet a ton of people.
https://www.shiftboard.com/kexp/
http://kexp.org/support/internships
57
It's always hard to make friends for most folks, no matter the age. I have to chime in and say VOLUNTEER! Find a cool museum staffed with a diverse, younger crowd. Not only will you make friends but you'll probably learn a lot of cool things and maybe get a new job or find another calling in the process. If you're into the outdoors you can volunteer at a park or botanical garden. Couchsurfing.com is another cool way to meet folks, not just travelers passing through your city (even if you can't host anyone, a lot of people like to meet up with locals and you can show them around). Groups of CS locals are usually always getting together for various activities. Do you like to draw? Find a group on meetup.com, I'd guess that any major city has a weekly drawing group that meets at an all-ages venue. Gotta do some leg work, friends aren't just gonna fall into your lap! Good luck!
58
Oh, I also meant to add: Reddit!
59
What a nice bunch of suggestions! If I were that young woman, I'd be in tears that all these people were interested in helping me meet people. :-) :D
60
Munches and meetups can be a good start. Or maybe an LGBT dance event?

There are non-alcohol peddling venues that USED to be the sort of place people could meet. Coffee-shops etc.
Alcohol is a very mixed bag. Yes, bars are where people meet, but they're also where people get obnoxiously drunk, OR connive to get young women dangerously drunk.
62
Go to restaurants that have a bar in them and eat at the bar. Bring a book to keep yourself busy in case no one interesting or chatty is around.
63
Join a sports team! Specifically ultimate frisbee, the sport for people who dont actually like sports. You'll meet lots of really fun peeps, and a good percentage of the women who play are queer. I honestly can't say enough positive things about the frisbee community.
64
Not mentioned. If you have travel money, Go to Europe on backpack or bike tour? You should find other young Americans doing the same thing.
65
West Seattle is a great community full of loads of friendly people! Join the Y and come to the group exercise classes. I do Bollywood Bootcamp and we always go out for coffee afterwards. Become a regular somewhere that isn't just a bar -- like Easy Street or one of the little coffee joints. The local yarn place holds knitting nights. I think the most important thing is just to start talking to people and network your way into some age-appropriate friends.
66
History in the making, I'm with raindrop @ 4
67
Check out the Century Ballroom on Capitol Hill. Dance classes are all ages and I think they have some nights that are also all-ages. Partner dancing is a great way to meet people and have fun.
68
LW- Keep on working, save money, don’t rush back to school just yet. Travel, meet new people, and see other places. You’ll be amazed how much you learn about yourself and the world.

On a more philosophical yet still practical note: When young and insecure we often tend to think that others often have so much more fun than we do. Once we finally figure out it’s not necessarily so we realize it’s always someone else’s wife who becomes super horny while pregnant. And then the neighbor’s kid is the only one that sleeps through the night AND two hours each and every afternoon.
Years later when you think you’ve finally settled your older sister tells you that your mother wasn’t the saint you always thought she was, and that her older sister didn’t “fall,” but rather “jumped.”

Few years ago a friend invented an ancient Chinese proverb:
“Life is not a penis- it’s always hard.”

69
There's an awesome community of gamers in the area that play a little free cell phone game you may or may not have heard about, it's called Ingress. We do a lot of social activities because it's a game that requires you to move around in the real world and play with a team. Our community is not for dating specifically but it is fantastic for meeting people! Anyway, if you like games, like nerds, like being social with people that understand not everyone is good at "social" (but we still like hanging out) check into Ingress and the Seattle Enlightened community. We always need more players!
70
The Vera project a downtown music venue for underage ppl. Also get involved with volunteering with anything!
71
I'd add to Xweetie@64: "Go to Europe on backpack or bike tour? You should find other young Americans doing the same thing."... and you can also sit in a bar, here, and drink whatever you want. Most Southern Europe has a drinking age of 18.
72
You should go on r/Seattle. It's a great place to meet people who are organizing things to do around town. Especially considering your age it seems like the perfect option.
73
Check out Meet-ups, the Q center at U of W, and all ages queer events around Pride.
74
Seattle sucks. Everyone here is mean. Cut your losses and move before you're too entrenched in attempting to connect with these assholes.
75
Meetup.com is brilliant. You can find groups in any city with interests similar to yours. And if you can't - highly doubtful in a city like Seattle - you can start your own there! All the best.
76
Gotta echo many above: volunteering and part time jobs in your areas of interest (music store, bike shop, computer repair, health food store, whatever) are the best way to meet people/do some good/ earn some pocket money.
77
Join a soccer team, even if you don't know how to play. You get to see sweaty women in shorts, and you can tell a lot about people by the way they play (if they're nice and thoughtful, they pass to everyone, etc.). Teams always go out for drinks afterwards, so you get to know people. Seriously, I know 10 couples who met that way. And they get exercise too.
78
Swing dancing. Seattle has an awesome scene and lots of the venues are all ages.
79
If you want to hang with some college-age folks, I recommend finding some cool activities at or near Seattle University!
Cap Hill always has cool stuff going on, and Seattle University puts on events open to the public where you could "bump into" some students, make a friend, and widen up your social circle. I'm a student there, and I think you'd fit right in :)

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