By Guest Blogger Hallie Wolfe
Going into high school is scary. Whether you have a tight knit group of friends, or barely know anyone, everyone is nervous for the first day. I’m not a particularly shy person, and I’m all for making new friends, but walking into freshman year with about 500 other kids you have never met before can be incredibly intimidating. That’s why, as a sophomore with a good group of friends, I’m sharing some advice that I learned or wish I had as a freshman last year.
Everyone is nervous. No matter how much they seem the opposite, there’s not a single person who doesn’t feel some sort of nerves or fear. Freshman year is difficult because everyone is learning their way around, adjusting to their classes, trying to make new friends, and on top of that, figuring out who they are. Leading with friendliness is a good rule of thumb. There are all different types of people in high school, so stay open minded and try to be nice to everyone you meet in the beginning. Many high schoolers struggle with insecurity, and that can lead to petty judgement, but you should always judge a person for yourself. That being said, you should also trust your gut. Even if it seems like everyone likes a person that makes you feel uncomfortable, you do not have to be friends with them. There are people who will not make you feel inferior, angry, creeped out, or uncomfortable, so do not settle with those who do. Often, people will end up realizing the same things about a person that you have; it just might take them more time. In the meantime, learn how to be polite without being engaging or rude.
The social scene in high school changes constantly. Groups will shift and expand, so do not feel discouraged if you are having a hard time trying to enter a circle of friends who have known each other for a while. It can take time to make close connections, but most people will become friendlier or more interested to make new friends the more confident they become in a new school. Also, you will continue to meet new people through different classes. While on the subject of classes, something very important to remember is that classes are not a divider between friendships. This can be hard for high school students of all grades to remember. If you don’t know anyone going into some or all of your classes, it will be okay. Trust that it’s the perfect opportunity to break out of your comfort zone. I highly encourage those who already feel they have all the friends they’ll need to branch out and meet new people, despite possibly feeling like you don’t need to. Not only is it a great way to become more confident in your social skills, you can also make amazing connections that you’d never have if you didn’t try. Everyone changes a good bit in high school, for better or worse, so don’t assume that you’ll always be close with the people you are at the beginning, though some relationships will certainly last!
Popularity is overrated. Don’t strive to be popular just because you want the social status. There’s nothing wrong with the concept of popularity, and I’ve met many amazing “popular” people, but people often feel pressured to go about it in the wrong way by making out of character choices or snubbing/judging others to make themselves feel superior. Doing this will not make you feel happy in the long run, and it can spiral to becoming a truly petty person, which is not cool. Being a genuinely friendly and caring person is. When trying to figure out where you fit in, the most important thing to remember is that you should never compromise who you are. You are who you are for a reason, and you won’t find your people if you’re trying to be someone you’re not. So even though it can feel scary (and sounds cheesy), be yourself!
At the end of the day, everyone is in the same boat as you. So be kind and friendly to everyone you meet and don’t feel discouraged!
TMoM would like to say a huge Thank You to our guest blogger for her words of wisdom today. We hope you will share today’s blog with your middle school and high school students! Hallie has grown up in Winston-Salem and is currently a sophomore at Mount Tabor High School. She hopes to pursue her interests in art alongside a medical career in the future.