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by Abigail Van Buren

Cruel Words Aimed at Kids Cut Deep and Heal Slow

DEAR ABBY: I will be starting high school in September. I am nervous about going to a new environment. Middle school wasn't bad because I knew most of the kids from elementary school. High school is different. Students from all over the city will be attending.

Some of my best friends will be going to different high schools. I'm not very outgoing, and I'm having a hard time figuring who to hang out with. Abby, I need your advice on how to adjust to my first days in high school. -- FRESHMAN IN DALLAS

DEAR FRESHMAN: This is an opportunity to meet new people and a chance to expand your circle of friends. If you see someone who is shy or hanging back, realize that the person is probably experiencing the same feeling you are, so reach out.

Get together with your old friends on the weekends. You'll have a lot to share and talk about.