Let’s face it: growing up is tough. At some point, pretty much everyone struggles with feeling alone, insecure, or like they just don’t fit in. Use this worksheet to think through what kind of connections are important to you and how you can make sure you have them in your life.
This worksheet comes from Mental Health America’s 2022 Back to School Toolkit.
Here’s a web-friendly version of the activity from the worksheet:
Exploring current connections
- What are times you have felt connected? Were you with certain people, doing a certain activity, or in a certain location?
- What are some things you are proud of yourself for doing in the past to create a stronger sense of belonging?
- Are there friends, loved ones, or pets in your life who make you feel understood? What makes those relationships feel good?
- Connection looks different for everybody. What are some experiences or groups that made you feel like you belonged?
Exploring new connections
- Comparing your social life to others’ can make you feel more alone or insecure. Let’s try looking at this with a different lens. Regardless of what you see in others’ lives, what kind of social life do you want?
- What makes a quality friendship?
- How would you like to spend your time?
- When you look at your thoughts around feeling connected, do you notice any patterns? What are they?
- Are there opportunities to get connected, like a program at your school that you can get involved with?
- Think about how you described connection in the section above. Based on that, what is one goal you can set to make your social life feel better?
- What are three steps you can take to meet that goal?
- Picture yourself in a year. What would future you look back and be proud of you for doing to create a stronger sense of belonging?
It can be hard to know if your insecurities or troubles with friends are just a part of growing up or if they’re signs of a mental health condition, like anxiety or depression. If you’re putting yourself out there and still feel disconnected from your peers or unhappy with your social life, take one of our free and confidential mental health tests.
In crisis? If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call 988 or use the chat box at 988lifeline.org/chat. You can also text “MHA” to 741-741 to reach the Crisis Text Line. Warmlines are an excellent place for non-crisis support.