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TAKE THE FIRST STEP  In class, if you need to choose a group and you don't have a partner or group, you should take the first step and ask someone to be your partner. They most likely will say yes because they are having trouble like you are and are relieved that you asked. If they say no, don't take it personally. They could be having problems just like you are and are having trouble dealing with them.

Example: In Family Consumer Science class, we had to choose a partner for a project. This girl Mary had no partner and neither did I. Instead of going to the teacher and asking her what I should do, I asked Mary if she wanted to be my partner. Now Mary and I are friends, you never know what one class project can lead to in the future.

SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE YOU  If you are in a class with or without friends and you see someone sitting alone,  they could be intimidated by you so you should ask them to come over and talk. Maybe they want to talk to you but don't know how. We all know that NOBODY likes to be alone.

Example: On an overnight school trip, we had gone to the mall for dinner for a few hours. A friend and I were thinking about asking a boy to join us because he was all alone. Before we could get the chance, another boy (Derek) had come over and asked him to join him and his friends. You could see the happiness on his face when Derek asked him.

TAKE AN AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITY  Join a sport or take an after school class when available.   If your school doesn’t have these, or if they don't appeal to you, then take a class outside of school that has more then just a teacher.  One-on-one activities with an adult might be ok, but they’re not going to give you the chance to make friends. With new people, it’s good to use the tips listed above and throughout this site.

Example:  I joined a henna class at school last year and used some of the tips above and what came out of that is a new best friend and a great interest for art which led me to other friends. 

 Do you have a suggestion for this column or a question for Kate Venditto?   Write to: kateatshykids@yahoo.com

Note:  Although all situations in this column are based on real life, the individuals' names were changed for purposes of privacy.

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