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To Sam


I am eleven years old and will start at a girls secondary school in September. I will miss all mi friends and I don't think that I will fit in. I am very excited about it but scared as well. Please give me some tips on making friends. Thanks


Ask Sam


Hi S*,

Thank you for your letter. 

Starting a new school can bring up lots of mixed feelings. It can be a very exciting time as you mention, but it can be a little scary too. It might help you to know that you will not be the only person feeling this way. Moving to secondary school means lots of changes - new subjects, new teachers, a new building and a new timetable to get used to.

I can hear that you feel sad about not being able to see your old friends every day but this doesn’t mean you won’t stay in touch with them. You could look at this situation as an added bonus, because you’ll have friends outside of school and new friends that you’ll make at your new school too. For young people in this situation it means that relationships will change but they don't have to end.

From what you have said it sounds like fitting in and making friends at your new school is your main worry. Starting a new school where no one knows you can be scary, but it’s also a chance for you to totally be yourself and make a fresh start. Try talking to people and be as confident as you can. Lots of people find it difficult to make friends and it’s okay if you feel this way. 

If you feel shy and worried when talking to new people then there are a few things that might help you to feel or at least look more confident. Firstly look people in the eye and smile at them. Remember that other people might also be feeling nervous even if they don’t seem like it, so a friendly and welcoming face will make people feel comfortable to talk to you. Ask them a few questions about what they like and tell them a few things that you like - perhaps you’ll have things in common. 

You could also get involved in any school clubs, teams or events that you find interesting. This is a good place to find friends that have similar interests to you and it may give you both things to talk about. Remember, friendships take time to build.

I hope this has helped you. Remember if you want to talk through this anymore then a ChildLine counsellor is always here to help and listen. You could also look at the message boards where young people in similar situations talk about their feelings and things that they have done to deal with this kind of situation. This thread might help to get you started.

Take care,

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