In the middle of fifth grade, my parents moved me to a whole new state and a whole new set of social rules. Welcome new kid! …or not.
At the age of twelve, the friend groups had already been formed and were cemented by years of slumber parties and inside jokes I could never understand. I tried group after group of girls, trying to find one that I clicked with, but the clique kept winning out.
Being the new kid is rough at any age, for any type of person. I am an introvert, so going out and making friends is a struggle in any circumstance. I’m only now learning to push past my shy nature and get to know other. Let me tell you it’s worth it.
If you are the new kid, keep on trying. Don’t give up. Try joining a club or a sport, which comes with an automatic group and something to do. This doesn’t mean that you’ll get along with everyone in that extracurricular, but finding people with the same interests is an excellent way to begin building friendships.
Here’s one tip that goes a long way in just about any situation: Ask people about themselves. We are programmed to love to talk about ourselves and if you show a genuine interest in others, they’ll notice and they’ll like you for it.
If you are established and you see a new kid, consider talking to them or inviting them to sit with you at lunch. You never know who could turn out to be a good friend. And us new kids are pretty cool people, so just give us the chance.
So what about you? Have you been the new kid? Was your experience great? Share with us. Could your experience have been better? Tell us how. Even if you haven’t moved, you’ve been new to something. Tell us how you coped.
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