The reason for attending school is for the students to reach educational goals set by the local school district, but many of them are more interested in the social aspects. They are often eager to see their friends when they arrive, and many of them count school as the place where most of their social life takes place. While it is not part of the curriculum, one of the accomplishments of schools is the socialization of their students. When a new student moves into the area, they must begin the process from scratch.
Entering a building where everyone is new can be a daunting experience, and fitting into the school’s social structure takes time. The students who have been together for years must assess the new person’s character and background before they are willing to invite them into their circle. Ferreting out the information takes time, so the new student can remain relatively isolated for a few weeks.
Being accepted into a school group is not necessarily bad or good, and new students tend to make friends one at a time. If someone speaks to them spontaneously after class, the two might have lunch together. Finding out information about each other is the goal, but it can be as awkward as a blind date. Some students are angry their family has moved them, and they are unwilling to consider making new friends. It can inhibit the process, but those who find others with the same feelings will often settle into a peer group quicker.
The time it takes to make new friends and find a social circle might seem endless to a new student, but it generally takes only a few weeks. After about a month, they are more settled within their new community. They will feel they have always been there if they make enough friends quickly, and they can almost forget their old school by the end of the year.