Irene S. Levine, Ph.D.

Irene S Levine Ph.D.

The Friendship Doctor

No Social Life in High School: My Part-Time Friends

Social life broadens when you graduate and make new friends at college.

Posted Jan 17, 2012

Why are my high school friends only my friends when we're at school?

QUESTION

Dear Irene,

I'm a senior in high school and have no social life whatsoever. It's not that I have no friends--I have a group of people that I'm really close with in school. We're always together, talking, laughing, whatever. However, come Friday afternoon, that's it. You wouldn't know we even knew each other over the weekend. No texts. No calls. No Facebook comments. And then back to school, we immediately catch up where we left off from on Friday. This is the story of every weekend, holiday break, and summer.

I don't understand why my friends aren't like other friends in high school who are always planning to go to movies. or have sleepovers or shopping/dinner trips. If I suggest hanging out, we occasionally will but it always is on my suggestion.

I know it may seem like I think we're closer than we are, but the reality is that we really are close. We're all planning on going to the same college and one friend and I are planning on renting an apartment together in the future. It's like we have best friend attributes, but not completely.

Why would a group of friends be this way? I don't know any other friends that "disconnect" when school is done for the week or basically disappear come summer vacation. I would love to go out with my friends, but I'm tired of being the one that suggests it all the time. This entire past summer I hung out with ONE friend out of my group of five or six. This past Christmas break (one week) I saw nobody and only spoke to one of them on the final day of break through a text message. However, come the first day back to school, we were laughing and having fun as if we hadn't drifted away for the past eight days.

It can't be healthy for an 18-year-old to have so little social life. If it weren't for school, I know I wouldn't have any friends. I feel like most of my high school career has been wasted, because I basically sit at home with my parents every weekend and most of the summer besides work. Why is it that my friends would be this way?

It sounds unappreciative, but I am really unhappy with my friends and wish I had more normal friends to spend time with.

ANSWER

Hi Samantha,

You've stumped me. I'm not sure what's going on but there are lots of possibilities. You haven't mentioned where you live and the kind of school you go to, or told me much about the friends you hang out with---except that they're inaccessible on weekends.

Are your schoolmates very involved with their own families? Are they glued to technology? Are they very studious or competitive, using a good part of their weekends for schoolwork? Do they have weekend jobs or participate in outside activities? Is there any possibility that they are doing things and excluding you? Do they turn down invitations when you extend them?

It seems odd that no one, other than you, feels the need to be with friends outside of school. The only way you can determine what's going on is by speaking to one or two of them. Can you broach the subject with the one to whom you feel closest? Perhaps, you could invite her over to your house for dinner or to watch a TV show one weekend.

You might also want to scout around for some additional friends who like to get together on weekends and holidays.

  • Try to make friends where you work.
  • Volunteer or do community service in a setting where you can meet people your age.
  • Start a Meet-Up group (see Meetup.com) to make new friends.
  • Invite someone from school, outside of your regular group, to do something you enjoy. 

Bear in mind, too, that it's likely that social life will broaden when you graduate high school and you make new friends at college. In the meantime, I hope these suggestions are helpful.

Best, Irene