Asking for a Friend: Help! I feel left out in my school club

  • How do you handle being the odd one out and sharing a bedroom with an annoying younger sibling?
  • If you have difficult, embarrassing or awkward questions to ask about teen life, send them in anonymously, and 'Friend of a Friend’ will do their best to help
Amalissa Hall |

Latest Articles

How maths award winners are revolutionising the world for a better tomorrow

Hong Kong district council election sees record low turnout

Organisers say Hong Kong’s largest LGBTQ fest, Pink Dot, is a success

Beekeepers’ mission to convince Hong Kong that bees are our neighbours

The Lens: Debunk misconceptions to fix gender disparity in organ donors

Feel like you're being left out? We've all been there, and it doesn't feel great.

Hi Friend,

I’m a new member of my school’s science team. Since joining, I’ve noticed that my team (even the teacher!) will forget to inform me of any date or time changes to meetings, and so they’ll meet without me. Once I waited for half an hour on a Zoom call just for someone to finally tell me there’s no meeting that day! It’s annoying and frustrating. Just because I’m new to the group doesn’t mean I don’t belong. What should I do?

Thanks, Not Welcome to the Club

My best friend and I flirt, but is it for real?

Hi Not Welcome,

Sorry to hear that you are experiencing this. It can be difficult joining a new group, especially when everyone already knows each other. It doesn’t sound like you have met in person yet, so it’s harder to connect with someone they don’t know! I speculate that they might not be used to including you right now, so give it some time.

First thing, try to make friends with at least one person on the team – this will guarantee you an entry into the group. You said that someone let you know about the changes, so try to develop that relationship.

Next, do you have a group chat for the team? Demonstrate that you’re proactive and interested, and that will show them that you’re keen to be involved. Be active and reply to messages, and maybe send the odd article or photo to start a conversation, but don’t spam the chat!

It’s important to let your teacher know that you’ve not been updated on meeting changes, and express your commitment to the team. Don’t be angry or accusatory; be straightforward and understanding about it. Perhaps tell them that you would like to get to know the team better, and suggest a more casual meeting?

Finally, to ensure you are involved, confirm meetings on the day (ideally in your chat) to ensure that you’re doing things on your part. That means if anything happens, it’s on the others who are not doing enough to include you, and then you can bring that up with them formally.

Good luck, Friend of a Friend

My friends are being so selfish during Covid-19

Hi Friend,

My parents have made me share a room with my younger brother for the past year and a half, and I’m nearing the end of my patience. They think that as boys, we will have the same interests and get along just fine, but we’re four years apart and we’re totally different. He’s obnoxious, immature and I don’t like his personality.

No matter how late I stay up to get away from him he’s always awake at the same time as me, and when I try and go to sleep first, he moves around and makes so much noise, he wakes me up. It’s so hard to study or even just relax. My family will be moving out towards the end of June, so I’ll get my own room again, but I don’t know if I can wait any longer! How can I deal with this?

Thanks, Done and Dusted

What do I do when my mum is in a mood?

Hi Done,

Do you remember what you were like when you were younger? I’m sure if you were sharing a room with your past self, you’d probably be a bit annoyed, too. Your brother is going through a phase where he is experimenting with his own interests, and honestly, it might seem quite juvenile to you because you have different interests.

It’s very easy to focus on all the negative things, especially if they happen on a daily basis, but the more you focus on them the more irritating they become. Instead of turning to quiet frustration, you can do one of two things:

  1. Focus on your breathing and try to let the feeling of frustration pass. There are plenty of meditation techniques that can help you get through anger – Headspace: Guide to Meditation on Netflix has an episode entirely dedicated to that.
  2. Talk to your brother. Don’t yell at him that he’s being annoying – respectfully ask him to consider your needs and change his actions. But also remember that he has needs, too! So be mindful when you are asking him to stop doing something or be quiet.

Since you are sharing a space, you need to set some room rules. Things like, be quiet after 9pm, or go to another room when the other is studying. Maybe include your parents in the discussion (but don’t go complaining to them though) about how you want to set boundaries.

Sometimes you’ve got to be the bigger (and older) person and set the example. If you don’t like his personality, you’ve got to be patient and behave better. Include him in some of your interests, and try to teach him about the things you know. That way you’ll have more in common and have more positive interactions with your brother.

Best of luck, Friend of a Friend

If you have a question you’d like answered (about anything at all), please send an email to [email protected] with “Asking for a Friend” in the subject line. Don’t worry, you will remain anonymous!

Sign up for the YP Teachers Newsletter
Get updates for teachers sent directly to your inbox
By registering, you agree to our T&C and Privacy Policy