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Back to School: Making Friends

Updated: Aug 28, 2021

"Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other is gold. A circle is round, it has no end. That's how long, I will be your friend" -- (Sue Lynch, "Make New Friends," Scout Songs).

With the upcoming school year looming close, or already beginning for some, it's important to remember the lessons we were taught during our childhood.

Summer is an amazing time of year, and it unearths some great childhood memories and lessons that continue to help us throughout elementary, middle school, high school, and college. It is crucial to reiterate them not only from a normal back-to-school perspective but also from a military child perspective.

As summer comes to a close, we are all called upon to welcome new and old military kids into the community. Whether you or someone else has moved, and no matter where to or from, it is important to help others.

Military kids are resilient, and no matter where we move, we always seem to be able to bounce back and make friends. Whether we are moving or we are welcoming someone else who has just moved, we are able to find our people.

But none of this comes easily. Whether or not you are a military child, making friends can come with struggles. This being said, there are certain things we learn as learning children that stick with us no matter where we go, like values and virtues that help define us and help us make friends.

Remember some of those childhood rules and virtues? They still stick with us today and are really helpful when trying to make friends throughout the school year.

The Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would like others to do unto you." In other words, treat others as you would like to be treated. Be kind and courteous, gentle and patient. Everyone is fighting their own battles, monsters, and demons. Do not become someone else's monster.

Patience is a gift: Be patient. It has been a long year, and everyone is facing their own struggles. Let yourself and others have time to overcome obstacles, and don't rush. Take the time needed to persevere and successfully break through whatever wall is holding you back. Be strong, brave, and courageous.

Be Trustworthy and Respectful: "Trust is not given, it is earned" is an age-old saying that has aged well. Trust, as well as respect, has to be earned. Do your best every day to work hard and gain the trust of others. If you want to be trusted, make sure to be responsible, kind, and determined. If you want to be respected, be the best version of yourself by being respectful of others and their values, as well as of yourself and your own values. Keep in mind that you must hold yourself in high regard for anyone else to hold you to them as well. Believe in yourself, and others will do the same.

These are just a few fundamental guidelines in creating new bonds with new people. Because of COVID, we haven't been able to interact with one another like we normally did pre-COVID. Still, just because we've lost some in-person interactionve time doesn't mean we need to lose time in the future. We can still work hard to make friends, just like we did before COVID. When new kids move in, it is important to make them feel welcome. We all know what it is like to be the new kid, and with COVID, that original divide makes it even harder to make friends. So instead of making it a hard year to make friends, we should work our hardest to make it an easy year so that even with moving in the midst of a pandemic, military kids can come into welcoming communities, schools, and friend groups that make them feel excited.

It's a long road ahead of us all, no matter where we live or what we'll face in the future. Our goal is to stick through this together. We can all see the light at the end of the tunnel, but we are all in various stages of reaching for it. Whether you have just glimpsed it, are struggling to see it, or are almost there, keep trying. Be the best version of yourself. Be kind, courteous, respectful, patient, and loving. In the end, your trials will be rewarded, and you will be proud of what you've accomplished. Keep up the good work, my friends, we are almost there. shows the full song "Make New Friends." If you want to read more check it out!


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