Changing Friend Groups


Miley Naugle

Eighth grader Mattie Baker shared her view on changing friend groups. She has been a part of the cross country team for 2 years. Being a part of the team has helped Baker to make new friends.

Many people struggle with changes in their friend groups as they grow older. The change from elementary school to middle school and middle school to high school changes us.


It impacts the people we hang out with and lots of people wonder if it’s normal to have more than 1 friend group. Switching to middle school may be one of the toughest times in our lives. Teenagers struggle with creating their own identities while being shaped and influenced by those who interact with them. The possibility of complex friendships adds to those changes.


Eight grader Mattie Baker has experience with changing friend groups. She hasn’t had the same friend group her whole life, and the reason is because they simply grew apart. 

Baker runs cross country and sometimes her sport interferes with spending time with her friends.

She said, “Because of my sport sometimes, I couldn’t hang out with my friends, but I made new ones.” 

I also run cross country, so I understand how it can be hard to make time for your friends when you have practice everyday. 

Sometimes you feel the need to pick sides in your friend group when an argument occurs. When Baker was put into this situation, she decided to not pick a side.

Baker said, “I don’t support the drama.” 


There are times when your friend group changes and you don’t know what to do.

Baker said, “If you don’t like your friends, try to get new ones. It’s going to be hard, but you will get through it. If your friends are being mean, try to talk to them, tell them how you feel and what they’re doing is wrong.” 


Baker mentioned a time when she was younger, someone was leaving her friend group and tried to get her to leave too.

Baker said, “She didn’t like the ‘leader’ of our group. She tried to get me to stop hanging out with her even though I liked her. She ended up getting mad and leaving.” 


Isabella Miller, an eighth grader, has multiple friends and friend groups. Miller sometimes hangs out with a smaller group of friends.


She said, “It’s a friend group that we added people to, that sometimes just our original friend group hangs out.” 

Isabella Miller has multiple friend groups.

Miller also thinks that adding friends to an existing friend group can be beneficial.

Moving to the Junior High has a big impact on friend groups, “In elementary school, I had some of the same friends, I lost some friends, but I also gained some,” said Miller. 

When I moved to Junior High, a lot of my friends changed. I started hanging out with different people who I had classes with.

Mixing friend groups can often be something that teens worry about.

Miller says, “I did it one time just trying to get everyone to hangout; it turned out fine. Some people had different relationships with each other. At times, I could see some separation within the group.” 

One year I had a party, and I invited two different friend groups: my basketball group and my cross country group. We ended up trying to play basketball, and it didn’t work out that well. I could tell that some people were having more fun than others, so we ended up doing something different.

When it comes to friend groups or a best friend, Miller believes friend groups are better.

She says, “I have a bunch of best friends. I would rather have a bunch of people that are there with me.”

Seventh grader Riley Behe, a student who has multiple friend groups, believes that a benefit of having multiple friend groups is that you can talk to them about different things.

“For example, my school friend group doesn’t understand cross country, so I can talk to my cross country friend group about it because they understand,” she said.

When moving to the junior high, Riley Behe went through changes in her friend group.


There are times when I try to talk to my school friends about my sports. Then, I realize they don’t understand what I’m talking about or why I might be upset. However, when I talk to the people who I do that sport with, they understand.

Oftentimes sports may have a big impact on your choice of friends.

Behe says, “With my cross country friends, everyday after school we would hang out because of practice. It strengthens your relationship because you have been through more with each other. When I would run with people, we would talk because it was fun and it would keep our mind off of running.” 

Behe also commented that her friend group changed when she moved to the Junior High.

“I had a different friend group in elementary school and when I moved to the Junior High, it changed. I met new friends who I had classes with,” Behe said. 

There was one time that she changed friend groups.

She said, “The people I was friends with stopped talking to me; they kind of excluded me. I realized that they weren’t good friends, so I made new ones.” 

Behe gave some advice on what to do when your friend group changes.

“Just let them go, you don’t need them. If you want to make new friends, you have to talk to people, even if you don’t know them,” Behe says. 

There are going to be times in your life when you have to face changes and sometimes that may mean getting new friend groups, changing friend groups, or even leaving friend groups. Your friend groups may change or be added to multiple times throughout your life as you grow and find new interests and meet new people. 

Changes in friend groups isn’t always a bad thing, teens seem to find friends they connect with and relate to as they continue to change and grow themselves.