Dear Riley: Finding Friends


Disclaimer: The advice offered is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. This advice is not intended to replace or substitute for any professional, financial, medical, legal, or other professional advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require professional, psychological, or medical help, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified specialist.
If you are a student at Glasgow Middle School, please contact your counselor for any serious issues or challenges: GMS Student Services Website.

April 23, 2021

Dear, Riley,

I have no idea how to make friends in online school! It’s super frustrating since I’m used to making new friends easily, but now I can’t do that. I talk a fair amount in class through the chat with my classmates and sometimes use my mic if I’m comfortable. I like making jokes with other people and that kind of thing, but I haven’t been able to make any friends. I’ve gotten tips like “turn on your camera” or “private message someone” but that just seems so awkward since I’ve never met some people in person or I don’t know them well enough to feel comfortable saying “hey”. I talk to my friends regularly but I still feel so lonely because I’m not making new connections. I’m tempted to just ask my friends to introduce me to other people but I also don’t think that would work since we’re not in person. Sorry for the infodump, but this has been bothering me so much! Any advice?


Literally So Lonely


Dear Literally So Lonely,

Don’t feel bad! I have also had a lot of trouble making new friends this year and keeping up with my old friends. The majority of the people I talk to are all people in the Journalism Club (it’s hard to keep a secret identity with friends)… awkward (especially ‘cause I’m friends with Ms. Grillo, how UNcool is that!? Haha, just kidding… kind of). 

I would say that one of my biggest tips is to find friends through friends you already have. I have a really good friend of mine in my English class. We were working on group projects, but we needed one other person to be a group and so, my friend called her friend over to the group. I didn’t know this person at all (big surprise), but we started talking to each other and ended up becoming really good friends, even though we met online. Another way you could make a friend is by offering to help someone. A person in my Spanish class was having a lot of trouble, so I offered to help her after school, and from there, we became really good friends, again online. I mean, who doesn’t want to be friends with a not-so-fluent Spanish speaker!? Something that helped me meet one of my best friends is also after-school clubs. They are fun and you get to know people personally, without feeling like it’s school, but it’s school. You know?

Opportunities are always there, you just have to make sure that you are looking for them. I am no expert though as I can probably count the number of friends I have on one hand, but that’s beside the point. Good luck and let me know how it goes, and may I say, you are an inspiration to other lonely teenagers everywhere! Look on the bright side though, you have one new friend!

Keep your head high,