It's normal to worry about making new friends in a new place. You might feel like no one can compare to the friends you have now, or you may think you're too shy to meet anybody new. Maybe you just don't want to take the time to make a whole new set of friends. The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to make friends more quickly and easily.
- Get involved. Look for ways to get to know other teens and get involved. Go to the teen center to sign up for a group activity. Go to school and join an afterschool club or sport. Look around town for a part-time job. When you're surrounded by others with the same interests as you, you'll find it easier to make friends.
- Take the first step. Don't wait for people to talk to you. Just smile, say "hi," and get things started! Other teens are probably just as shy or uncomfortable as you are, so think about things you can say to start a conversation. Ask about school, music, movies, sports, or something you know you're both interested in.
- Take your time. You don't have to have a whole new set of friends on the first day of school. Remember, you can be friendly with a lot of people, and friends with the people you really get to know and have a lot in common with. It's okay to sit back and observe everyone at first to see where you think you fit best.
- Be yourself. You are a great person and to make new friends, you have to let others see who you really are. Don't try to act like someone you aren't. Sooner or later people will see that you're just acting! Be yourself and you'll make new friends in no time.
- Be positive. Having positive relationships with your peers is one factor in becoming a successful adult. Making new friends is giving you practice for later in life.
- Keep in touch with your old friends. Call, text, or email when you can. They'll be able to take your mind off things, cheer you up, and remind you that you'll be making new friends in no time.
- Don't make comparisons. It's easy to compare your last home, school, or friends to where you are now and think, "Things were so much better there." Instead, make the best of where you are and be positive. Being positive may make you seem more approachable and likable to other teens.
- Check out the Youth Sponsorship program at your new installation. Getting a youth sponsor before you move means having a friend before you even get to your new location. Your sponsor can give you all the info you need to make you feel comfortable in your new community or school.
For more information and resources to help military youth and teens navigate everything from the unique challenges of a mobile military lifestyle to managing their social lives, saving money, and going green, visit Military Youth on the Move!