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Tips For Making Friends At A New School

Published: May 29, 2022 | Last Updated: June 1, 2022 By | 11 Replies Continue Reading
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A young reader wants to be popular at her new school. Here are 10 common sense rules for making new friends at school: 



I am going to a private high school next year for 9th grade. I will be the “new girl” there, and I was hoping for some friendship tips.

At my middle school, I was part of a group of about ten girls, and we were all really close. However, I wasn’t especially well-known or well-liked by many others.

At this new school, I really want to become one of the popular girls (as long as they aren’t mean) because they seem like they are always having so much fun and are not as immature as other people.

Are there any tips you can give me for having a good first impression next year at my new school? Thanks!

Signed, Lexi


Hi Lexi,

Going to a new school can be both exciting and scary at the same time. You’re smart to think ahead and look for tips to prepare yourself.

Popularity is a goal many teens strive to achieve. However, I can tell you from having once been a teenager and from talking to hundreds of girls over the years, appearances can be deceiving.

Many, many girls who appear to others to be part of the popular crowd feel like they don’t belong or like they’re not really part of the group or feel invisible. Many don’t feel free to express differing opinions or to dress in unique ways, for fear of being ostracized. Some feel pressured to stay away from those deemed “unpopular.”

Instead of idealizing the popular kids, here are some tips below on how to make new friends at a new school.

Good luck on this new beginning!

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.


1-  Be friendly

Smile, make eye contact and talk to everyone, not just a specific type of student.

2-  Be interested in others

Be a good listener and ask questions.

3-  Get involved

Join sports, clubs and after-school activities to find friends with similar interests.

4-  Be yourself

People appreciate authenticity and will gravitate toward you.

5-  Be confident

People are drawn to those who like themselves. Focus on the positive and remember all you the strengths you can bring to new friendships.

6-  Be trustworthy

Avoid gossiping or talking negatively about others and avoid those who do. People who talk about others will probably talk behind your back too.

7-  Be kind

People gravitate toward those who are genuinely nice and kind, and will return your kindness.

8-  Seek out others who treat you with respect

Good friends will enhance positive feelings you have about yourself. Avoid those who diminish you.

9-  Avoid peer pressure

Good friends will not try to force or convince you to do dangerous and/or illegal things, even if “everyone” else is doing it.

10- Make acquaintances first

Friendships can take a while to develop and most friends start off as acquaintances.

Also on The Friendship Blog:

No Friends In High School: What Am I Doing Wrong?

How To Make New Friends During The Coronavirus Pandemic

NB: This is an update of a previously published post.

Any more ideas you can add to this list?

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  1. Sitting alone at the high school lunch table : The Friendship Blog | August 7, 2014
  1. ??? says:


    I horseback ride and just moved barns. I want to make new friends, but all the girls have set groups and only one has talked to me so far! What should I do???

  2. lalat says:

    I need to make new friends and am new student in highschool and am from africa i got transfered to america..

    • tlp says:

      Hey just be you and be proudly south African or African because nobody’s opinion defines who u are (I’m South African)

  3. raina says:

    if there is a new friend introdues yourself to her

  4. Lydia says:

    Im a new girl at a school im going into fourth grade and cant make any friends please help what do i do!

    • Laura says:

      Lydia, you are a very bright girl to find this page and post for help!

      Does your school have a Girl Scout troop or any other activities you can join?

      Do you feel comfortable telling your teacher how you feel? Your teacher may have some suggestions or assign you a buddy since you’re new.

      Let your parents know this is bothering you so they can help! You should not have to deal with this alone!

  5. Marissa says:

    Ok well I just moved and tomorrow is my first day at my new school. I’m from a suburb of Chicago and I moved to down south I’m scared that when I go to school they will all dress differently then at my old school and I’m scared ill get made fun of and have no friends. What are some good tips for trying to be popular? my friends at my old school say I won’t have a problem but I’m still nervous.

    • Aisha???? says:

      I once was the “new girl” in a school. It should not matter and remember don’t show your fear at this new school instead be positive and confident about it. Also remember this is not torture but just a new school. As for style in clothing… that should not matter either. Who knows they might even think your taste in clothing is unique and cool too. Just remember you got this and you can get through with it. It can take awhile to make friends and maybe starting out as acquaintances will help????Hope that helped☺️

  6. GraceW says:

    Some additions…

    7. Be kind – Always be kind, but realize that being kind does not guarantee kindness in return. Notice when people take advantage of your kindness, and avoid them.

    8. Seek out others who treat you with respect – Avoid those who diminish (insult, ridicule) others as well as diminish you. Because when they get bored with the old target, you may be next.

    11. Try new things – Okay, within reason. If you get invited to a Japanese restaurant by a potential friend and you’ve never eaten Japanese food before, now is your chance. Just be open to invitations and opportunities.

    12. Realize things aren’t always as they seem – The popular girls always seem like they’re having so much fun, but you have no idea what’s happening behind the scenes. They may hate each other, gossip about each other, etc. Focus more on the “having fun” part and less on the “popular girls” part of making friends.

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