When you’re starting at a new school in an unfamiliar place, trying to make new friends can feel difficult, stressful or even impossible. Despite those nerves, there are actually many ways for you to connect with people at your new school and in your new community! Here are seven quick tips for how to make friends at a new school. 

Be open and encouraging. 

One of the most important things to remember when making friends is to keep yourself open and be encouraging. Closed-off body language, staring at your phone constantly or having earbuds or headphones in will signal to others that you’re not open to conversation. This means you could lose out on potential friends just by appearing unsociable. 

When you show that you’re willing to engage, people will be more inclined to approach and interact with you. Encourage interaction with smiles, friendliness and openness. Even a simple “hi” as you sit next to someone in class will show them you’re open to making friends. 

Choose classes and clubs carefully. 

When picking electives and after-school activities, choose ones that you have a genuine interest in. People who pick those classes will likely have those same interests, which makes for great common ground to start a friendship. 

Join a local service organization. 

If you’re wondering how to make friends in a new city, one of the best ways to do that is to join a local service organization. Joining a well-established organization like your local Key Club is a fantastic way to get involved in the community, meet loads of new friends and accomplish some good at the same time! 

Get involved in a sport. 

Sports have a wealth of benefits for you, and they’re also a great place to make friends! Get to know your teammates and their friends, and you’ll have a wide circle of friends in no time. 

Look for people with common interests. 

People love to show off their interests, so if you see that someone else likes the same thing you do, go start a conversation! Look at people’s T-shirts, backpacks, phone cases and more for hints. See a sticker from your favorite band? A pin referencing a series you love? Bond over your mutual excitement! 

Talk to someone who’s alone. 

An easy tip for how to make friends is to be the friend that someone else needs. Is there someone sitting alone who looks a little lonely, or just bored? Go strike up a conversation and practice being a good friend. 

Go digital. 

Remember that friends often come from online circles, too! Connect with people via your favorite social media platforms, discussion boards, apps and games! 

Moving to a new school can be intimidating, but there are so many ways to make friends and build up a support group. Put these tips into practice and join a Key Club to form new and lasting friendships today!