Starting a new school in September? We got your back. We know starting over somewhere new, whether for exams like GCSEs or A-Levels, or just because you’ve moved away, can be super intimidating. It can be easy to worry that everyone will already know each other, or you simply won’t find your tribe there. That’s why we put together a super quick guide of things you can do to make new friends in a new school.
1) Talk to everyone you get sat next to in class
So the temptation to sit and stare at the wall might be strong, but you won’t make friends by being silent. Engage with the person next to you by asking them a question about the class or the teacher, or where the next class is. It might sound a bit stupid but chatting to someone little but often is a great way to ensure there is a friendly face in the school corridors.
2) Ask someone if they don’t mind showing you around
If the teachers don’t do this on your behalf already, mention to someone that you have had a chat with in class that you aren’t sure of your way around and if they could help you out by giving you a bit of a tour on your lunch break, or if they could at least walk you to your next class. It will give you a chance to get to know them when you aren’t talking about how annoying your new History teacher is.
3) Remember names
We know that remembering names can be difficult, especially when you move to a place where literally everyone is new to you. If you tend to really struggle to remember them, jot down in a notebook where you met them and their name. You’ll be able to remember where you met them, like a class or sports club, way easier than anything else, so having a handy cheat sheet will stop you from going red faced when you realise their name is Yasmin not Jasmin or whatever.
4) Find people through mutual interests
Love a good kick-around? Maybe netball is more your thing? Or perhaps you can sing a rendition of Someone You Loved that would put Lewis Capaldi to shame. Whatever you love, meet people who love the same thing as you. Join the teams, try out for choir and act your way into drama club, because you are guaranteed to have at least one thing in common with the people that are in them.
5) Put your phone away
It can be super tempting, when you land in a new school, to spend a large portion of your time glued to your phone. Messaging pals from your old school, or generally scrolling through TikTok to avoid awkward conversations with strangers all might feel like the better option. But, doing this will only prolong the time you don’t know anyone. You only get one chance at a first impression, so be present, and talk to people.
6) If you know a few people already, meet their friends
It might be that you are heading to a new school where you already know one or two people through other things, like family or stuff you do outside of school. Don’t let the connection go to waste, and hang out with them and their friends a couple of times. It might not be the way to your new BFFs, but it will make sure there are few friendly faces in the corridors.
Feeling lonely? Talk to one of our trained Support Mentors here.