Lonely in High School

Published: December 29, 2011 | Last Updated: December 29, 2011 By | 1 Reply Continue Reading


The middle of high school can be a difficult time to make new friends, especially in small schools and small towns.

 

QUESTION

Dear Irene,

I’m a 17-year-old high school girl. Recently, my best friend since fifth grade quit talking to me. We never had a fight and I never thought anything was wrong. Just this week, her and another one of my friends sent me mean and harassing text messages. When I questioned them, they said they felt we had been growing apart and being rude to me was the only way they could deal with it.

 

I do not want to go back to these girls since they treated me so horribly. ‘m not a pushover and I know I deserve to be treated with respect, but it’s hard having no friends to hang out with. My other best friend had to
move to Shanghai this past year, and while we talk twice a week at least, t’s still not the same.

 

I want to make new friends, but everyone is already grouped off and is not welcoming to any new friends. Joining clubs or activities is extremely difficult where I live, because we are a rural community with limited resources and diversity. The only groups for teenagers are church groups, but I’m not religious.

 

I’m terrified of having no friends for the rest of my life. I have never ad a boyfriend either, so I’m worried people don’t like me. Any advice on how to move on from the hurt, and how to find new friends and a new social life?

Signed, Susie

 

ANSWER

Hi Susie,

Not only did your long-time friend turn on you but she also aligned herself with another bully and the two of them attacked you through text messages. I understand how upsetting this can be.

 

One possibility: Perhaps, the newer friend was jealous of your relationship with your best friend and provoked her to act this way. In any event, this was a very rude and immature way to end a friendship. I agree that you don’t want to go back to either one of these "friends" unless one or both take the initiative to apologize to you for doing something so hurtful.

 

It is true that teens can be cliquish, choosing to hang around with the same people all the time. Admittedly, it can be difficult to make new friends during high school – but it’s not impossible. Keep in mind that you’ll be graduating soon and either be embarking on college or a job so you’ll definitely be amongst a new pool of people where you can make new friends again.

 

In the meantime, don’t spend too much time reading into this situation. Just because you’re feeling lonely now doesn’t mean you’ll be lonely for the rest of your life. Keep up with your studies, nurture other friendships — even if they aren’t close ones, stay in touch with your friend in Shanghai, and try to put yourself in new situations where you can meet other people.

 

Living in a small community or attending a small high school can limit opportunities to make both girlfriends and boyfriends. Can you join a gym? Find out whether there are any community service activities available through your school? Can you take an adult education class? Volunteer at a hospital or agency in your community? Perhaps, you’ll be able to make an older friend or make friends with a guy.

 

It’s common that there are peaks and valleys in people’s social lives so while you have some spare time now, you may want to pursue a hobby or interest on your own. Try to be patient and continue to trust your own instincts. This duo isn’t worth further thought.

Hope this helps.

My best, Irene 

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Nearly every female growing up has experienced the sting of cliques…even in adulthood. Irene’s suggestions to find new interests, join clubs, is great. Also, reach out to new people by inviting them to meet you at the mall or catch a movie together.

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