Prior sociological research on social networks is exceedingly broad and far-reaching, and while much has been done to examine the social dynamics of the college campus itself, (Chambliss & Takis 2017) the transitory period of the postgraduate social network is largely unexplored. This study aims to compare the social landscape of a small liberal arts college campus with that of a city, specifically both Boston and San Francisco, to understand what the change in social networks looks like for college graduates from a small engineered social experience to the expansive world of adult responsibility. Through a series of in-depth interviews with Hamilton alumni from the classes of 2013-2020, this study seeks to understand the various ways in which young adults socialize in urban areas after leaving campus. This study’s findings present the transition from college to the working world as an overall positive experience and showcases the various techniques young adults use to build, establish, and grow their community in their everyday lives as professionals with established careers, routines, and social networks. Ultimately, while the current social environment has made it more difficult to form connections and bonds than in previous generations, the groundwork that the college experience laid for each of these alumni helped them understand their own social patterns, nuances, and preferences, and prepared them for success in the “real world”.

Type of Work

Thesis - Limited Access

Department or Program



Hamilton College


Bachelor of Arts

Date of Graduation


Faculty Advisor

Stephen Ellingson

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.