"Dear Carol, I'm starting at a new school and feel really lost"
This past year was really hard for me mentally. I am starting at a new school, and I feel bad that I'm leaving my old school that I've been at for so long with only a handful of friends I'm not super close with. Today my parents found weed in my room. It's scary because if I mess up at my new school, I'll be kicked out.
- Feeling Lost
Dear Feeling Lost,
I'm sorry you've been through some tough times and glad you want to succeed in this new school. Look at it as an opportunity to start anew with a nice, clean slate. If you don't feel super close with your former friends, all the more reason to let them go and put extra effort into making new friends—especially if the old friends were leading you down paths that you know aren't good for you. At the new school, you won't be the only new kid, or the only one looking for authentic bonds and brand new buds (See my New Year New Me letter.) Those first days and weeks, be as friendly and open as you can, try out for theater or sports or student council or whatever appeals to you and keep up with your classes. Do you think of yourself as an artist, athlete or activist? What are your strengths and interests? Your school guidance counselor or a kind teacher can offer guidance. As for the weed, now is a good time to break bad habits and develop better ones. You owe it to yourself to be your best self. And you know this, right?
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