sorry, REAaalllly long post...but if u have the time, i appreciate it! i'm sure some of you can relate to my post.... Background: here's the deal. i've never had a real social life for pretty much all of my life. sure, there were times when acquaintences popped into my life....but nothing serious ever came out of it.........if my shitty social skills and awkward mannerisms didn't kill the relationships, having nothing in common with these people did... what's my defn. of a real social life? a modest one. all i need to be happy is just a FEW close friends that are geographically accessible, and a generous grip of acquaintences that I could call out for some networking opportunities. i understand finding people with whom to connect with is not an easy task, and finding people with whom to have things in common with is even harder. sooo, i figured wat the hey, i wanna hear it from you guys. things have changed drastically over the years. This was the old me: 1) excessively shy 2) zero confidence 3) socially awkward in all sorts of common/typical functions 3) very little experience interacting with people on my own well, im happy to report that i've worked on all those things, and i sometimes find myself interacting in "advanced" situations-----though the awkward kinks from the past like to reappear from time to time....no big deal golden advice that has changed me: "don't try so hard." "act like you don't give a fuck." "don't be so needy." "focus on being natural for the given situation." "they already have friends, so you're going to have to be the one to take the intiative----cuz they won't." "if you don't reach out, they won't." The Problem: i'm an engineering grad student, and i currently have no social life at school. 1) I already gave my immediately accesible social environment several chances. It shows no promise, trust me on this one. Just picture socially-inexperienced and awkward engineers who have nothing to talk about except their research. Attempts to induce meaningful conversation from small talk is a helpless cause. Just talking to these people is a painful reminder of why my social life never took off in the past. Sooooo, no. I cannot make any close friends from my major classes. 2) I can go out of my way to take undergraduate non-major courses, however, the age gap sticks out like a sore thumb. The people are generally 3-5 years younger than I am. I mean cmon, how much do I have in common with freshmen who only care about smoking out and getting wasted? 3) I was never into the Greek scene, so that's not a option. Furthermore, they're extremely exclusive at my school. 4) I just can't randomly meet people at random places e.g. supermarkets and what have you.....it's not like a pickup game u'd see at a night club......i'm talking about finding friendship from "normal" circumstances 5) I've never really figured out how to meet people at the gym. I mean most people are there to do their business and not socialize. Is asking for a spot all it really takes? Something's missing from the equation.... 6) I can't infiltrate house parties yet....because I have nobody to go with! It's like they say: "It takes friends to make friends." So how the hell do I get into the closed cycle??? I realize I'm going to have to really get out of my way start spinning the wheels, so what practical advice can you guys give me???? Help me get out of this damn cage! Thanks!!