Credit: Kidsday illustration / Gabriel Beschloss

New school year but same great friends, that’s what it’s all about. Right? Well, there are some kids with parents who are active-duty military members, and a new school year isn’t always that way.

Since my dad was an active-duty military member, I had to move every couple of years. Imagine beginning a school not knowing anyone and being worried about what’s going to happen in the months to come. Making friends can be difficult. If I was lucky, I was in the same town for a few years. When that happened, I got very attached to the friends I made and the teachers I had along the way. But just when I felt like I was at home, I was told it was time to move again.

After moving so often, I’m an expert at making friends (so don’t worry, I’ve got great tips). And guess what, my dad retired from the military and works here on Long Island. So I’m currently going to Garden City Middle School, and I hope I’m staying put.

I know many kids are facing this problem, and that’s OK. You have to be open to change and be friendly to everyone. There are adults who can help when you’re feeling a bit isolated and lonely. Reach out to your teachers and guidance counselors. And remember, when you see someone alone, reach out to them. They’ll appreciate it if they’re new in school, and they might even become your best friend.

Robyn Madden and Patricia Roberts’ sixth-grade class, Garden City Middle School