Got a dilemma you need help solving? Want a teen perspective on an issue you’re going through? Welcome to, “ASK VOX,” a forum for teens, by teens. If you would like your question or concern featured on ASK VOX, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. This month, our team of teens addressed a common issue that many teens may be contemplating: How Do You Make Friends During a Global Pandemic?
Zenobia: This might sound a little corny haha but I definitely recommend being a friend to yourself first. Especially now, it’s really difficult to maintain a friendship if you don’t feel ok yourself. Be kind to yourself and do things that make you happy. Next I would recommend taking advantage of social media, using those platforms that connect you with like-minded people. Basically, putting yourself in a position to meet people by getting engaged online and putting yourself out there! And last I would say experimentation is key because not one thing works for all people to find friends. Don’t worry, you’ll figure out your own way!
Isabella : The pandemic has been a great foundation for learning about yourself. Getting to know and understand every aspect of you. Although this is amazing, you may feel lonely and want some friends to converse with. In my virtual classes, I was able to develop new bonds with some of the students. We would have discussions and exchange each other’s numbers/socials. I began to find myself connecting with them as we had many similarities. When a person steps into your life, take advantage and find a common interest between yourselves to build a potential friendship.
Amaya: I was trying for the longest time to make friends during this pandemic. Then I realized that sometimes the best friend to have is yourself. Although that may sound a little lonely; once you start being at one with yourself it’s really not that bad. Focus on your self growth. Try meditating, journaling, manifesting, and yoga. That has helped me a lot. Also take advantage of opportunities to network with people. Join clubs or different organizations that have virtual programs so that you can meet new people. Try not stress yourself out about making friends, just go with the flow of life. I promise you a lot of people are having the same struggles that you are. In the end we’re all in this together.
Jaylee: If you’re feeling lonely, you’re not alone. This pandemic has strained all areas of our lives: work, school, personal, and especially social. It can be easy to retreat into negative thoughts or into social media, to look out on the rest of the world in various states of disarray. I can definitely say that, over the past year, it feels like I have untethered from myself, my family, and my friends. Although it has been incredibly trying for a lot of people, I believe that it also opens up new possibilities for connection. Of course, you can practice self-care and self-love by engaging in activities that help you enjoy, (and maybe for the first time in your life) your own company. Being alone does not equal being lonely; there are enriching ways that you can spend your alone time, reading, meditating, cultivating hobbies. No one can blame you for wanting to make friends, however. No one is an island. We all need interaction. One of the graces of the pandemic is that more people are diverging from their usual modes of socialization. New social dynamics are being unearthed. People, now more than ever, are reaching out and forging new relationships. If you are feeling brave enough, don’t be afraid to send a friendly message. Ask to exchange socials. You’ll never know what can happen if you don’t try!
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Editor’s Note: While “ASK VOX” advice is intended to help other teens, our teens are not trained professionals and the advice dispensed in “ASK VOX” is not meant to replace professional help. VOX ATL has a resource guide for many of the challenges teens face. You can find a link to help here.