Making friends and connections with others can be difficult sometimes so we have rounded up five tips for making friends and connecting with people at school.
Think about what makes a good friend
The first step in making lasting friendships is knowing what to look for in a friend. A good friend is someone who is there for you no matter what, doesn’t judge you, is kind, respectful and is a good listener. These qualities are hard to judge when you first meet someone. However, there are some signs to look out for.
For example, how do they treat other people? Do they talk about others behind their backs? Do they put people down? If a potential new friend is making you or someone else feel uncomfortable, they’re probably not going to be a great mate.
Getting involved in things you’re interested in at school (like a sports team, music or art club) is a great way to connect with like-minded people. Whether it’s your team’s huge win on the field or rehearsals for music, you’re guaranteed to have something to talk about.
Approach someone who’s on their own
It can be pretty intimidating to walk up to a big group of people and strike up a conversation. It’s much easier to approach someone who’s on their own at lunch, or in class, and ask if you can sit with them.
You’ve probably heard it before, but people generally love to talk about themselves. Ask them about what they like to do in their spare time, their favourite subject, or what TV shows they’re into. Then ask follow-up questions. For example, if they say their favourite Netflix show is Riverdale, ask them what it’s about (or tell them you’re into it, too, if you watch it).
Remember that school isn’t everything
If you’re not clicking with people at school, try finding connections elsewhere. Join local clubs or sports teams you’re interested in. There is something out in the community for everyone.
It sounds cheesy, but you have to be yourself. There’s not much point in trying to make friends while pretending to be someone you’re not. It’s unlikely that every person will like you, but there’ll be plenty of people who appreciate you for you. And remember, if you don’t have many friends right now, it won’t be the case forever.
Adapted from Reach Out: https://au.reachout.com/articles/how-to-make-friends-at-school
Further reading available from Reach Out:
- What makes a good friend: https://au.reachout.com/articles/what-makes-a-good-friend
- 3 steps to better communication: https://au.reachout.com/articles/3-steps-to-better-communication
College Wellbeing Team