Whether you’ve stuck to the same circle for years or prefer riding solo, it’s always a good thing to form some new friendships. You’ll need to do it at several points throughout your life, and the sooner you learn the associated skills, the better. Perhaps you’ve just moved schools. Maybe you’re looking to join a new sports team.

Regardless of the situation, you’ll be glad to know that making friends isn’t as difficult as it might seem – even when you’re in high school. In fact, just being yourself is all you really need to do to make the type of friends who are right for you. Granted, it can be challenging sometimes. The following tips and strategies can help.

Smile

It sounds like such a simple thing, but a smile alone can spark a lot of conversations. This obviously doesn’t mean you should walk around with an unsettling grin on your face the whole day because that probably won’t work in your favor. It’s more about lightening the mood and opening yourself up to others. You can:

  • Smile and greet people when they walk by
  • Stay positive during group activities and conversations
  • Laugh at your classmates’ jokes (even if they aren’t funny)

Make the First Move

Needless to say, that sitting in your room waiting for a text from someone you walked past earlier isn’t going to make anything happen. It’s up to you to put yourself out there by getting involved in school groups and activities. Aim for those that already interest you – that’s where you’re more likely to find your type of friends.

If you start feeling overwhelmed by extracurriculars and your efforts are to no avail, it may be time to change your approach. For instance, instead of heading home after a sports game, invite your teammates out for milkshakes. You have to be interested to be interesting.

Keep an Open Mind

Just because someone doesn’t share your Harry Potter obsession, it doesn’t mean you can’t be friends. Try to broaden your horizons and delve into other areas of your school. It’s always good to have some pals with different interests. You may end up discovering new hobbies and activities that you didn’t know you loved.

Go Online

While it’s usually best to connect in person, many other people in your school are likely too shy to get started face-to-face and would prefer to do it over the phone. Head on to social media and see who you can get in touch with. Send a simple “hey there” and ask about something related to school work after introducing yourself.

Aside from your typical Instagram and Snapchat, there are also more niche platforms where potential friends who share your interests can be found. For example, Spooncast is a free streaming app where people can interact with others who have the same taste in music.

Join Study Sessions

With the looming stress of exams, there are bound to be some people who want to study a certain subject with you. Consider posting a message telling people in your class about a time and place where they can study. Chances are that at least one person will join, especially if you can offer assistance. Friends who study together stay together!

Be Yourself

You’ve probably heard it a million times already, but it’s crucial to understand why you need to be yourself and perhaps more importantly, be confident in yourself. Potential friends are more likely to approach you if they sense that you’re a genuine person with good intentions. It’s as simple as that.

Now that you know what to do, it’s up to you to head out there and start connecting. With a bit of effort, you’ll be making friends in no time.