Finding new friends at school is easier than you think


Olivia Helm and Cathryn Neiffer have been friends for a few years.

Opinion by Kailee Justesen

MAKING friends isn’t always easy. Some people are shy or unsure of how to approach a person. But it is not very hard to make friends. Here are some tips that will help you out when starting the new school year. First and most importantly, always be yourself. Everyone wants to fit in, and fitting in can sometimes be hard. People always want to fit in or be friends with the “popular kids,” but feel like they have to change themselves to make that happen. That’s the wrong approach. Instead, get involved. Being involved is a big part of making friends. If there is a sport or activity that you might like, try out for the team, or join the club. Most friends are the people who you have something in common with. Talk to people: friends won’t be made by standing around and not talking to anyone new. Spend more time around people. Put yourself out there. Don’t sit alone at lunch; friends won’t always come to you. Go and sit with other people, and maybe they will end up being a lifelong friend. You never know until you try. Always smile and look happy. No one is going to want to be friends with someone who always looks mad. “People who smile are perceived as more attractive, kinder, and happier, and therefore more approachable,” as stated on the website. If you look unfriendly, people aren’t going to feel like they can come and talk to you. Don’t take your friends for granted. Just because you and your friends are really close, that doesn’t mean that they will always be there waiting for you. Don’t ignore them when out with others. It can be really hurtful when you act like their best friend when alone but when with others completely ignore them. You don’t have to give them all of your attention, but make them feel included; let them know you want them there. Great friends are hard to find, so if you have any, keep them close, because one day they might not be there anymore. Always be someone that they can trust. One of the best things about having a friend is that they are always there for you. They are someone that you can talk to about anything and can trust them with your secrets. In return, you need to be someone that they can trust, too. Let them know that they can tell you anything and that you are not going to turn around and tell someone else. A big part of being a good friend is being loyal. Always have their back; if they are in need of help they will know right where to go and who to go to. Make sacrifices for them. If they are having a bad day, make time to get together with them, try to make them feel better and get their mind off of it. Many people think that you can only have one close friend, that is not true. You can have a big group of friends. You may not hang out with all of them at the same time, and they may not even like each other, that’s OK. But having them all as friends will make you happy. If you don’t have many friends, that is OK, just having a friend is great. “Friendships are vital for wellbeing,” as stated on the website. Choose your friends wisely. Some friends are easier to get along with than others. Some friendships are really great and they bring out the best in you, but others can be unhealthy. These friends can be too needy or controlling, and they can sometimes even put you in dangerous situations. Choose the friends that are a positive influence on you and the ones that you can ‘be yourself’ around. In the end, maintaining a friendship is hard work. You need to make time to share your life with them. Be grateful for their kindness and be respectful of their decisions. Overtime you may lose contact, try to get together and do something you used to do instead of just going out to get lunch. Try hard to keep friendships; they can be some of the most important things.