Several weeks ago, I asked the students in my THRIVE program to write a post on a topic that meant something to them. One student reflected on making friends during high school (and that sometimes it may not be super easy).
It Takes Time to Make True Friends by Michelle
In my experience, it can be hard to find friends that you can trust or rely on in high school; it has taken a long time to realize who actual friends are. As you become busy with academics or extracurricular activities, you might isolate your time and not hang out with friends or tend to focus on other things that makes you forget old friends. Knowing who your actual friends are may be hard to always know, but eventually you’ll understand because when you feel happy hanging around a person, you’ll start to build trust and potentially even be able to rely on them in times of need.
I met many people in my freshmen year, though I continued to feel lonely as they weren’t people I would consider to be my friends (they were more acquaintances). For long periods of time, I felt like an outsider and didn’t feel like I belonged too much in school because I didn’t have close friends to hang out with. I eventually met a student in a different grade and felt I was able to consider this person to be my friend when he cheered me up as I was in tears after losing an academic competition.
There were other kind things he did and he helped me through the rest of my freshman year, though the friendship turned out to be more temporary. When he attended college the next year, he wasn’t as available and eventually the friendship didn’t work out. I learned that part of friendship is to make time for each other. After that, I was able to make some new friends closer to my age, though again it took time.
Learning to make friends is not something you can learn by watching My Little Pony or anime (believe me!) — it’s not as easy or neat, those characters live in a completely different world than we do. In the real world, learning to make friends involves having experiences that help you learn what you can do to make friends and learning who true friends are.
Making friends in high school may not be the easiest thing to do (it may take longer than you think!). Try not to consider yourself lonely if it’s taking longer. Spend time with family or other people that you’ve met in your life in the meantime, while you work to build new friendships. And just know that some friendships don’t last long while some work out until the very end.