Sunday, August 16, 2009
New Year - New Friends
A new school year! Exciting, yet scary. Can't wait one minute; nervous stomach next.
One of the great things I always looked forward to in a new school year was the chance to change things up a bit and meet some new friends. Different classes brought new opportunities to meet kids I had never hung out with before. Some times, though, those first few days can be weird. Trying to get a conversation started can be awkward. What if they think I'm weird? What if they already "have enough" friends and aren't looking for any new ones?
I know when I walk in a new place, I can feel uptight at first. But just think, if I feel that way, they probably do too! So how can we break the ice and find out if that new girl sitting next to me might just be my new best friend?
First prepare some great "ice breaker" questions. Everyone loves to talk about themselves, so asking questions is a great place to start. How long have you lived here? What activities are you thinking about participating in? What school did you go to last year? What do you think might be the best thing about this year? Once they answer that question, based on their answer you can ask another. (Be sure to comment back with your own answers to the questions, that way you are starting a conversation and not just asking questions!)
Next, really listen when she talks. So many people want to do all of the talking. If you are a real listener, you'll stand out as a great friend right from the start!
Lastly don't be afraid to do some inviting. Ask her to hang out at lunch, study for a test coming up or go to the first football game. Everyone wants to be wanted and asking her to hang out says just that!
As a final note: be sure to keep your eyes open for the kid who is new to your school. I recently read a startling statistic: kids who move more than three times have twice a likely chance to try to commit suicide. Moving is tough! Look for the girl who is twice as nervous as you and try to help her fit.
I'd love to hear how your first day of school goes! Stop back by and let me know.