Brooke and Em Clothing welcomes a teen guest blogger to the mix with some insight on what is up with friends and the new school year. Gather your teens and share a read.
Friends. Everyone needs them. Unfortunately, in our world today, some people don't even have a single one. Throughout my elementary years, getting friends was not hard. No one told you who you had to be or how you had to act. You'd always have a person to play tag or do the monkey bars with. Although, as our generation grew up, making friends isn't the easiest thing to do anymore.
Heading into junior high, I was so excited to see all my friends from elementary school and have all my classes with them! But when I arrived on my first day, things were not as I expected. Not a single person I had been friends with were in my classes. I was terrified. The thought of making new friends, scared me. Suddenly, popularity became a thing. If you weren't known around the school, you didn't fit in to the 'popular' category. I had watched people who were my best friends, walk past me in the halls and pretend they've never seen me before. It was different and weird. Finding where I belonged was a bit of a struggle for my 12 year old self.
Once you find your group, the place where you actually seem to fit in and feel loved, they're everything to you. Finding good friends is a hard thing but keeping them is even harder. There is always going to be that one friend who seems to stick by you but can turn their back on you at any minute. You might even have those fights where you feel you might've just lost your best friend. It's a scary feeling. But once you learn to power through those fights and cut out those fake friends, you become a much stronger person.
Now that junior high is over, because of the boundaries of different high schools, I am having to move on from these friendships and go to a whole different school than my best friends. Knowing that I have the risk of losing some of the best friends I've had in my life is scary. I would sit in my bed at night scrolling through my pictures with these friends and realize that these moments may be the last moments with these people who got me through my junior high years. I was ready to hang out with them all summer and make everlasting memories that would help them not forget about me. When summer first started we hung out maybe once or twice, when soon enough I was being faded out of the picture. I started to not get invited to things. The people I used to talk to almost everyday hadn't texted me back in over a week. I knew as this continued, I would be out of the picture completely. Being sad and anxious, I talked to one of my older friends about what I was going through. She shared her wisdom with me and told me something that is going to stick with me for a long time.
"There is always gonna be those times when you're the friend that walks behind the group when the sidewalk is not big enough. When you become the friend that doesn't get invited to everything. But being that friend and having that feeling, helps you grow so strongly in your own friendship skills. You'll see the person that is behind the group on the sidewalk and you'll know how they feel so you can slow down and walk with them. You can be the person that sees someone not invited and ask them to tag along with you. You can be an example to those types of friends that decide that they don't need to include everyone. You can be the good friend that people want to be around." She also told me that, "If they're willing to stay friends with you, you will stay friends. But you should never be the only one making these efforts." Knowing all of these helped get me through the thought of losing my friends.
I know that going into high school, it's a whole new experience. The feeling of always having someone there to catch me when I fall isn't quite there anymore. It's like starting all over again. The struggle of making new friends, popularity, and fitting in, is all going to come back. But because of my earlier life experiences, I know that I'm going to be all good.
Right now, it is hard. Making friends is always going to be hard. But, it never gets easier, you just get better at it.
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"At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child's success is the positive involvement of parents." -Jane D. Hull
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