February 14, 2018 I’M NOT ALLOWED TO DO WHAT MY FRIENDS ARE DOING! Hi Nikki! My two best friends and I used to take theater lessons together. But now, they’re both in ballet and my mom won’t let me switch so that I can join them. I love theater, but I’m starting to feel like a third wheel because they’re constantly practicing ballet without me! How do I convince my mom to let me do what they’re doing? Left Out Hi Left Out, I know exactly how you feel! Me and my BFFs Chloe and Zoey ALWAYS do stuff together. If it’s ever just the two of us, then the other one feels left out. So it’s a total bummer that your BFFs aren’t in theater with you anymore. And I can understand wanting to take ballet so you don’t feel like you’re missing out. But like, if you LOVE theater, I’m not sure this is the best reason to give it up. Even if you feel left out sometimes, your friends are going to be your friends, whether you do the same after-school activities or not. You might need to make an extra effort so you don’t drift apart, like scheduling regular sleepovers, doing more texting/video chatting, or establishing a fav hangout spot where you and your BFFs could meet every week. It also might be fun to support each other in your different activities—you go see their ballet recitals, while they come see your plays! Try looking at things from your mom’s perspective, too. Starting a new activity is a HUGE commitment. It might also be expensive. It’s not just the cost of classes. But it also brings with it the cost of uniforms, gear, etc. Aside from the money, there’s also the time commitment. You might start with one class. But if you commit to that new activity, you’ll be expected to take more and more classes. I know some girls who take like six or seven classes a week! As you could probably guess, they don’t get much free time to do what they want. So the point is, starting any new activity takes A LOT of work. That might explain why your mom doesn’t want to sign you up for ballet just so that you can hang out with your friends. PLUS, it sounds like you love theater. But for whatever reason, you’d probably have to give that up to do ballet, right? So, you should think hard about WHY you really want to do ballet. It’s a major activity you shouldn’t really start unless you feel passionate about it. Would you want to do it, even if your friends weren’t? If so, try convincing your mom about how passionate you really are. But if not…then I think it’s more important to work on ways to strengthen your friendship with your BFFs, even as you guys are no longer doing the same afterschool activities together. Because that’s part of growing up! We develop different interests from our friends. And that’s okay! We can still be friends, support each other, and learn from each other. Our friendships get even stronger as we make more of an effort to stay close! 🙂 Have you ever felt left out when your friends did an activity you weren’t into? Or felt bummed when a friend dropped an activity you still loved? Tell us in the comments!