By now, most everyone has gone back to school. Though a lot of people decided to do online school, a lot of people are learning in their high school again. This “new” form of school can present a lot of problems for many students. Instead of interacting with the entire student population, students may only see half of their classmates and could only be going two or three days. Many students don’t see their friends as much as they are used to and can feel alone in this new setting. I know I definitely felt that way during the first few days of school. I knew I would have to branch out and befriend people I may not have if school looked normal. Here are some tips for making friends during this crazy pandemic!
Ask if you could sit next to them
It sounds easy and simple, but approaching people that you don’t usually interact with can be even scarier when you both have masks on and your faces covered up. It can make people seem unapproachable, though nine times out of ten, they aren’t trying to seem that way! If you think that you would mesh well with a certain person in a class, just go up and ask if you could sit next to them in class or at lunch.
I’ve noticed that a lot of people keep to themselves a lot more during this time because, like I said before, everyone seems a little unapproachable. Simply asking if you could sit next to them is a great way to open up the floor for future conversations. If it works out, make sure to ask them little questions when you see them, like “what was the answer to #45?” The person will be more likely to relax around you if you come across as relatable and not completely put-together, since basically nobody is right now.
*However, it is important to note that a lot of teachers assign seats in their class, so this may not be an option for everyone.
Reach out through social media
Right now, social media is one of the only ways that people can communicate with each other and know what is going on in each person’s little sliver of the universe. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m on social media for a good portion of my day, and I know I’m definitely not the only one. Direct-messaging people out of the blue is often very taboo and scary, but not if you do it correctly.
Once you’ve gotten on friendly terms with this person, don’t be afraid to reach out! It doesn’t have to be anything crazy; you could send a funny meme that somewhat relates to the class you both have with the caption sounding something like: “me when Mrs. Slater said we have a pop quiz today.” If you don’t want to do that, you could send something along the lines of: “Ugh, we have so much work in Biology!” This invites the person to respond and continue the conversation. Most teenagers are very active on social media, so this is a great way to build the friendship when you aren’t seeing each other in person.
Plan a small get-together
Obviously, do not come into close contact with this person or not wear masks. Mostly, I mean that you should plan a way for you two to connect outside of school. I’ve had socially-distanced picnics and brunches, which were so fun and a great way to talk about things other than school. Getting coffee and sitting socially-distanced is also a great way to further the connection. Even just Facetiming is a simple and easy way to stay in contact. If you’re a little nervous to spontaneously call them up and ask to get together, you could ask to Zoom or Facetime so you could go over the homework from class together and then sprinkle in some unrelated conversation from there.
Though making friends in a pandemic is hard, it’s not as big of a deal as you may think. Remember that most everyone that did go back to school is dealing with the same thing. If you feel lonely, just know that a lot of people do too! Feel free to take my advice and apply it to your life, and don’t be discouraged!