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Dear Dish-It: How Do I Make New Friends?

Dear Dish-It,

I just moved to a new house and a new school. Everyone at my new school has an attitude. They’re all really rude and the girls bring their cells to school and text each other – it’s very distracting and all the girls are very snobby and rude (but no one calls them “the snobs” they call them “the others.” I'm a tomboy and no one accepts that, which leaves me somewhere that's nowhere. I can't relate to anyone about my dogs or camping because they spend all their time at the mall. And the boys hate hanging with the girls so really I have no one! I don't plan to "fake it ’til you make it" because to make friends I have to be myself. I sit in at my desk and quietly do my work, hurry to my next class and go home, and the cycle starts all over again the next day. What can I do to make at least one friend here other than a teacher?


Sincerely,


The Other


Dear Other,


I’m sorry you’re finding it tough making new friends at your new school. Change can be hard sometimes – any kind of change is kind of a jar to the system. To leave everything you know, all your friends, your familiar school, the neighborhood you’ve lived in all your life, etc., is a very hard process to go through. The first piece of advice I have for you (before giving you some more practical tips) is to be patient. Change takes time, and getting used to new situations and people takes time, too. But in life, somehow, everything always seems to work out for the best – it just takes the right amount of time to pass.


The next important thing to remember is that you’re not alone. Maybe there’s no one at your particular school that you feel you can relate to or connect with, but around the world there are other kids going through what you’re going through, too. Also, in years before you were even born, people went through situation similar to or even identical to yours. Somehow, they managed to make it through – and so will you.


Now, there are a couple of things you can do right now to try and make some new friends at your school and in your life. Just remember to keep an open mind and do the best with what you’ve got.


Step 1: Expand Your Mind
Just cause no one at your school is a tomboy like you or loves dogs and camping the way you do doesn’t mean they’re not friend-material. Try to look past people’s clothes and the attitudes they present at recess or lunch. I bet some of those kids – even “the others” – are fun, smart, cool decent people you could totally have fun with.


Step 2: Expand Your Universe
You have to realize that school isn’t the only place where you can meet new people and find friends. Check out some community groups, get a part-time job, volunteer, go to concerts you like, etc. There are plenty of cool kids out there – you’ve just got to go out and find them!


Finally, Kidzworld just reviewed a cool new book called 30 Days To Finding & Keeping Sassy Sidekicks & BFFs: A Friendship Field Guide by Clea Hantman. It’s a book full of friendship-related tips, advice and exercises you can actually test and try. Check it out!


So, ya got a burnin' question? Need some love direction? Thinkin' 'bout stuff like depression, sex, how ya feel 'bout YOURSELF (that's called "self-esteem"), boyfriends, girlfriends, losin' old friends, bullyin' or peer pressure but too scared to ask the parents? Don't be scared to Dish-It here. Send all of your questions to deardish@kidzworld.com. But remember, if ya hang out in Chat with other Kidzworld members who know ya by your "username," ya might wanna use a secret nickname when ya write in. That way no one will ever know it's you. And, just in case ya don't know, Dish-It gets a lotta letters every day, and she can't answer 'em all. So keep checkin' the column cuz she's prob'ly answerin' somethin' very similar to your question while you're out doin' somethin' else. K? And thanks! Ya keep her outta trouble! Oh! And if ya got words of wisdom you wanna share, we'll dish 'em up, too.


More Great Dish-It Advice:

  • Dear Dish-It: I Want A Best Friend
  • Dear Dish-It: How Do I Adjust To A New School?
  • Dear Dish-It: I’m A Nice, Funny Loser
  • Get Involved With Student Council

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