Middle school is a time of transitions. New school, new students, new classes and teachers, more homework and higher academic expectations can all add up to a difficult adjustment period. But, a strong friend group can provide an important support system to help you navigate your way through this time. Friendships also teach important social skills such as communication, cooperation, and problem solving. It might seem scary or challenging to make new friends, but don’t panic. Check out these ways that can help you to make friends in middle school.
Join a club or afterschool activity group
A good way to find new friends who share your interests is to join a club or student organization. There are many clubs and activities to choose from. Check out what your school offers and see which ones look fun and appeal to you. Spending time interacting with other students on a regular basis and engaging in activity you enjoy is a great way to get to know other students better. It not only gives you a chance to explore your interests, but also can help you develop new skills.
Be Friendly and Find Common Interests
A smile goes a long way. You’ll be more approachable if you smile, and people will feel more comfortable around you. People are more receptive to friendly people, and finding something you have in common can really help you break the ice. Introduce yourself and ask questions to help you strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know or don’t know well. Make sure you listen to what the other person is saying and genuinely be interested. Find out what their interests are and share yours with them. Maybe you both attend the same church or temple, or both play the same sport. If you are shy, you might try having a few conversation starters on hand to lead with — some students feel most comfortable working with topics they are knowledgeable about and feel comfortable speaking on, like a favorite subject in school. For example, if you're interested in science, you might try to find students to talk to who share your passion for that subject. That way you will always have something to talk about.
People want to be around positive people, so don’t be a Debbie Downer. Keep a positive attitude and you will attract positive people in return. How do you stay positive, even when you're struggling to make friends in middle school? Try to focus on things that make you feel good. What you feel on the inside will be reflected on the outside, making you stand a little taller and have a smile on your face. People will pick up on your energy and reflect it back to you. Remember, if people feel good around you, they will want to spend time with you.
Be genuine. People can tell if you are not being authentic. You want people to like you for who you are so your friendships will be genuine. Trying to be someone that you are not can be draining and a lot of work. If people only like you for the person you are trying to be, and not who you really are, you will have to keep up that persona in order to keep the friendship. You want to develop real friendships not fake ones. Be comfortable with who you are and you will exude confidence, which is a desirable trait to attract friends.Everyone is different. Let your light shine. Celebrate your differences and don’t try to be like everyone else and people will be drawn to you.
Form a Study Group
If you don’t understand something in class, ask a classmate to help explain it to you. Plan a study session with some of the students in your class. You will not only be able to review course material, but you will also be able to connect with your classmates outside of the classroom.
These are a just a few ways that you may be able to use to make friends. Having good friends in middle school can help you navigate through what can often feel like a difficult time and make your middle school experience a memorable one.