June may not be the first month of the calendar year but, for many, it marks the first month of the academic year. Getting ready for a new year in school is like preparing for an adventure — it always comes with excitement, anxieties and fears, more so for someone who is new to school. So, in keeping with what Miss Manners does best, here are some pointers on manners to help you make friends in school.
Break the ice
The most important thing is never to be prejudiced or biased. Do not form an opinion about the new boy or girl in your class even before you have had a chance to talk to her or him. You wouldn’t want to be in a place where nobody talks to you and ignores you, right? It’s the same for the new student. All it takes to make a fellow classmate feel comfortable is a smile and a hello.
Introduce yourself and ask some basic questions like name, where he/she stays, about siblings and so on. As the conversation progresses, you can learn more about the person by asking them about their hobbies and interests, and eventually find a common interest — Harry Potter, Virat Kohli, cycling, puppies…
It is also important to never ask intrusive questions, and do not insist on talking about something the person seems uncomfortable about. Another good way to break the ice is by sharing snacks. Who wouldn’t want a cookie?
Having your own group of best buddies does not mean there is no room for more. More the merrier, right? Introduce the new student to your friends. If the person stays close to your home, why not plan some activities to do over the weekend? If the boy or girl is new to the city, use the opportunity to show them around.
And finally, do not ever tease or make fun of the new student or anyone else for that matter. It never ends well.
If you are the new student, this applies to you as well. Don’t wait for someone to come and talk to you. Take the initiative to make eye contact and smile. You never know, but you may have just broken ice with your future BFF.