March 13, 2019 I’m Not Into The Same Afterschool Activities As My Friends! Dear Nikki, All my friends go to afterschool activities like dance, gymnastics and soccer. I’m not really into that kind of stuff since I’m not very athletic. Lately, it’s all they ever do or talk about, and I’m starting to feel left out. I sometimes even wonder if I should pretend to like those activities so that they’ll include me more. What should I do? Left Out And Lonely Hi Left Out And Lonely, I’m SO sorry you feel left out! I can understand why. It’s weird when everyone else is excited about something and you’re not. That happens to me sometimes, too. I’m not all that athletic or a very good dancer either, but I know a bunch of people who are. However, I know you’ll be okay! First of all, there’s no rule that says girls have to like soccer, dance, OR gymnastics. Personally, I’m into art, dogs and music. Hey, I like what I like, and you should too! If your friends would really leave you out because you haven’t joined any of THEIR afterschool activities, they’re not very good friends to begin with. But, even if they’re amazing friends, you could still feel left out by not going to the same afterschool activities or talking about them a lot. Which totally STINKS! 🙁 But, I definitely think you shouldn’t pretend to like anything. You’d be miserable the whole time! And your friends don’t deserve to be lied to. When your friends are busy with soccer or dance, I wonder if there’s another activity you would enjoy that doesn’t involve being athletic? It might be art (like ME 🙂 !), theater, or joining a club that’s all about STEM (aka Science, Technology, Engineering or Math). Then you’d be doing something you think is fun AND you’d make some new friends whose interests you are into! That doesn’t mean you won’t ever hang out with your old friends, by the way. You don’t want them to dump you because you’re not into gymnastics, soccer or dance—and you shouldn’t dump them because they are. You can still hang out with them during lunch, on the bus, or whenever they aren’t at their afterschool activity. You can ask them how their fav activity is going, even if it doesn’t interest you, because your friends interest you! And your friends—if they’re good friends—should show an interest in whatever you’re into. Look, you have to do you, even if you aren’t like everyone else. It’s part of letting your inner dork shine through! And by doing that, you’ll meet people you truly have something in common with. You’ll also discover that you can keep your friends without having the same exact interests. Hey guys! What sorts of interests or activities are you into? Do you have any more advice for Left Out And Lonely? Tell us in the comments!