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Secondary school. Making friends.

Hi Sam, I've started secondary school. I have no one from my primary school. I still feel alone even though its been a term. My classmates are nice to me but it feels like they don't exactly want to include me in anything. A while back, I made some friends, but recently they've been acting strange. They've started ignoring me and wispering whenever I'm around. I don't know what I have done to deserve this. I'm not comfortable talking to a teacher. When I talk to an adult I end up crying. What can I do to make friends?

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Sam

Hi there,

Starting secondary school is a big change for lots of reasons - leaving friends behind who go to a different school, feeling anxious about finding your way round, worrying about the amount of work you'll have to do or getting on with new teachers. Lots of people worry about starting school, but while for some people this feeling goes away, others might still worry things aren't working out.

Teachers at school are there to help, but they can only help if they know what's going on. I can hear you're not comfortable talking to a teacher. Sometimes it can help to plan out what you want to say by writing it down or practising in the mirror. Then you can either read it to them or let them read it themselves.

It sounds like you think that having more friends at school would make things better. One way of making new friends is to join clubs and activities you're interested in. This can help you connect with people from other classes and year groups with things you have in common.

Friendships come in all shapes and sizes - some are close, some distant, some last for years and others shorter times - and it can be hard to predict how things might develop. Having classmates who are nice to you is a very good start and it might be good to think about ways of trying to build on this like making sure you speak to them and show interest in what they are doing.

If you'd like to talk things through more, you can always talk to a Childline counsellor.

Take care for now.

Sam

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