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    Let me clarify: I have friends per se - people who I talk to at school and in lessons - but they're not close to me. I don't hang out with them outside school, nor do I even text/fb message them. I've genuinely turned into a loner. And I really want to fix this.

    I've always lived further away from most people at school so people never really met up or called for me or anything. I guess my case wasn't helped by my religious parents stopping me from meeting with my friends in year 7 and 8. My situation slightly improved in year 9 but even then I didn't hang out with anyone outside of school. In year 10 and 11 I was part of a distinct friendship circle and had quite a few close friends who I went to town with or went cinema with etc. But they gradually started to hang out more and more without me and I got left behind. They're still part of my closest friends at school but they've got quite a few group chats and I'm in the one or two they don't use.

    My problem is that I'm not a lone wolf. I don't like it. When I did NCS over the Summer, I was quite popular and ended up making a lot of friends. This, along with my improved political and social attitudes since then, makes me assume my lack of friends isn't a personality issue.

    Nonetheless, ever since year 12 started, I've been distanced from everyone. People know I exist and they'll say hi to me and at lunch I hang out with my one 'best' (i.e. not truly reciprocated) friend and his other friends, but that's it. There are massive group chats with the 10-30 or so people from my social field in school (who I do talk to) and I've not been added. People reference going to each other's houses and times they've gone town over the weekend and it's news to me. Ever since September, I've been out once and that, ironically, was when my friend who moved away came back for a day over the holidays. It's beginning to get real depressing now because I don't belong anywhere and even people who are new to my sixth form have better friends than me. I've never had this problem before and I thought it would go away over time, but it seems to be getting worse - I'm simply a friend, more akin to an acquaintance, and not worthy enough to be anything else. Heck, I even tried Tinder to get some friends, but that was weird.

    How the hell do I get social again?

    tl;dr: I only have acquaintances, how do I become the social animal I'm supposed to be?

    Don't let this get to you too much, there are many people who are in your situation during school, especially from year 12 onwards. I will say that you shouldn't want to make friends just for the sake of being popular or going to parties because you'll end up having the typical fake friendship which can be more toxic than helpful. As cliché as this is, don't concentrate on being a 'social animal' but try to make real friends, that support you and want to be with you and do this by being yourself (I know, I said it was cliché) but really, you'll find that you won't have much time to be too social because 6th form is hard work and if you get distracted trying to get into 30 people chats then your grades will suffer. Sometimes it's just the case you haven't met the right people, don't be discouraged!
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