How to Make Friends in Middle School


Making friends in middle school can be scary, especially if you don’t know anyone. However, making friends is actually easier than you might think! By being friendly and putting yourself out there, you can form friendships that will last all throughout middle school.

Part 1
Meeting New People in School

Meeting New People in School on How to Make Friends in Middle School

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While you shouldn’t talk to anyone when class is in session, that doesn’t mean you can’t strike up a conversation with the people sitting next to you before or after class. If you hit it off with one of your neighbors, you'll be on your way to becoming friends! For example, before class starts you could say to your neighbor "Hey. How was your weekend?" or "Have you started working on your project yet?"

Meeting New People in School on How to Make Friends in Middle School

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You can chat with them whenever you're both grabbing things from your lockers in between classes. Don’t worry if it’s just small talk at first — after a while, you can get to know each other better and become friends![1] For example, you could say “Hey, I really like your backpack. Where did you get it?” or "What class do you have next?"

Meeting New People in School on How to Make Friends in Middle School

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The best way to make new friends is to branch out and surround yourself with different people. Instead of sitting at your usual table during lunch, look for a different table with an open seat and ask if you can sit there. If they say yes, sit down and join in on their conversation.[2] It’s okay if you feel a little shy at first — that's totally normal! If you're not sure what to say, just bring up a topic that you're interested in, like a new movie that's coming out or the upcoming school dance. If you liked the people you sat with, ask if you can join them for lunch again the next day.

Meeting New People in School on How to Make Friends in Middle School

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If you see someone in the hallway that’s in the same class as you, ask if they want to walk together. If it goes well, you can make it a daily thing. Over time, you might become good friends![3] If you’re nervous and you can’t think of anything to talk about, just bring up something about the class you’re walking to. For example, you could say something like “What did you think about last night’s homework?” or “Are you ready for that test next week?”

Meeting New People in School on How to Make Friends in Middle School

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Talking to someone new on the bus will make your bus ride less boring, and it’s a great way to make a new friend! When you get on the bus, look for someone sitting alone and ask if you can sit with them. If you usually listen to music on the bus, ask the person what kind of music they like and offer to let them listen with you. If you’re out of things to talk about, ask them if they’re in any clubs or ask what classes they’re taking.

Part 2
Making Friends Outside of School

Making Friends Outside of School on How to Make Friends in Middle School

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Hanging out with someone outside of school is a great way to get to know them better and become friends. Ask your parents if you can have a friend over after school. If they say yes, invite someone over from class or your lunch table that you get along with.[4] Plan on doing things that you know the person will enjoy. For example, if you talk about video games with each other a lot in school, pick out a couple of your favorite video games so you can both play when they come over. If your parents are OK with it, invite over 2 or 3 people. Sometimes it’s easier to make friends when you’re in a bigger group.

Making Friends Outside of School on How to Make Friends in Middle School

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When you join a club, you’ll get introduced to lots of different people that like the same kinds of things that you like. Making friends with someone is easier when you both enjoy the same stuff. Ask a teacher or your parents for a list of after-school activities and pick 1 or 2 of them that you’re the most excited about.[5] Introduce yourself to everyone when you attend your first club meeting so people know you're friendly and approachable.

Making Friends Outside of School on How to Make Friends in Middle School

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Just like clubs, sports teams are a great place to meet like-minded people that you can be friends with. If you join a sports team, you’ll get to hang out with your teammates during practices and competitions. Over time, you could become good friends with some of the other people on your team![6]

Making Friends Outside of School on How to Make Friends in Middle School

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If you have a cell phone, exchange numbers with people at school so you can text and call them during the weekend break. You can also invite people to hang out with you over the weekend. Spending time with people from school on the weekends will help you get to know them better and become friends with them. For example, you could make plans with someone to go see a movie or hang out at the park on a Saturday.

Part 3
Being Friendly

Being Friendly on How to Make Friends in Middle School

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Being a kind, happy person will make people more interested in being your friend. No one wants to be friends with someone that’s mean all the time. By showing people that you’re a friendly person, you can attract more potential friends.[7] Smile at people when you make eye contact in the hallway or cafeteria to show them that you’re friendly and approachable. Try to help out your peers whenever you can. If you see someone drop their books or trip and fall, stop and help them.

Being Friendly on How to Make Friends in Middle School

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If you never introduce yourself to people, you’ll never have the chance of becoming their friend! Introducing yourself to people shows them that you’re friendly and interested in getting to know them. When you’re in a situation where you don’t know someone, make an effort to say hi and introduce yourself.[8] Don’t feel like you have to have a long conversation after you introduce yourself. You can just say “Hi, my name’s Mike. It’s nice to meet you!” Even if you don't hit it off with someone right away, introducing yourself will make them feel more comfortable coming up to you in the future and saying hi.

Being Friendly on How to Make Friends in Middle School

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At the end of the day, the best way to make friends is to be confident in yourself. It's OK if you're not feeling super confident at the moment — just fake it until you make it! People will be more interested in being your friend that way. To come across as confident, stand up straight, make eye contact when you're talking to people, and don't forget to smile.