• Making Friends

Making friends at school

Published: January 23, 2014 | By | 2 Replies Continue Reading
When a teen has trouble making friends at school, it can feel like a very unhappy place to go each day.



I’m a new transfer student. It has been two weeks and I still don’t have friends to gather with at the hall, canteen, or after school for activities.

I don’t have problems talking to several girls in my class but the first girl I talked to always goes with another girl and they don’t pay attention to me. Although I had joined them twice in the canteen, they still never come to me. I also talk to the girl sitting behind me but when lunch comes, she doesn’t come for me. She always approaches her friend and goes away, ignoring me. The other girl who sits quite near to me too, goes to find her friend from another class.

I’m very sad. I’m afraid that I’ll have to spend the next two years like this. Also, since there are no people with same nationality as me, I’m even stressed. Moreover, I have different tastes from most teenagers. While most of them like k-pop or Hollywood singers, I like instrumental music. I don’t have any preferred actors, making me unable to chat things concerning entertainment with them.

I really would like to befriend the first girl I talked to. She’s also friends with two of last year’s transfer students. But I really don’t know what to do. Last time, when her friend was away, she asked me when I was walking alone to accompany her. I was happy but when her friend came she totally forgot about me.

Having no friends really makes me not wanting to go to school.

Signed, Lee


Hi Lee,

I’m sorry you’re having trouble making friends in your new school. Two weeks probably feels like forever but making friends takes a while. Sometimes groups of friends are more inclusive than others when accepting new members. It might feel like they’re ignoring you, when they’re really just focusing on the friends they already have.

Being different, whether that’s having alternative interests or coming from another culture can make developing friends more challenging. You have to find your “people”, girls who like the same things as you do.

You’re doing the right thing by talking to different girls. Since you’ve identified a girl you want to befriend, show an interest in her other companions, too. Even if you feel shy, make an effort to talk to the other girls. Make eye contact and ask them questions. People love to talk about themselves and they love when others show an interest. If you do this, the girl you like won’t feel like she has to choose or that there’s competition between you and her other friends. Try to balance maintaining your own preferences while showing an interest in that of your peers.

If this doesn’t work, you might have to work a little harder to meet your “people”. After school activities are good avenues for meeting like-minded folks. If your school has a drama club, you’ll probably find other creative students with eclectic tastes among its members.

Since you are new to your school, you might want to seek out the help of an adult in the counseling office to see if she has some ideas as well.


*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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Comments (2)

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  1. hi i really like the articles of struggling to make friends it really made me realize that i am not alone going through this.It really feels like theres is no point in being alive i pray to god about it but still i feel so alone and lost.

  2. Carol says:

    Hi Lee,

    First, I would like to introduce myself to you. I have just retired from working many years as a teacher and paraeducator. Just so you know I have had many interactions with school kids in all grades. I worked 3 years at the high school level. First, to let you know what you are experiencing is also experienced by adults of all ages in the school setting. I feel it is the unusual person who sees a new person and can remember when they were also a new person on a school campus, and make an effort to welcome a new person. Particularly today when high school campuses hold sometimes hundreds of students. It was interesting for me to be transferred to the high school setting to work. I noticed kids who were sitting alone each day. So I would stop and chat with them and assure them that they would find friends and to take their time in deciding who they would be and just where they wanted to fit in.

    Even as an adult staff member, it was the unusual person who would come up to me and welcome me to the school. I knew there was nothing wrong with me, and I also took my time deciding who I wanted to relate with and maybe have a new friend. I think it’s important that you take your time and you decide who you want to relate to by observing the other students for a time. It will be a necessary life-skill to learn because high school won’t be the last place where you will feel like an outsider for a time. I would encourage you to be yourself and if you don’t have a positive view of yourself, talk to a school counselor, parent or someone you trust about it. You know that word “self-esteem” and what it means. It means that you feel good about who you are and no one can take that feeling away from you. Be patient, find the students you want to relate to, and don’t wait to be “chosen” in order to know you belong.

    It’s hard to leave familiar places and move on to new experiences and new people. This is a life skill you will work on just as you work on the next subject matter you must learn to graduate one day and go on to a job or to college. Start now, so you can chose who YOU want to be friends with according to your values and your interests in life. There’s no getting around it, taking yourself where you wish to be and with whom you want to be with, is up to you.

    I wish you great courage to find your way, just as you were smart enough to find this blog and ask for some assistance. Take that courage, be yourself and have fun always!

    Best to you, Carol

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