School has been in session for a few weeks now, and if you’re in a new high school, you’ve probably imagined that by now, you would be rolling with a whole new squad of besties. But, uh, maybe you’re not. If that’s the case, don’t worry about it. It can take a while for bonds to form with your classmates – friendship is a process! Instead of beating yourself up over your friend-making abilities, try to make some positive choices that will increase your chances of forming connections. I assure you that a lot of other people are feeling the exact same way as you and are.
As an introvert who can struggle with self-esteem, making friends has never been easy for me. Sometimes I’m so worried that people won’t like me that I can stress myself out at school. I’ve learned that I can put yourself in situations (clubs, teams, trips) where friendships form organically. If you’re being open and authentic, friendships will form without too much effort.
Here are some tips on how to make friends in high school:
1. Join a sports team.
Even if you’re not the best athlete, being a part of a team is a surefire way to meet friends. It sounds lame, but it’s true. Few things bond people together more than sports.
2. Get involved with band, theater, or choir.
Working together to create a great show is a bonding experience that can create friends for life. Just ask any theater nerd – you are bound to make friends in this kind of environment!
3. Offer to host study groups with the people in your class.
Make a Facebook group for a particular class where you can all share questions and post study groups. Even if you usually like to work alone, getting to know people in your class by working together is an easy way to form a connection. And this covers you if you ever miss class or have no idea what a teacher is saying.
4. Start your own club.
Do you have a passion for something that isn’t already represented by the clubs at your school? Make your own! I guarantee that there are other people who share your same interests.
5. Give a compliment.
Showing someone that you’re friendly but paying them a compliment is a way into a friendship. You don’t want to suck up, but it’s a nice way to “make the first move” in a friendly relationship. It doesn’t have to be a big deal. Just say something like, “I love that bag! Where did you get it?” Then keep the convo going.
High schools usually provide opportunities for their students to volunteer. If you high school doesn’t do this, organize your own event! Spending your day doing good for others is a great way to get to know other awesome people.
7. Invite someone to grab food.
Believe me, I’m the type of person who always waits for someone to ask me to do something. But going out of your comfort zone and asking that fun person to get food is a perfect way to get the friendship ball rolling. Plus, everybody’s gotta eat, right?
Studies show that smiling is an important step in forming a friendship with someone new. People are drawn to others who have good energy, and nothing shows that you are open ands friendly like a genuine smile!
9. Connect with them online
It can feel a little creepy, but finding people online and following them is a good way to establish a relationship. It’s like the 2015 way of saying, “Hey – you’re cool. We should be friends!” It’s also way easier to start a conversation through your computer screen than in person.
10. Speak up
If you’re quiet in class and never contribute, you may be overlooked. Raising your hand occasionally and contributing to discussions will help others get to know you. Don’t be a wallflower!
11. Feel confident
How you feel about yourself is reflected back to you in the world. If you’re dressing in a way that is authentic to you, making eye contact, and feeling put together, people will be drawn to you. So put on some bright lipstick and shine!
12. Bring in snacks
Is it bribery? MAYBE. I know it sounds corny, but food is the way to the heart! Bringing in some cookies to class or study group is a great way to show that you are a caring, awesome person.
Do you struggle to make new friends? Do you have any tips for the rest of us who do, also? Please let us know in the comments below!