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Q

I started in a new school this year, and I've put in a class that has lots if girls that are just interested in make-up and boys. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but they all seem to talk about me behind my back. I had many friends at my last school for being my weird, goofy self but whenever I am myself, everyone in my class just frowns and starts glaring. I've been avoiding everyone in my class, but I always find them whispering and glancing at me while they do talk, and when I walk past them, they stop. I don't know what I can do to stop them from doing this?

A

It can be really hard starting a new school and feeling like you don’t fit in or can't be yourself. It sounds like you are having a tough time.

 Sometimes when we see people as groups instead of individuals we seem to think that everyone in the group is feeling and thinking the same thing. In your class though, there will be people who love to be “goofy and weird” and who would appreciate your uniqueness. They may just be going along with the others or you may not have noticed them yet because the focus is on the class mates not appreciating you.

I’m wondering if there are there any clubs or groups you can join at school where you can find people with similar interests? Or is there one nice person in the class that you can arrange to do something with? It helps to build your group or tribe and then what other people think often matters less.

When new people look to join groups, like you are doing after starting a new school, it can take a while for the group to welcome the new person. This often happens if the new person is not the same as the people in the group. This might be making you feel lonely or weird, but don’t believe that! We are all individuals and it is the unique people in the world that go on to have amazing lives. There is an awesome YouTube video that would be helpful to watch about how uniqueness and how to manage what’s happening at school.

If things are getting you down, it can help to talk to someone about your individual experiences. This could be a trusted adult in your life, such as your teacher or wellbeing coordinator at school. They would know your classmates and can point you in the right direction to meet and hang out with people who are similar to you.

If you don’t feel comfortable talking to an adult you know there are also great places you can call, which I’ve listed below. These services provide lots of information, as well as confidential telephone support with very friendly people on the end of the phone who would love to talk to you.

We also provide counselling for children, young people and families in our centres in Melbourne and regional Victoria. These include Ballarat, Boronia, Cranbourne, Greensborough, Kew, Sunshine, Shepparton and Traralgon.

You can find out more about our counselling service on the connectEDspace website here.

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school friends bullying abuse and violence