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Tips on How to Make Friends in a New School

Nadine Briggs

Starting a new school can feel daunting. Especially when you move halfway across the country with little time to mentally prepare for what’s to come.

That’s exactly what happened to our spring intern, Marzooq Jeje. His mom got a new job the summer of his 8th grade year and the move happened within weeks. He moved from Wisconsin to Massachusetts and then entered high school. Take a listen to Marrzooq’s story as he told it to a room full of teenagers at Simply Social Kids. He discusses how he tired to make friends, what didn’t work and why, and what he eventually did to meet new people who became his friends. Marzooq’s story is one of determination and resilience.

Many thanks to Marzooq for sharing his story so that others can benefit from his experience.

Here are the highlights from the above video:

What Didn’t Work

Marzooq had the idea that he would talk to new people each day. Not a bad idea, overall, but as a freshman, he ended up talking to kids who in the upper classes. He didn’t have as much in common with them as he did kids his own age. Given the dynamics of a high school hierarchy, the upper classes were not likely to want to build a friendship with him.

Asking for Help

Marzooq asked for help from one of the high school guidance counselors. She was tremendously helpful in providing suggestions on how to make new friends. She was able to guide him and explain the differences in culture from WI to MA. She was also his lunch buddy until he was able to find friends to sit with at lunch.

Understanding Perspectives:

The guidance counselor explained that the kids in the high school had known each other since elementary school. Even if they didn’t know everyone personally, they knew of each other through sports, activities and siblings.

Get Involved:

The guidance counselor encouraged Marzooq to join clubs so he could meet people with shared interests in a smaller, less stressful setting. He joined a new club each week. He was very determined to find his people and he pushed himself out of his comfort zone to find friends.

Connections Were Made:

Marzooq found people he connected with around music. As an avid saxophonist, he join band and pep band. This is where he found the people who he initially connected with. He knew, though, that it would take time to nurture those connections into true friendships.

Bad Days:

Marzooq was open and honest about having really bad days. He would just need time to zone out in his room and take a break from it all. He understood that these resets were temporary and important. The next day, he would go back to his high school to try again.


At no point did Marzooq think of giving up on his efforts to find new friends. It was too important to him to make those connections in his new location. Kudo to him for trying to make connections and making adjustments to his approach.


Marzooq found friends at his new high school. Now, as he heads off to college this month, he is well-equipped for what needs to be done to find friends in yet another new environment. He plans to give us a college update this winter. We have no doubt that he will find success in anything he does. Go Marzooq!

If your child/teen/young adult needs coaching to help them make friends, contact us to schedule a trial or find out more about our weekly programs by contacting us at 978-764-2758 or

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