Alex's Answer

I'm nervous about making friends when I start secondary school.

Your Question

I am starting Secondary School in September; I know it is a long way off but I am nervous about making new friends and people liking you. What should I do? Thanks 

Answer

Hi there, thank you for sending your question to Ask Alex. We’re glad you were able to get in touch. 

You mentioned you will be starting secondary school in September and feeling a bit nervous about making new friends and people liking you. 

It can be a bit overwhelming when you need to adjust to a new school, new teachers and of course, new peers. It’s okay to be feeling nervous, a lot of people of all ages find it challenging to make friends when they’re in a new environment. 

You mentioned the word ‘new’ which sounds like you already have friends that you’ve made before; have you thought about how you managed to make those first friendships in the past? Maybe thinking back to when you built other friendships might help you come up with ideas for what you could try this time. These articles on the Childline website might be useful for you too: https://www.childline.ie/do-you-struggle-to-make-friends-here-are-a-few-things-that-might-help/;https://www.childline.ie/making-friends/. 

It might also be helpful for you to try to maintain the friendships you may already have if that is an option for you. Have you considered finding out if any of your friends from primary school or in your neighbourhood will be attending the same secondary school? This might go some way towards helping you to make the transition smoothly. 

Friendships can be hugely important in people’s lives and can often be made by having things in common such as where you live, go to school, or shared hobbies and interests. Perhaps you could try starting conversations with others by asking them what they enjoy doing in their spare time or about their favourite class. Would you consider joining clubs, committees, or sports teams – something you would enjoy participating in – at school? That may be a good first step towards forming new friendships at your school. 

If this is something you feel you might need help with, there are people out there who can listen and support you in this. Have you considered talking to a trusted adult about this? Examples of trusted adults might be a parent/guardian, auntie/uncle, grandparent, older cousin, or sibling or perhaps you might feel more comfortable talking to a teacher or school counsellor. Talking to someone in your life could be a way for you to openly express your thoughts and worries about making friends, and this person may have ideas you might not have considered before, so it could be worth a try. 

It is important to remember you are not alone in this. Childline is always here to listen when you need to talk about whatever is on your mind. If you ever feel like chatting to us, you are welcome to call anytime on 1800 66 66 66 or you can use Childline’s text service by texting 50101 or to contact us online visit www.chidline.ie and you can register there to chat with us. All these services are free, available 24 hours a day and are confidential and non-judgmental. 

Hopefully, you will find this reply helpful and please know you are welcome to contact us again. 

Take Care, 

Alex 

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