Dear American Girl,
I moved over the summer, and every day, I feel as if I don't fit in. I think about my old house, my old friends, and my old school all the time. Does anyone have any tips for starting fresh and feeling happy in my new home?
-Out of place
Here's your advice:
I'm at a different school this year, and I was feeling as if I didn't fit in at all. I talked to my mom about the problem, and she suggested that I invite some nice girls to my house that I wanted to know better. It was a lot of fun! Starting some new friendships can help you feel happier at school.
-Kiki, age 11, Missouri
Ask a parent if you can redecorate your room. Instead of hanging the same posters that were up in your old room, mix in a few new ones or create artwork to put on the walls. See if you can get a new comforter, too. That way, it'll feel like your new room and won't remind you as much of your old room.
-Destiny, age 12, Washington
How did you make your old friends? Use those same techniques to make some new friends. Compliment a girl's outfit, ask for homework help, or say hi to someone who's sitting alone at lunch. After all, those icebreakers worked in the first place.
-Ria, age 11, California
Talk to your parents about your feelings. Tell them about the things you miss, and they can give you some advice. They probably miss your old home, too!
-Scarlet, age 10, Kansas
Try to think of this as an adventure. Yes, it's a different place, but it could also be an exciting time in your life. Make a list of the good things about your new home. Is your house in a beautiful neighborhood? Is your bus ride shorter? Do you love your new bedroom? Think about the positives instead of the negatives.
-An American Girl fan, age 13, Delaware
Missing your old home is closing you off to experiences and friendships in your new home. Try your best to keep an open mind, and a fresh start won't be far behind.
-Molly, age 12, Virginia
Remember, you don't have to love your new house at first. It's normal to miss your old house. It just takes time.
-Mary, age 11, New York
Join an after-school club or sport. That way, you'll automatically spend time with others who share the same interest as you.
-Lilly-Ann, age 10, Wyoming
I've moved five times, and every time I leave a place, I make a scrapbook. When I miss my old friends, I flip through the book and it makes me feel better. Make your own scrapbook of photos, notes, and other things that remind you of your old home.
-Madi, age 11, Washington
Ask a parent to help you get to know where you live. Explore outdoor areas near your house, or visit local museums and shops. Getting used to things may take a while, but soon you may feel as if you've lived in your house for a long time.
-Ava, age 10, Vermont
Moving can be a chance to try new things. Were you too nervous to wear a colorful shirt at your last school? Try it out at your new school. Did you always want to start a book club, but your old friends weren't interested? If you meet a few girls who love to read, start a club now.
-Linda, age 13, New York
Ask your mom or dad to take you around your neighborhood and introduce you to any kids who are close to your age. That way, you can meet new friends and feel better about your neighborhood, too.
-Leah, age 8, New Jersey
At school, smile and introduce yourself to kids who seem kind. Be confident and remind yourself that every girl goes through a time when she feels as if she doesn't fit in. Stay true to yourself.
-Emma, age 10, Massachusetts
Sometimes, when people move to a new place, they dwell too much on the things they used to have, and that can make them feel worse. Try your best to not think about your old home so often. Instead, focus on all of the great things about your new home, such as a pretty park down the street or the nice girl you met at recess. Seeing things in a more positive way could help you feel happier.
-Leah, age 13, New Jersey