October 4, 2017 I’M MISERABLE AT MY NEW SCHOOL!! Dear Miss-Know-it-all, I was a normal girl living a happy life, until l transferred to a new school. Even though this school is known for being way better than my old one, l can’t stand it! I’m lonely and don’t have any friends. For a while, a boy sitting next to me in class started talking to me and we became good friends. But a few weeks later, he made new ones, and it’s like he’s forgotten all about me! What can I do to develop brand new, lasting friendships at this brand new school? Friendly But Friendless Dear Friendly But Friendless, Yikes, I’m so sorry you’re going through this! Being at a brand new school is SO HARD. I totally know how you feel. When I started going to Westchester Country Day, I thought I’d NEVER have a single friend. Sure, it was a better school than the one I went to before. But who cares about, like, newer textbooks and better cafeteria food when you feel like an outcast?! I don’t know whether math class guy was a real friend or not. Maybe he was being friendly, but not as into being BFFs as you were. Who knows? But either way, it doesn’t sound like he’s very reliable. I know it’s hard to believe, but it won’t be like this forever. Your Chloe and Zoey ARE out there. You just haven’t connected with them yet! Here are a few ideas for how to find them: Join clubs/activities/committees: Wherever you see an opportunity to be involved in school activities, take it! Make sure that it’s something you’re genuinely interested in. I mean, don’t join the soccer team if you hate sports! But if you like singing and there’s a school choir, jump in! I volunteer at the library and work on the school paper. These activities give me a chance to hang out with other kids who have similar interests. Unlike in class, we have plenty of time to hang out! Do non-school activities: It’s also helpful to do things outside of school like Girl Scouts, community theater, or religious youth groups. Sure, you’ll be getting to know kids who don’t go to your school, but if the activity is in the same area, you’re likely to also meet kids from your school. And like the first idea I mentioned, you’ll be meeting kids that have something in common with you. And when you have something in common, you’ve automatically got something to talk about! Befriend others: One of my favorite tips for when I’m in a new situation or feeling like an outcast is to look for someone who seems even more uncomfortable than I am. Chances are good there’s someone who’s newer than you are, or more awkward, or just more shy. And that person will probably be THRILLED if you go up to them and strike up a conversation. Then you both have someone to talk to! Win-win! And you never know…they might just be your personal Chloe/Zoey. I hope these ideas are helpful! The main thing is not to lose hope. Connecting with your people can take a while. But when you do, the wait will be worth it! 🙂 Readers, what are your favorite tips for making friends in a new situation? Tell us in the comments!