Friendship 101: How to Create Effortless Friendships


Michelle Ho, Staff Writer

Adolescence: a period in everyone’s life that is equal parts fun and embarrassing. Oftentimes, teens are full of insecurities and doubts, trying to discover themselves in the mess of emotions they feel. As a teen myself, I understand that many people my age struggle with social interactions and making new friends. Why is that?

Most of us are friends with people we met back in elementary and middle school. We always hang out with the same group of friends and find it difficult to leave that comfortable bubble of familiarity and create new relationships and friendships. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with having a close circle of friends; if anything, this could prove more enjoyable and fulfilling than a large circle of acquaintances and friends. However, many teens that have just entered high school are looking to reach out to their peers. Suddenly, the pool of students around them has expanded significantly, and there are many times when you won’t be able to just hang out with your closest friends.

“I think it’s important because it’s essential to have a lot of connections,” said Arcadia High School (AHS) freshman Ellie Wu. Since high school is a larger environment, especially for freshmen, it’s important that friends are made to help you settle into your surroundings.

Adding on to that, just as we have our own group of friends, everyone around us has already created their own friend group and is in turn, more reluctant to make new friends with people. I remember times I stopped pursuing a new friendship because I thought I would be intruding upon a friend group.

Teenagers are often told to be themselves and “act confident,” but not many people can actually take that advice to heart and really follow through with it. Many of us are insecure about ourselves, whether it be our bodies, strange quirks, or even our personality. So how can we exude confidence and friendliness? One way is to simply “fake it till you make it.”

“Being more confident makes you seem more approachable,” Wu said. People are naturally drawn to those who show their confidence.

In addition, it’ll help you reach out to people if you already think of them as friends or at least acquaintances. Just acting confident will really help you get out of your comfort zone, and before long, you’ll realize that the fake confidence act has become real.

Another important factor is to stop caring about how others will judge you. Think about it; how often are you judging the actions of other people? Most are more worried about themselves and are too busy to even think about what you’re thinking, doing, or wearing. Keep in mind that what others think about you doesn’t matter; what matters is what you think of yourself. It’s inevitable that someone will dislike you, so there’s really no point in trying to be someone that everyone likes, especially at the cost of your own happiness.

On a final note, I asked AHS junior Matthew Ho to give some advice on making friendships in high school. 

“Get off your phone and talk,” he stated, emphasizing in-person communication.

He explained how using social media and texting to communicate with people will never be as effective as talking to people in person. By replacing face-to-face conversations with online texting, you take away an opportunity to bond with people in real life.

“Start with the basics like weather, interests, common things everyone can talk about without thinking about,” Ho continued. 

It may seem difficult at first to come up with a conversation on the spot, but focusing on a few simple and common topics can definitely help you start a conversation. Reaching out to people in person is the first step, and what comes after should come naturally to you.

Don’t worry too much about making friends, because relationships will grow and strengthen over time. Just remember that sometimes, you have to get out of your comfort zone to really flourish in befriending your peers. Have fun and good luck on your friendship journeys!


Photo by Priscilla Du Preez