Dear Carol

"Dear Carol, I had an amazing time at camp but dread going to school"

Dear Carol, 

I just got back home from camp, and I made huge strides. I challenged myself to make new friends, and I did! But how am I supposed to translate that for school? It is so much easier when you don't know people or haven't seen them in a year.

-  New Year New Me?

Dear New Year New Me?,

That's great that you pushed yourself and made new friends. Sure, it's hard to walk into your same old school with your brand new social skills. But own it. Say hi to new people, sign up for new activities and be aware that some of the classmates you've known forever have also been changing and may be looking for new crews. I don't fully subscribe to "fake it 'til you make it," but go ahead and keep telling yourself: "I've got his. I made friends at camp, and I can do it here." Find the kids in your school who are looking for meaningful connections and be extra outgoing those first weeks. One easy way to do this is to say, "Hi! How's it going? How was your summer?" When they say, "It was good," don't just say, "Mine, too." Ask questions. "What did you do? Did you go anywhere?" Let them have a turn before you take yours. I'm predicting new friends for you. 

Carol Weston is the author of 16 books including Speed of Life and Ava and Pip. Follow her on Insta @carolwestonnyc and visit

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by GL | 9/7/2023