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I AM in Control.org Iowa Adolescents Making Choices to Control Their Future Teen:Health, Relationship, Body and Sexuality
Jul 1

Bringing Friends Together

Posted By iamincontrol | July 1, 2014

Group of friends
The results are in!  Last month we asked you: “How would you describe your friend group?”

You said:

    • We’re a super tight group and only hang out with each other. (0%)
    • I have a main friend group, but I have other friends too. (66%)
    • I float between lots of groups. (33%)
    • We don’t have friend groups at my school – everyone hangs together. (0%)

Sometimes when you are friends with more than one group, it can be hard to juggle being part of both.  Lexia shares her story below about how she brought two friend groups together to solve that issue.

By Lexia

When I was in 7th grade, my parents sat my brothers and me down in the living room and told us news that would change our lives forever – we were moving.  Not just to another town or state, but to a different country! I was incredibly excited for a new experience, but I was also TERRIFIED! How was I supposed to start over and make new friends? I had seen all the movies about the new girl in town, who eventually finds her place amongst all the other kids in school, but this was real life. I wasn’t an actress in a movie.

Eventually the day came, and we boarded the plane for Belgium. I was now the newest member of an international school there.  On my first day, I was approached by two different girls who wanted me to join their group of friends.  The problem: those two girls didn’t belong to the same group.  In fact, there were two “cliques” of girls in my grade that didn’t get along with each other.  How was I supposed to pick which group to join?!  Each group of girls had their strengths and weaknesses, but I didn’t understand why we couldn’t all just be friends.

I began hanging out with both groups, flipping back and forth on what group I was in that day.  It was hard to manage both groups of friends. Eventually, it seemed like they wanted me to make a decision, but I couldn’t do it.  I liked the girls in both groups and didn’t want to be a part of a petty competition.  So what did I do?  I stuck to my guns and refused to pick a side.  I realized that this meant that I might lose my friends in both groups, but I knew that it was the right thing to do.  What ended up happening after that was a pleasant surprise.

By reaching out to the girls in both groups, I was able to build friendships and bring the two groups together.  The girls eventually began to realize they all had things in common and that trying to be the most popular wasn’t really worth it.  Middle school and high school can be challenging as kids fight for their popularity and feel the need to fit in. Sometimes, it takes a person standing out to bring everyone together.  My next two years at that school were amazing, and I was able to meet people from all over the world.  I am so glad I made the choice to bring people together instead of picking a side.