5 Things You Can Do To Feel Less Lonely In High School
By Evan Parente
For some, High school is enjoyable. For some it will be the best 4 years of your life, for others it may be complete hell. It’s especially unenjoyable when you have no friends, no classes with your friends or even worse, classes with people you hate. Though most people end up making at least a few friends in their first year of high school, some people end up making none. Maybe you just never put yourself out there or maybe all your friends graduated the year before and you now have no friends. One way or another, you may find yourself being or feeling lonely.
As someone who felt lonely most of the time in high school, I can tell you that it is not fun. I remember there being moments of hanging around more than 10 kids and still feeling lonelier than ever. Teenagers (including myself) being the horrible communicators they are, trying to prioritize themselves and ultimately just trying to survive, we end up isolating ourselves and others time and time again.
5. Join extracurriculars, clubs etc.
You’ve probably heard this suggestion many times before, but believe me when I say this, IT WORKS!!!!
Starting 9th grade I went to a new school in a completely new environment where I barely knew anyone or nobody knew me, at least on a personal heart to heart level. I only knew a few people who I often didn’t get to see because of our differing schedules–unless you count lunch as a class.
I heard from a wikihow article that joining clubs and extracurriculars can help you meet new people. So throughout high school I joined a bunch of different clubs and extracurriculars that I thought would be fun. From this I met a lot of new people, some people whom I may have never been able to really get to know or connect with had I not joined them.
It may be intimidating having to go to tryouts and auditions where you may get rejected or get given a non-favorable role, but you’ll still get chances to connect with people. People that you will be glad to have met, even if they don’t become your new BFF.
Even if you don’t enjoy it, meet anyone new or make any new friends, you’ll find out things about yourself that you never knew.
Definitely a good and easy option to consider.
4. Pursue a passion project
Do you wanna look good for college but want to do something that you love? Then a passion project or independent project may be something you like.
A passion project is something that one does on their own initiative in which they use the skills, talents and resources they have to create something tangible in some form that can be of benefit to the community.
There are many things that can be passion projects, here are some examples:
Writing a novel/play that brings awareness to an issue
Creating and/or selling goods to help a cause
Starting a non-profit organization
Raising funds to help work towards a specific cause
Creating a website with a target audience that helps educate readers on some sort of issue or cause (what I did!!!!!!!)
A passion project will require work. It is something that will take you weeks, months or even years to complete. It’s not easy in the way that you may find your classes to be, but with time management, it can be enjoyable.
Not only is a passion project fun, but it can definitely take you places. According to Prep X, 75% of accepted Harvard students have done a passion project in high school. In addition to that, the Harvard consultant I spoke to when I was in the process of finding a mentor for my passion project told me that only around less than 10% of total college applicants in the United States have done passion projects.
In addition to that, a passion project can also give students a way to earn income or learn about what they would like to do in the future.
If you or someone you know wants to start a passion project, go do what I did and go to acceptitas.com now and click ‘get started’ to schedule a 20 minute meeting with an ivy league student who will explain to you the process that goes into creating a passion project and what you can expect.
Though I can’t say where exactly my passion project will take me in the future, I know for a fact that it has made me feel less lonely and has made it easier for me to handle being alone and overcoming my struggles and insecurities.
Wherever it takes you, I can promise you that starting it will be worth it.
3. Time Management
Whether you are the queen B of your high school, or a nerdy outcast with no friends, chances are that you–like me–are doing a lot.
Several kids across America are overwhelmed. Taking on several Advanced Placement classes, trying to do several sports, busting our butts for good SAT scores and taking on so many time consuming activities, we’re all pretty overwhelmed. All this, while having other things like new relationships, heartbreaks and events that need planning, it's enough to turn a high schooler into a convicted felon.
However, by making commitments to schedules and working to limit the amount of time you are spending on each task, life can be pretty enjoyable.
This little thing is called time management, which can help even the most overworked and overstressed high schooler find peace in their days and find enjoyment in their life that they may not enjoy as much as some may think they do.
Time management won’t make your life necessarily funner, but it will make your life more manageable.
2. Get To Know Your Teachers
Your peers are growing like you and because of that likely don’t understand you or what it's like being in your shoes. However, your teachers most likely do.
As much as my friends tried to help me during the hard times of my life, their advice only got me so far, not because it was garbage advice, but because they often haven’t been through what I was going through.
Your teachers have been you before. They may not have had the same technology that you hold in your hands or have the same burdens that you have on a daily basis, but they know how hard it is being a teenager.
You may think that they wouldn’t understand or that they wouldn’t have interest in the struggles you face day to day, but you may be wrong. Going to extra help, I was shocked my freshman year to find how understanding my strict 9th grade history teacher was to my struggles both academically and socially. I don’t think it ever really clicked in my mind how much my teachers were able to relate to me.
1. Just do something because you feel like it
There's a lot of things that you’re doing in high school that require a lot of effort on one’s part. So maybe, in your free time (if you have any) when you finish your homework, do something you enjoy, something meaningless.
Go watch that show you have been dying to watch. Read that book that you’ve seen all over booktok.
Don’t spend all of your non-academic time doing this, but you can spend some of it doing this.
I enjoyed spending some time after doing homework watching meaningless episodes of The Vampire Diaries and Ginny and Georgia. Did I accomplish anything from doing it that I would put on my college apps, No. Did it help me pass my AP Lang exam? No. But it helped me remember what it was like to feel joy and happiness, something that I hadn’t felt for a long time.
___ It can be hard finding ways to be less lonely. Especially if you go to a small high school like I do where it seems like there is hardly anyone new you can meet.
There will always be times in high school where you feel lonely. There are times in high school where you'll feel lonely even in a group full of loud, expressive people.
The social part of high school–just like the academic part–is gonna have parts you have to go through alone. It’s the thing of high school that no high schooler would ever dare to show on social media.
Whether you are the class wallflower or queen bee, everyone experiences loneliness and crappy moments in their lives. They all get into fights with their parents, fails tests and have people lie to them and cheat on them.
These options discussed above are not a guarantee that your social status will go from class wallflower to queen Bee, but they will make you feel less lonely (at least a little).
Whether you choose to pursue them or not, I encourage you to remember that there will be a whole life beyond high school and that no matter how hard things get in your life, the sun will come out again.
Don't forget that!!