Okay so I am kind of shy, I have friends but they are “in school friends” they have never once invited me to do something with them outside of school. How can I get them to want to be closer friends with me?

The great thing about your situation, is that you’ve already found a group of friends that you gel with. (That’s half the battle in high school and beyond.) Since they might not know that you wanna spend time with them when your work day is done (and believe me, school IS work), it’s up to you to show them that you’re down to kick it with them after the final bell rings. Right now, they probably think you’ve got other friends that you prefer to hang out with after school, so show ’em what’s up by making the first move.

While hanging out on campus, ask your friends if they want to catch a flick, see a show, play some tennis or whatever it is you guys are into. Text ’em before your get together to remind them that you have plans to hang out. If some people don’t show, don’t take it personally–everybody is super busy and doesn’t always have time for random kickage. Even if just one of your buddies takes you up on your offer to hate-listen to Taylor Swift and make cookies for the rest of your posse, you’ll be on the way to getting to know your school friends better.

Once you hang out a few times outside of school, the rest of the group will think of you as a fixture in the after school activities and will be more likely to invite you to whatever events or nonevents the others are going to. After a few weeks or so, your so-called “school friends” will become your all-around friends. Have fun!

Erika Stalder is the author of The Date Book: A Girl’s Guide To Going Out With Someone New and creator of the DEAR ERIKA advice column for ABC Family’s Secret Life of The American Teenager.

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