Back to school and forward with friendships

It’s that time of year again when we try to eke out as much summer as we can in the last days before school starts up again. Bittersweet is the perfect word to describe August. We had such a beautiful and carefree summer, but at the same time, starting a new school year is a rite of passage that we would never want to miss.

If your teenagers are complaining, don’t worry. Whether they admit it to you or not, they are excited about the fresh start, the clean slate, that is the new school year. We know how important peers are at this age, and whether your child is a timid freshman or a senior strutting with bravado, they are all psyched to reconnect with their friends again.

That doesn’t mean that they won’t find things to complain about, though. One of the first complaints you will hear after Day 1 is that they don’t have any friends in a particular class. This is one of the worst things that can happen to a teenager, so I would indulge them a little in their gripes. However, you know as well as I do that sometimes these situations can turn into huge blessings. Think of the friends you made when you thought you didn’t have any friends in the room.

This was the case with my friend Buffy who is still my friend to this day (although no longer going by the name Buffy). I met her because she was the girl who happened to be sitting next to me, and the rest, as they say, is history. Some call it serendipity, some God’s hand, some kismet. Whatever you choose to call it, it’s a beautiful thing when it happens.

Teens love the comfort of old friends who grew up together. But if they are willing to put themselves out there, they’ll find that new friends can be the best friends they’ve ever had.

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