The Art of Fitting In: Getting Past the Awkward
If you are someone who recently enrolled in an international school in Manila, then you might find yourself in an awkward situation especially during the first day of classes. Everyone looked like they have known each other since they were younger and then you, a new student, comes in feeling all shy and unsure of your new environment. Don’t worry though; you are not the only one who is going through this stage. Here are some tips on how you can fit in:
1. Know Your School
Take a day to appreciate your new school. If you can, ask someone where places are, for example the library or cafeteria, or you can ask for a map. That way, you won’t get lost and you will become familiar of your surroundings. Besides, you will not fit in if you don’t know the school.
2. Be Nice to Everyone
When you are in a new environment, there is no time for you to be a stuck-up. Project a positive aura and be nice to the people you meet. Who knows, they could be your teacher or a potential friend.
3. Get to Know the Teachers
Try to talk to your teachers and get to know them. Don’t push them too far though or you will get into trouble. If you are too scared of having a conversation with them, use your teachers as a conversation starter with your seatmate (it’s an instant-friend tactic too). In line with that, pay attention to your class. Remember, teachers pay attention to new students.
4. Make Friends
Talk to different people. Don’t ignore a certain group just because they look ‘weird’ to you. Be yourself; don’t be a phony because no one likes that. This is your new school now so take the chance on being who you weren’t at your old school.
One tip to make friends is to prepare some conversation starters. An introduction followed by a question or compliment will always lead to small talk. Knowing what you are going to say will prevent you from being nervous and freezing up.
5. Join Clubs
Sign up for organizations, especially if you are really passionate about it. It is easier to bond with someone who has similar interests. Not only have you created an opportunity for you to talk to people after school hours, you’ll be able to hone your skills even more.
6. Keep Calm and Don’t Stress Out
Don’t overthink people or the situation. So what if your seatmate is too cold? Maybe he or she is just thinking of other things. Did your new ‘friends’ fail to invite you to sit with them in their table during lunch? Take that as a chance to be with another group. Be consistently level-headed inside and out especially since you are since still trying to fit in your school.
Everyone struggles to fit in so don’t worry if your first method doesn’t work. Remember, you can always revert to Plan B. Fitting in takes time so be confident and patient. Soon enough, you will be hanging out with the best friends you’ll ever have.
About the author
Micah Suarez is a bookish type of girl who just got out of college with a degree on the arts; she currently works as a freelance writer and accepts projects whenever it fits her taste. Her passion for writing and researching started in college that later evolved to blogging and freelance entries for small and medium enterprises.