The high school years are often lonely for many young people.
I have never written to you, or any other site like this before, so I am very new at this. But I thought I would give it a try, thinking maybe some outside help/views on my situation would give me a new perspective on things.
I am 16 years old. I’m not shy, introverted, or “nerdy” per say, but I am intelligent, not dumb. In fact, I’m quite outgoing, always trying to put myself out there, putting 100 percent into everything I do. I’m silly and fun, very positive and optimistic, individualistic, always being my own person. Just to give you more of a picture, not because I’m self-involved or anything, I’m not “ugly” or anything. (I’m sorry for using that word.)
I’m nice, inclusive, and enthusiastic but I’m facing this problem that is starting to make me feel so depressed: I don’t have any friends. In middle school, I faced the normal crap that evil children everywhere seem to put on others, which is why I was excited to go to a high school where I knew absolutely no one, to start fresh. A very brave move: going from a private school knowing the same 60 people your whole life, to public school with 1300 kids, knowing not one face or name. But I was ready to take that step, in hopes that I would find a group of friends that I would stay close with for a long time.
Grade nine hit and I got involved. I like taking on leadership roles and being a part of something greater than me to be the best person I can be (even though it sounds cheesy) but I think that is how you grow. I auditioned as a dancer (dance is my passion) in the fashion show at my school, and later that year I ran for Junior Vice President of student council, which I won. I thought to myself this is great: People voted for me because they like me. Things will only get better from here.
Grade 10 hit. I was Junior Vice President (JVP), I was a dancer again in the fashion show, and because I was JVP, I organized an entire charity week where we raise $51, 000 dollars for the school. I spoke in front of crowds very often, so public speaking became very easy for me. Unfortunately I got a spine problem and had to quit dance, but I still remained in fashion show. But, nothing happened. Still no friends in school. No connections. Just acquaintances and hellos in the hallways.
Many lonely weekends later, its grade 11. Now I’m in the same position I was in in grade nine. No real friends. And that amazes me. I see people who are new to the school and they make friends and are in a group RIGHT away yet I can’t. After everything. And I just don’t get it. I don’t get why it hasn’t gotten better, and I don’t get why I can’t seem to make friends. I go to school and I have no one to talk to really, no one to eat lunch with, and I feel so alone. But there’s nothing “wrong ” with me and I’m getting just so….sad.
I know this will be just a spot on the big canvas when I’m older, but its so hard not to focus on it right now, because whether I like it or not, this high school crap is pretty prevalent in a teenager’s life. I just want some friends. And I just want to have fun. And I don’t know, what I’m going to do. I need your advice. It’s Saturday night and I’m crying alone in my bed.
Thanks for writing. I can’t even begin to guess why you can’t make friends. I know it can be hard to enter a public school system when people have known each other for years. I know that teens can be mean when someone is different in any way, even if they have exceptional talents.
My first suggestion would be that you speak to a trusting adult closer to home, perhaps a guidance counselor in your school or a teacher whom you respect to ask for a more informed perspective on what could be causing your difficulties.
Also, have you tried reaching out to people one-on-one, perhaps inviting someone to go to a movie with you or to go shopping? Are there groups that you can join either after school or outside of school that might put you in contact with different kids? Do you have the time to pursue a part-time job, perhaps a sales position where other young people would be working with you side by side?
Take things slowly a step at a time. You don’t need a whole group but it would be nice to connect with one friend at a time.
You really have me stumped. I wonder if any other readers, either your age or older have any ideas. Your letter really made me feel for you. You have a wonderful gift for writing and seem to be mature beyond your years. It is great that you recognize that your situation is time-limited and common among teenagers.
My best, Irene
Category: Teen friendships