• Making Friends

Making friends in high school

Published: November 7, 2013 | Last Updated: November 7, 2013 By | 3 Replies Continue Reading
A teen feels very frustrated and alone because she’s having trouble making friends in high school

QUESTION

Hi,

My name is Julie and I started a new high school last September. I am in ninth grade. My parents have put me in a school where many rich people go but the problem is that everyone acts snotty. When I say snotty, I mean mean and stuck-up.

Some other new kids in my class fit in right away. I have no one in the whole school. Everywhere I go, whether sitting alone in class or walking alone in the crowded halls, everyone seems to be popular, attractive, and loved by other students. (Even the new students!)

I feel SO lost. I don’t know what I am doing wrong. I try to fit in with the others by trying to start conversations with them. At the beginning of the year, I tried making friends by asking them simple things like what their hobbies are and if they are going to join the volleyball club afterschool. But in response, they would give me this look and try to end the conversation by saying “Yeah” or “I don’t know.”

I don’t know what is wrong with me. I am starting to question whether I am the problem. On top of that, my parents are not happy with my marks even though I am getting 85-90%. I feel stupid in school and socially awkward with people. Even in class, when there are absolutely no seats, they don’t even sit with me. I am starting to hate myself ALOT. I just feel so lost. Please help me. I am thinking of ending my life because I can’t stand the feeling of being rejected, lonely, and even worse, left out.

Signed, Julie

ANSWER

Dear Julie,

Your letter is going to help a lot of other girls realize they aren’t the only ones having a hard time at a new school. I’m sorry everything feels difficult for you now and I’m very glad you reached out to ask for advice.

I know what it’s like to feel like everyone else is happy and fits in. When I was in high school, I felt the same way and didn’t realize until years after graduation that a girl I thought was so confident and popular was just as insecure as me. We both wished we had known that about each other back in school.

You seem like an intelligent, articulate, self-aware, and friendly girl from your letter. School just started two months ago but I bet that feel like hundreds of months.

Here are a few suggestions:

Talk to your parents about the difficulties you’re having making friends and how that’s affecting your grades. 

Even if it’s lower than what you’re used to getting, 85-90% is definitely not stupid. Lots of students’ grades fall temporarily when transitioning from middle to high school or to a new school. I’m sure your friend situation isn’t helping the grades issue. Your parents might also have some suggestions about your social life.

Talk to a teacher or counselor.

He/she might be able to help you with your friend problems as well as give you ideas about talking to your parents so they understand the pressures you’re feeling socially and how hard you’re trying academically.

Join a club.

It’s often easier to find kids who are interested in the same things as you are by socializing in a smaller group. Working together in a club can provide that opportunity.

Keep being friendly.

If you notice other girls who seem to be outside the snotty crowd, be especially friendly to them. They’re probably feeling the same way as you are. Don’t change the kind, thoughtful girl that you are to be a meaner version of yourself. There will be a lot of girls who admire your friendliness. You just haven’t met them yet.

Reach out for help.

Sometimes kids your age (and adults) feel so desperate that they think that hurting themselves is the only answer. There is a saying about suicide: It is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Please tell your parents and your school counselor about these thoughts so they can help you through them.

If you need support in doing this, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 can help you out. The Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide is a place for online support, though I urge you to reach out to someone in real time. You are special and important, and you matter.

You’ve had friends before, so you know how to be a friend. The kids in your new school haven’t yet discovered that you’re a good friend and a great girl who is thoughtful, kind and open.

Amy Feld*


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

**No information provided here or elsewhere on this blog is intended as medical advice. The blog focuses on everyday friendship problems.

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Category: Finding friends at different ages and stages, MAKING FRIENDS

Comments (3)

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  1. Emily says:

    Hi, someone out there please help

    I just moved to a new high school (i transferred over seas)

    I have a couple of new friends, they are really nice i just don’t have much in common with them, at all really 🙁

    There is this one kid that i really want to be friends with though, He’s in my algebra class but i only have one class with him and i don’t even sit next to him.

    I talked to him briefly in one of the classes, I just want to be proper friends but I don’t know how to go about it….Any advice?

  2. Vira says:

    I need help on how to hold a long conversation or keep them interested in what I’m talking about. And how can I make myself look like a person you would like to be around. Can you tell me what are some random things that people talk about that seems interesting, that would really help me a lot in my social life and how can I make more friends that are boys??

  3. Sheryl says:

    Excellent advice. This letter reminds me how tough it can be when you’re young and insecure.

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