How to Make Friends in High School
Transitioning from middle school to high school can be rough, but it’s even worse when you don’t have a big support system to help you get through it. What if most of your middle school friends ended up in a different high school or you’ve just moved into a new district? Making new friends feels intimidating, but here are a few tips if you want to find people to hang out with.
Join a Club or Group
High schools are filled with clubs and most are always on the lookout for new members. Even if you’re not 100 percent sure about joining, sit in on a meeting or two. You may want to keep on going just because people are so friendly! You can join more than one organization – not only will you meet more people, you’ll also learn more about your own interests and may want to stay active with an organization in college. Our pro tip: Join both a big organization and one with fewer members. The bigger club will have a huge range of people to meet, but it may be easier to start conversations and get to know people at a small group’s meetings.
Play a Sport
Most of us aren’t sports stars. Thankfully, there are plenty of high school teams that play for fun instead of competition. The football team might be out of the question, but some high schools have badminton, flag football, or softball teams that are open to everyone – no embarrassing tryouts required. Plus, playing a game together gives you something to talk about, so there’s no need to worry about forcing conversation if you feel awkward doing it.
It sounds so simple, but just being nice is such an important part of making friends! People want to surround themselves with positive, friendly peers. Not only will being approachable make others feel more comfortable with you, it can also boost your confidence and self-esteem.
Learn to Ask Questions
People love talking about themselves, so ask questions and let them open up. Simple questions before the bell rings, in the lunchroom, or in gym class give you a great opportunity to get to know someone. Don’t overanalyze – just keep it simple to get comfortable talking to people. Ask someone if they’re also new in school, what other classes they’re taking, or what they think of the class you’re in together so far.
Friendships aren’t made overnight – it can take months to get to know someone well and feel comfortable with each other. Don’t get frustrated if you feel like you aren’t making any progress. Be patient and keep at it; you’ll find your place at school soon enough.