First, start thinking about the kind of friend that you want now, before you're actually in high school when all these people are surrounding you and it could be very easy to make the wrong kind of friend.
My mom always says in relation to romantic relationships, you need to think about the kind of person you want to marry before Mr. Dreamy comes along. Because once Mr. Dreamy comes along, it's going to be way harder to stick to your convictions. So, start thinking right now about the kind of friend that you want to pursue.
The kind of people that you want to have a heart-deep friendship with are the kind of people that are pursuing the same kinds of things that you are.
Then, don't be afraid to be picky. You do not have to be friends with any person who wants to be friends with you. Now, of course, I'm talking more about a close kind of friendship. It's not like you can't be acquaintances or can't be friendly with every person. But, the kind of people that you want to have a heart-deep friendship with are the kind of people that are pursuing the same kinds of things that you are.
So, even though it might hurt to be lonely, or to have less friends, in the long run, your friends have an enormous influence on you, so you need the right kinds of friends.
Think Outside of the Halls
Lastly, look to the church for friendships. Sometimes, we think that with entering school, that's where we need to find all of our friends, that they all need to be same age as us, and like the same things that we like. But, that's not really true. When we are involved with a church, we're involved with a family.
So, we should be pursuing friendships with people who are older than us, who are different from us, even people who are the same age as us in the context of a local community.
You can be in community with any number of people, but not actually have any true friends.
In the beginning, we walked with God in friendship. Then we walked away. But now, God is befriending us again.
The teenage years have been hijacked—by pleasure, pressure, entertainment, and distraction. But there is one truth that has the power to totally change the life of a teenager: the gospel.