Making friends in school – tips for your teen
While some students can easily connect with their peers, others may struggle, especially when making the transition from one school to another, like when entering high school. Dr. Sandra Anderson, a pediatrician at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn, Ill., provides these five tips for you to share with your teen to help them build long-lasting friendships:
Be yourself – “The most important thing to remember when building new relationships is to stay authentic,” says Dr. Anderson. “While you may change your physical appearance or take on new hobbies, be sure it is for your benefit, not just for the approval of others.” Peers will gravitate towards you when you are being yourself.
Get closer to acquaintances – Talk to the people in your classes; it will give you both a chance to learn more about each other and have a friendly face around school. If things go well, you may end up making a lifelong friend! In your search for new friends, remember to also keep in touch with pals from former grades.
Get involved – Volunteer or join a club or sports team. Doing so will allow you to branch out of your comfort zone and meet others who share the same interests as you. Volunteering is not only a great addition to future resumes, it is also an opportunity to give back to your local community.
Attend social events – Take advantage of social opportunities such as school dances and town events to spend time with peers. If you are shy, ask someone to join you – having someone you already know by your side can help settle nerves and prevent you from feeling alone.
Hang out outside of school – While it is nice to eat lunch or study with classmates, be sure to invite them to do something with you outside of school such as going to the mall, playing a game of basketball or having a sleepover. Spending time together can create bonds that turn casual pals into best buds.
Ready for school? Find the first-available pediatrician near you and schedule your child’s check-up or physical online.
About the Author
Efua Richardson, health enews contributor, is a senior at Lewis University studying public relations & advertising. In the future, she hopes to work in entertainment, namely in the music industry. In her free time, she enjoys reading, scrolling through Instagram and trying new ethnic dishes. Among her talents is the ability to move her kneecaps in tune to music and wiggle her nose.