Building a Group of Friends When You Move to a New City

By Kylee

If your family has just moved to a new city or to the countryside and you are a teen, chances are, the move may have been a big challenge for you. A recent study undertaken on 1.4 million people showed that those who moved frequently during early adolescence could feel greater stress and find it hard to build key connections.

When you are homeschooled, it can be even tougher because many people your age may enjoy an easier transition thanks to the friends they make at their new school. Of course, if you adopt the right strategy, you can overcome these challenges and build a strong support system that will enable you to feel accompanied, entertained, and much more relaxed.

Have Faith in the Skills that Homeschooling Can Teach You

Recent research published in the journal Creative Education (Abuzandah, 2021) showed that homeschooling provides children with a rich opportunity to acquire positive values that can help boost their social skills. However, to foster their cognitive development, teens need to be given time to physically interact with peers. Homeschooling is known to make kids more proactive in their learning process but it is important for them to use this proactivity in their social lives as well. One of the best things you can do is to plan at least two activities you can enjoy with others on a weekly basis. Consider it as part of your education, since when you interact with other people (of all ages), you learn and teach each other critical skills that should be considered part and parcel of your education as a human being.

Information is Power

The sense of being “lost” in a new city can make you feel less resilient so it is important to learn more about the area your family is moving to so you can have things to do almost from the day of your arrival. Remember that when you are homeschooled, you can potentially miss out on organized school excursions and activities that can help you learn more about your new city. However, by this stage, you are probably more than able to check out top local spots, use local transport, and use your GPS to make sure you don’t get lost. In addition to conducting research into local libraries and other places that are interesting academically, check out nearby sports centers, gyms, and schools or academies. Start off with one center that permits you to practice your favorite hobby in the company of others. If you are non-fussed about which activity to sign up for, try to choose those which by nature lead to friendship and connection. CrossFit, for instance, is known to be a particularly supportive community; one in which all members of a “box” aim to make others feel welcome and help them achieve their best.

Stay Connected with Tried-and-Tested Friends

If this is the first time you have moved to a new city and you are sad about leaving your best friends behind, know that there is no reason why you cannot stay in close contact and continue to share time, support, and love. Most people are connected these days via Instagram, Snapchat, and WhatsApp. Use features such as Instagram Live or Facetime to schedule live chats. If you have many friends and you enjoy group chats, then inviting friends to a Zoom or Google Meets chat will enable you to enjoy the laughs and chats that sustained you for many years back home.

Give Yourself Time, but Take the Leap

It is normal to take a little time to feel sad about the loss of your old routines with friends and family from back home. Allow yourself to feel negative as well as positive emotions, using techniques like mindful meditation to battle stress. Mindfulness encourages people to accept all emotions—positive and negative—while also realizing that emotions are not permanent and even difficult emotions eventually do pass. Additional relaxation techniques you might like to try out are spending time in natural settings, exercising, and doing Tai Chi or yoga. All of these activities have been proven in numerous studies to be powerful natural stress busters. Give yourself a reasonable time to get over your feelings, but then take action. Sign up at a nearby youth or cultural center, become a member of a community association, or join local groups for hikes and other nature adventures. The more activities you sign up for, the greater is the likelihood that you will have many people to call after your homeschooling activities are over.

Moving can be tough for homeschooled teens since it often involves the loss of traditional support systems. To make your move smoother, embrace all opportunities to meet other people your age while taking part in an activity you love. Fight stress naturally through meditation and other techniques that will lift your mood, make you feel more energetic, and make it easy to focus on your schoolwork.

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