Megan Rziha

Making New Friends For A New School Year

Coming back to school for a new school year can be stressful. (You might be new to the school, or you might not have the same classes as your friends, and are stuck in a class with people you either don’t know at all, or have only seen in the halls.) No matter the case, it can be intimidating to make new friends. It could be hard to talk to new people for a number of reasons.

A major reason it can be hard for someone to talk to someone new, is because they are scared of being judged. We are constantly told that first impressions matter, and we know that we make judgments about other people, so they will probably be making judgments about us as well. However, people can be more open-minded than they seem. It is also important to keep in mind that,  “the more you say, the more chances you will have to impress others and be judged favorably by them.” [1] If you keep going, you have opportunities to fix your mistakes.

It might be that you have a hard time forming the right words out loud. If you have had trouble putting your thoughts into words in the past, you might be discouraged to talk to a new person. The more you worry about it though, the more likely you will fumble on your words. It is a vicious cycle. When faced with this issue, it helps to plan what you want to say in your head before saying it out loud.

Sometimes, you may not know what to talk about. A great way to start a conversation is to ask the person a question. Do you have any pets? What kind of activities do you like? What is your favorite TV show and why? These are all good questions to start with because people can tell stories about them. They might have a cat that begs for milk every morning, or a parakeet, or a dog that loves to play fetch. Maybe they enjoy playing a sport, and can tell you about a tournament or game that they participated in. If you can figure out what they like, and if you find that you share some interests, then you can have a great conversation. People love talking about things that they like.

So if you want to make new friends this school year, then you just have to remember to be confident in yourself, and go for it. Don’t be afraid to make a new friend.

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