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To Sam

Going back to School :(

Hi,

Before lockdown i was not getting on very well with school, people and i hated myself and how i am. In lockdown i realised people were my problem because i felt the best i have felt in months when i was at home away from them. I guess, now i have to go back to school, i am worried that i'll start feeling bad again and i am dreading it. it makes me feel sick inside.

M

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

Friendships can be difficult. Sometimes people you care about do or say things that are unkind or hurtful. Not feeling part of the group or not being listened to can affect your confidence, and you might only notice how unhappy you were when you have time apart from them.

Sometimes, you might put up with things you’re uncomfortable with out of habit, or because you don’t feel you have any other choice. You might have thought your friends’ behaviour is okay, especially if it’s been happening for a long time. But it’s important to remember that being called names, ignored or criticised can be types of bullying, even if you didn’t see it in that way at the time.

Having some space from each other, like during lockdown or a school holiday, can help to see things more clearly. Realising how you’ve been feeling can help you to decide what’s important to you and how you want to be treated in the future. You don’t have to stay in a friendship group if you’re not happy. Remember, it’s your decision who you spend time with. You can be polite but say no if you don’t want to join in with something they suggest. It can be hard to be assertive and explain how you feel, Childline has some tips to help.

It can be hard to break away and do something different, but putting your feelings first will mean you’ll be happier in the end. Doing things you enjoy and being with people who care about you can help boost your confidence. You might decide to make new friendships, begin a new hobby or do more of something you enjoy already. Childline has lots of helpful advice about making new friends, and boosting your self-esteem.

Your opinions, interests and feelings are important. It’s okay to look for friendships where you feel heard and accepted. Try writing a list of qualities that you want in a friend and include the things you can offer too. That way you’re more likely to notice when friendships aren’t making you happy, and you can make changes. Friendship goes two ways, so try your best to support and listen to the other person too.

Thank you for your letter, I hope this reply has helped. Remember you can always talk to a Childline counsellor about this or anything else that’s bothering you. You can also reach out to other young people for advice and support on Childline’s message boards.

Take care,

Sam

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