For teens in high school, moving is hard.
Social situations are already stressful enough, and just as you’re getting comfortable around a group of friends you have to transition to a new school and town where you need to start all over again. But by being outgoing, open to new adventures and discovering ways to connect with your new community, you can start to feel at home.
I had a friend in high school whose family was moving all the time, he had lived in four different states between first and 11th grade! Interestingly, he seemed to take it very well, and he was one of the most outgoing students in my sophomore class.
Here are a few things teens can do to make a move to a new town easier. I’m sure my friend from high school would approve of them.
1. Before you leave, decide when you’ll come back.
Moving day can be extremely depressing if you’re hugging your friends for what feels like the last time. It’s not so bad if you know you’ll be back next spring break to hang out just like old times. If you’re feeling stressed because you’ll be leaving soon, plan a block of time when you’ll come back.
This can eliminate a lot of the ominous “Will I ever see you again?” questions that can be scary if you’ve got a tight-knit group of friends from back home. Stay in touch on Facebook and Skype in the meantime.
2. Look look for your interests in your new area.
If you move early enough in the summer, see if there’s a teen summer camp, sports camp or teen summer program with open slots. It’s a great way to meet people before school starts.
No matter what you’re interested in, it’s likely that someone in your new town is interested in it as well. By visiting websites like MeetUp.com or Facebook you can discover where these people are and join their groups, helping you make new friends and connections very quickly.
I lived in close to 10 cities last year, and whenever I did an online search or used MeetUp.com to find people I was never disappointed. There are lots of people you can connect with in your new community that will lessen the pain of leaving home. You just need to go out and find them!
3. Say “hello” to everyone at your new school.
When you’re a teen in a new school, make sure to talk to as many people as possible. Don’t be a wallflower for the first week! Get used to approaching people at lunch and asking to sit with them. Once you get to know someone a little you can ask them if they want to hang out after school. The sooner you start doing this the better.
At home, you may have had years to find the people you currently call your best friends. Don’t be afraid to start over and don’t want to waste time feeling lonely!