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14-year-old student in a small school has trouble finding friends

Published: January 21, 2016 | By | 4 Replies Continue Reading
Being a student in a small school can poses challenges to making friends.



Sometimes, being I am 14 years old and, at the moment, am struggling socially. My school is quite small and there are about 60 girls in my year. The problem is, I find it somewhat difficult to relate to these girls as we don’t have many common interests and they often insult our teachers and fellow students.

Sadly, this is not just one group. My problem this year is that I have found girls to be very exclusive – every few weeks now I sit with another group of people because the groups start to ignore me. It’s hard for me to hope that I can find friends now. I feel like a social pariah.

However I would not say that I am miserable, exactly, more discontent. I have good grades, I work hard, and I want to help people. But I know that girls my age are supposed to have friends, and it’s quite abnormal not to go out. The few friends that I do have in school have their own friend groups and I feel as though they are drifting away from me.

My biggest worry is that my parents try to solve my problems. I don’t want them to worry about me. I have considered moving schools, but I don’t want to ask them for anything. I know that they already suspect something is wrong, but I wish I could just put their minds at rest and maybe find myself friends too.

Please respond soon, I don’t know what to do.

Signed, Worry Worm


Dear Worry Worm,

I’m so sorry you’re having trouble finding your “people” in school. You’re right that smaller schools and smaller classes offer fewer opportunities to meet girls who share the same interests and values. High school can be particularly cliquish.

You express yourself quite eloquently and show a great deal of thoughtfulness and insight, and I bet you’re more mature than many of your peers. You’re probably not the only girl in your class who feels like you do.

Sports, clubs and extracurricular activities are great avenues for meeting others who share your interests. High schoolers often attend sports games on weekends, so if you’re interested, you could attend and ask to sit with students you know.

I understand that you want independence from your parents and that you want to solve your own problems without their input. But It’s normal, too, for parents to be concerned and to want to help if they can. I don’t know your parents or your relationship with them. Would they respect your wishes if you told them you didn’t want them to worry or try to fix things for you? Would you be comfortable speaking with your school counselor about your concerns? She might know of other students in your situation.

Switching to a larger school might be an option, though if you do, you should have a plan of how you will deal with cliques in that school. You will have more opportunities to socialize and engage in school activities in a bigger school, but that’s not a guarantee you’ll feel like you fit in any better.

I’m not trying to dissuade you from choosing a larger school, I only want you to think about all your options and to talk face to face with an adult (and your parents) so you can weigh the pros and cons of figuring new strategies at your school versus making a change.

Based on your letter and the way you present yourself and your circumstances, I have a feeling you will find a satisfying solution.

Signed, *Amy Feld

*Amy Feld, PhD, MSW has trained and worked as a child psychologist.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this or any other post is intended to substitute for medical, psychiatric or clinical diagnosis/treatment. Rather, all posts are written as the type of advice that one friend might give to another.

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Category: HAVING NO FRIENDS, Teen friendships

Comments (4)

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  1. Pixie dust says:

    I am sorry to hear that you have problem making friends. My daughter is too in a small school and has a hard time meeting friends. Although you may not want to trouble your parents with your problems, sometimes it is nice to talk and share your concerns with them. Your parents probably can’t solve your problem but they can at least be your sounding board. What ever happens, your parents will be supportive and loving to you. As I told my daughter, it is hard right now but she will find her own people one day. Be strong and don’t let other’s insensitivity bothers you.

  2. Jocelyn Olsen-Accad says:

    This is my daughter exactly. She is 15 and we are about to switch schools for the third time in three years. She sits alone, is excluded and teased. Its terrible and heartbreaking. I wish all of the girls who long for friends could get together.

  3. Christy browm says:

    Hi Worry Worm,
    Both my kids went to small, private schools before high school. My son in particular had a hard time finding kids to connect with. We did switch him to a large public school for high school. It took awhile but he made friends because of the after school activities he became involved with. He also made a very close friend from a different school through a hobby of his. Please don’t get too discouraged, things can change a lot in the upcoming years. I think kids get less cliquey as they mature. And there’s more friendships between students in different grades. Both my kids are in college now, and many of their close friends aren’t the same age as them. My son has friends that are still in high school. Best of luck to you!

  4. marinakis says:

    very well writen for a 14 yr old…wish i had a son for you lol!.good luck sweety!

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