What’s the best way to make friends at a new school?

Although it might be overwhelming your first few days at a new school, you’ll find it’s easier to make friends than you might think. Especially if you try to behave in a way that you think would make a good friend. By being inviting, smiling, and making eye contact, people will naturally greet you. If you see someone you recognize from class, the basketball court, or the community, give a smile or say hi. Introduce yourself. Tell them your name and where you’re from. Asking questions, such as “What sports do you like to play?” or “Have you been here since kindergarten?”, is a good way to begin a friendship.

And it’s always good “friend etiquette” to do something nice for someone, such as saving someone a seat, saying hi in the hall, or offering congratulations on a good test score. Even a simple compliment, such as “I like your backpack,” can go a long way toward making friendships. Other ways to make new friends is to join a sports team, engage in school activities, such as choir or theater, or form or join a study group. All are great ways to make potential friends, establish common bonds, and get academic support. And guidance counselors can arrange for “buddies” with similar interests and the same classes to introduce new students to the school campus the first few days of school.

And here’s a fun tip: Look for other people who are new to the school. You’ll discover you’re probably not the only new student. At the very least, you’ll share the fact that you’re both in an unfamiliar environment. And if you are starting at a new school in start-up year, almost everyone is new! Talk about your old school, your new school, your opinions, grades, teachers, and interests with a wide variety of people you’ll soon find you have more than one new friend, but several or many!