February 23, 2023

How to Develop a Social Support System at Your High School

Written by Paraclete High School

As a high school student, you encounter challenges every day. Whether navigating mental health or college applications, you must have people and resources to lean on in times of need.

This is where a social support system comes into play.

Let’s define a social support system before discussing a few useful tips for creating one.

What is a Social Support System?

A social support system is a network of individuals – friends, family, classmates, teachers, and advisors – you trust and turn to for academic, emotional, and spiritual support.

Students benefit from knowing who can support them, when to access them, and how. It’s empowering for a student to know that whenever they feel upset or overwhelmed, there are individuals and resources they can access independently.

Research shows that support systems help boost academic performance, improve overall well-being, and mitigate anxieties students face as they transition from high school to higher education.

Social support systems also help high school students:

  • Reduce stress
  • Enhance social skills
  • Improve motivation and self-esteem
  • Increase access to resources and support services
  • Feel a greater sense of belonging, security, and community

5 Tips for Creating a Social Support System

While you may already have friends you rely on at home, you need to develop a social network you can access throughout the academic year. Now is the time to learn how to create a social support system effectively. Hone in on these skills now, and you’ll be better prepared to tackle college’s challenges.

Here are a few tips for creating a solid social support system at your school.

1. Identify the right individuals – Find the people in your life who you trust and feel comfortable talking to when times get tough. These could include family members, friends, teachers, advisors, coaches, or religious leaders. Paraclete High School has a full-time campus minister who provides spiritual and emotional support for all our students, faculty, and parents.

2. Reach out to your teachers – You don’t need to struggle academically to form connections with your instructors. Be proactive and take the initiative in building relationships with your teachers by attending office hours, asking questions, and getting to know them in an informal setting. Letting your teachers get to know you will make it easier to approach them for academic support in times of struggle.

3. Participate in extracurricular activities – Joining clubs, sports teams, or organizations on campus is a great way to build friendships with people with similar interests. This is especially important for new students, as it helps them acclimate to the school environment.

4. Talk to guidance counselors – Most high schools provide counseling and guidance for students dealing with academic, mental health, or personal problems. These professionals are trained to help students navigate challenges and provide necessary resources.

5. Use online student resources – Take advantage of online student resources such as mental health articles, virtual counseling sessions, forums, and other support services. Use these resources to connect with individuals going through similar experiences.

Social Support: A Key Ingredient to Your Success

A robust social support system is invaluable throughout high school and beyond. By following the above tips and developing relationships with those around you, you can create a comprehensive network of nurturing people who are there for you during good times and bad.

If you want to experience our nurturing school community first-hand and discover how our students thrive, we encourage you to schedule a tour and visit us.

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