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So you’re all set, oversized jumper  and fluffy pencil case at the ready. You’ve been waiting all summer for this moment. You push away your sobbing Ma at the gate and in you go. Lets do this.

If you’re starting a new school this week it can be a little scary, learning new rules, meeting new teachers, getting the bus for the first time. But look at all these potential new friends just waiting to meet you! All these strangers are potentially the crew that will be by your side for the next six years.

Here are some essential hints for making new friends that a) are not cringy and awkward and b) actually work….

Don’t pre-judge anyone

If we were all the same the world would be a very boring place. You do not need 10 mirror images of yourself to get by in life. You need the quiet listener, the outgoing one, the one who  makes you laugh, and the one who will tell you when you’re being a major douchebag. Give everyone a chance, they don’t have to be besties, but it doesn’t hurt to find common ground with everyone you meet.

If your best friend from primary is in your class, and you have lunch together, make an effort to find someone who is alone, and invite them to join you. They will forever remember your kindness. Bingo!

Ask questions and give compliments

A universal truth: People like to talk about themselves. If you can’t think of a conversation starter, tell a girl that you like her watch/schoolbag/ shoes and ask her where she got it. Questions are key, because you’re inviting the other person to say something about themselves, and hopefully, they’ll ask you a question back. Bingo!

Get Extra Extra-Curricular

Woody Allen (old director dude) said that 80% of success in life is due to just showing up. This applies to friendship too. Just show up. Get involved in groups and teams in your school if you can, sports, singing, student union, volunteering, there’s an option for you. And even if not, try at least one thing you’ve never done before. New hobbies are good for you, and you meet new, like-minded people. Bingo!

Watch your body language

Sometimes, when we’re nervous, we close ourselves off from other people and appear a little moody. We wear our worries on our faces. Open your heart, breathe, relax and smile 😊. Someone will smile back. Bingo!

Remember: EVERYONE is nervous

If you do find yourself alone, it may seem like everyone else knows each other and has someone to sit with, but everyone is open to making new friends. Be brave, approach someone and ask if you can sit with them. It takes truckloads of bravery, but then its done, and you’re no longer alone. Bingo!

Not everyone will be your friend, and thats okay.

Sometimes people just don’t get each other. Its not personal, so don’t make it personal. Don’t try to force people to like you, and don’t turn on them if they don’t. You’re wasting the energy you could be putting into genuine friendships. Move along sister. Bingo!

Above all else, be yourself. You’re fabulousness personified xxx

You can get some more advice from Reach out HERE.