Why it’s kind of awesome being the new girl (in any situation)

It’s not a new concept–being the ‘new kid’ is always a scary prospect. Whether you’re new to a group, school, or a town, the fear of the unknown and the desire to be accepted is one that has faced every ‘new kid.’ It’s an entirely different feeling from beginning a new journey together with all the other scared, young faces–like at the beginning of school. Here you are, entering much later into a community where people have already clustered together to find friends and groups they fit into. But being the new kid does not necessarily have to be a scary thing, sometimes it can actually be pretty great.

I was once a new girl–and by ‘new,’ I mean I was not only entering a new school, but a new country too. I emigrated from South Africa to Australia when I was seven years old, and started at my first Australian school at the end of first grade. I had an accent, I was timid, I was foreign–but I was not scared. I was eager to make some new friends, but none of the typical ‘new girl’ fears seemed to grip me. I believe being the new girl anywhere in life doesn’t have to make you feel scared or anxious. Here are six tips that may help you keep those worrying blues at bay.

1. Don’t underestimate your mysterious allure

As shiny, foreign, and new as the school or environment seems to you, you are equally shiny, foreign, and new to all the people there. Everyone gets tired of routines, they become boring and repetitive. Introduce a ‘new kid’ into the school, and they will be so excited to get to know you, you won’t even have time to feel scared.

2. Rock that inner confidence like your favorite t-shirt

As difficult as it is to walk tall and proud if you are feeling timid and shy, confidence has been proven to be one of the most attractive qualities a person can have. People are naturally drawn towards confident people, so if you can project that confidence out, great! It’s very likely people will start talking to you. If you just don’t feel confident, the saying, “fake it ‘til you make it” is going to be your mantra for the rest of the day.

3. Engage, engage, engage

Talk to other people first. It’s all well and good to wait and let other people approach you, but don’t be disheartened if that doesn’t happen immediately. People tend to open up and engage when they are talking about themselves, so it doesn’t hurt for you to make the effort to approach someone else first and begin a discussion.

4. Ask questions

Try a few open-ended questions. If you make an effort to question them with genuine interest about themselves, the natural flow of discussion will eventually turn the questions back on you, and that is how friendships are formed.

5. Don’t over-think it

A lot of anxieties produced by the ‘first day’ worries stem from people panicking about everything that could go wrong, and worrying about what other people are thinking about them. If you just allow yourself to relax, and stop obsessing over every single possible outcome, you will find yourself a lot more composed and assertive, and much less scared on your first day.

6. Just do you

Be yourself. Just remember: if you are confident enough to allow people to get to know the genuine you, they will love you for the exciting, wonderful, and interesting person you are.

Alexia Brehas likes everyone to call her Lexi. She has written several articles for online publications. Lexi is a writer, an artist, a wandering soul, and a free spirit. She dreams of being a Disney princess. She travels a lot, and is very interested in culture. She wants to see the whole world, swim in all the oceans, and watch the stars and sunsets from every corner of the globe. You can find more of her at her blog, Tumblr, and Instagram.

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