Dear American Girl,

I just found out that I'm moving halfway across the country. It's the first time I've ever moved, and I'm scared. I'm sad that I might not see my best friends again. How am I going to start a whole new life with a whole new neighborhood and a whole new school? What can I do to feel better about moving?
-On the move

Here's your advice:

Moving can be hard, so try to make it a little easier by capturing memories. Before you go, snap pictures of your home, friends, and favorite spots. As you settle into your new home and neighborhood, take some more pictures. Hang all of the pictures on your bedroom wall, and you'll have a mix of old and new memories.
-Katherine, age 13, Illinois

Ask a parent if you can video chat with your old pals. That way, you can always see them even though you're apart.
-Jessica, age 12, Michigan

Before you leave, ask your friends to come over to make friendship bracelets. They'll have something to remember you by, and you will, too.
-Anitha, age 9, Wisconsin

Start keeping a journal. Write down your feelings about moving, and keep writing in the journal after you've moved. Use it to jot down things you like about your new town, and talk about friends you've made. It'll help to get everything―good and bad―down on paper.
-Olivia, age 12, New York

Remember, you're not starting a new life—you're just continuing your life somewhere else. Think of moving as an opportunity to grow, make new friends, and try new things.
-Julia, age 11, Massachusetts

Learn about the place you're moving to. Research amusement parks, museums, and other activities that you and your family can do there. Who knows? Maybe you'll start looking forward to moving!
-Mackenzie, age 13, North Carolina

If you're nervous about making new friends after you move, think back to how you met the friends you have now. Use those same icebreakers to start some new friendships.
-Angeline, age 12, China

Talk to your parents about your worries. They can share information with you about the move and your new home.
-Alyssa, age 9, Texas

Whatever you do, keep being yourself. In your new school or neighborhood, don't try to be someone you're not just to fit in. You'll find new friends by just being who you are.
-Meg, age 12, Rhode Island

The scariest thing about moving is the anxiety. As soon as you get to your new home, you might wonder why you ever were scared in the first place.
-Katie, age 10, New Jersey

Invite all your friends over together for a sleepover before you leave. Get a scrapbook with blank pages. Ask each girl to write something on a page. She can write a joke or story, draw a picture, or add a photo. When you move, take this book with you and look at it whenever you miss your pals.
-Julia, age 13, Maryland

Before you move, make sure you have your friends' phone numbers and e-mail addresses. That way, you can call or write them to stay in touch.
-Gianna, age 11, Iowa

Think of moving as a great adventure. You can pretend you're a character who's moving in a book or movie. Or you can get creative and brainstorm how you're going to decorate your new room. This could be a fun, exciting time in your life.
-Taylor, age 12, Minnesota

Don't isolate yourself from other kids because you miss your old friends—you might miss out on some great friendships.
-Zoe, age 9, Missouri

My dad is in the military, so we have to move a lot. The first time I moved, I was nervous, too. The thing that helped me most was simply looking on the bright side. I would've missed out on a lot of things if I hadn't moved. Does your new home have a pretty view? Do you live close to a pool? Is there a sport in your community or school that you've always wanted to try? Think positively, and moving will feel a lot better.
-Emma, age 13, California

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