Hi! I'm Ryan.

How's your social life?
Is there anything you wanted to change but couldn't?

Is there even a point in listening to a stranger that you don't know on the internet?

This is not a blog post, nor a life story that takes forever to read, nor is it a bland, meaningless article.
This is something new I'm trying, something that hopefully won't bore you to death. Willing to try it out? Scroll down!

Some Backstory

(that's really short and to the point)

In fifth grade, I had one friend who I knew thanks to our parents' relation, and that friend managed to make a couple more friends, which I tagged along with.
In sixth grade, I went to middle school with the few friends I had, and they made more friends, which joined our group.
By eighth grade, our group was fairly large with around eight people, and life was fine. Three of my friends were going to the same high school I was going to, and I could tag along some more. Right?

Of course that didn't happen. In a turn of events, none of them ended up with me. One person went to the other neighboring school, and the others actually moved out of town. Turns out, it's hard to tag along with someone when you don't have anyone to do so!

Hmm, that's pretty sad.

(Unless you're doing even worse off)

So this isn't a great start, yeah?

Keep Going!

Let's stop there on that depressing note.
Before we continue, let's try something with you, the reader!

this sounds super cheesy (and it is), but this webpage will be slightly tailored depending on whether you're better off than I was or not from now on! :D
also, don't worry that you're missing the other half of the website! only enough will be changed so that it flows with your situation.

Select the boxes and options that apply to you.

Do you think you're doing well at your school (in terms of social life)?

Be honest! Nobody's going to judge you here!

Remember the chart from two slides ago?

Turns out, it was slightly exaggerated.

Just a tad bit more of backstory - I was in a fairly high math class at that time such that most of my classmates were a grade or two higher. Some of these people were really smart and really social, and they talked to me! Amazing!

If you paid close attention to the chart, you may have noticed that there was a small discrepancy between what I said and the data on the chart. So, what if we removed all of the super-social upper classmen that knew me?

Oh. Yup, 0!

Did you think you had fewer friends than I did? Well you're not any worse off than I was!
And this entire webpage is here, for you, to help you do better social-wise.

And you're way better off than I was!

So this really isn't a great start, yeah?

"But where are we going?"

At this point, you may be wondering:

Where are we going with this?

No, I know where we're going. Can I skip this? (If you want to, yes!)

Well, you said you were in pretty much the same boat I was in.
But it can change! Even if that sounds obvious and unhelpful, it's still true. That's why (almost) every motivational article tells you to get involved... though there's something I'll try here that plain-text articles simply can't do.

Well, you were clearly better off than I was. But you haven't really gotten involved with your school yet!

Well, you're doing fine social wise! That doesn't necessarily mean you're completely set, but it's already a good point to be at. How about extra-cirriculars?

I'll try to show you how beneficial doing just one extra-cirricular activity can be.

I'll still try to emphasize how important and how beneficial those extra-cirricular activites are!

You may know in the back of your head, that it's something helpful. Despite this, do you really know how long you'd spend doing something you love in just one school year?

Well yes, you're already involved with your school. In fact, you're not just a little involved, you're really involved! That's good! Are you involved because you're genuinely interested in those clubs, or becasue of peer pressure? Maybe both?

Would looking at how quickly a single club adds up make you more interested, more proactive in getting more involved?

Have you ever wondered how quickly these add up? Maybe you were considering dropping out of a club or adding another one? How much of an impact will that one club have?

Let's figure that out.

As you may or may not have already figured out, but extra-cirricular activites are pretty valuable.

There are so many clubs out there, and you probably know a lot just from walking around in your school. Posters, announcements, etc, every school has plenty of clubs!
(And of course, if something you want isn't there, you can always start something new...)

And since you're already in a few, whether it's because of peer pressure or because you're genuinely interested (or a combination of these two), you at least do care about what you're doing (hopefully!)

While you're not heavily involved yet, you have probably heard from teachers, counselors, etc. about how important clubs are.

But how important are clubs? How much time do you, or would you really spend on them? Let's find out!

You likely (whether you'd admit it or not) know that actually spending time with other people is pretty much one of, if not the best way to make new friends. Of course, you're doing fine, but it's still a thought to keep in mind.

Let's See!

Alright, take a look at how much time you do / can spend!

Feel free to enter in your current situation, or an ideal situation for you.

How many extra-cirricular activites do you do / want to do?

On average, how long would each activity take each week (in minutes)?

Over the course of a school year, you'll spend about 0 hours doing these clubs, sports, etc!

Was this surprising to you? Do you really know how long this is?

Pretty significant now, yeah?

If you had 0 hours, you could watch, say, Coco 0 complete times (w/ credits!).

You could slowly read Dr. Seuss' Cat in the Hat 0 times.

You could play 0 rounds of laser tag (actually, wouldn't recommend).

(Nor would I recommend doing any of these things that many times.)

That aside, think about the end goal of this:

With that much time, you can really form a close bond with the people doing the same thing that you're doing!

Think about it. How long does it take for you to get to know someone in your class? A few weeks, maybe a month or two? The same would apply to extra-cirricular activites, except you have the added benefit of sharing the same thing in that club, sport, etc!

Isn't that pretty neat?

Now consider leading or starting a club on your own!

I know firsthand that it can be a terrifying thought, trying to lead other students over something that you're passionate about, not knowing whether anyone else cares or not. Despite this, this is something you should consider doing!

If this sounds terrifying to you, you can still take away how valuable getting more involved is!

Ok, So where are you now? Did you ever recover?
What can I take away? (Skip what happened to me)

So what happened next (for me)?

After all, if I was still in that "sad, lonely, friendless" period, this webpage would not have existed. Thus, you may be wondering what happened. Or maybe not? [Skip]

I got back in touch with my friends who went to other schools, while I also met new people through many clubs.

I'm now co-founding a new club after being at the rock bottom of social skills for a while. No matter where you are right now, you can always push yourself forward!

While I still have a lot more to go, the hardest step - the first step is complete. Whether you have one step until the end or many steps until you're truly involved, taking the first step is the first thing to do.

Look at those new bars!

Interestingly enough, this also ties into the "single story" phenomenon. You may have heard one negative thing about a club or activity and chose to avoid it, but it turns out that such club is actually a lot different than you expected!

Cool! What about me?

As it turns out, leadership is not something people are simply born with.

Some people may be slighly more social and better off at this than others, but this is nonetheless something that requires practice.

So why am I saying this?

I know that both things (starting high school without friends and also going far enough to start and lead a club) have happened to me!
And while part of this page is a backstory about me, it really leads down to what you are able to do given the effort.

Sure, you seem to be doing completely fine right now social wise.

And you are already involved to an extent with your school, which is great!

And even though you're not quite involved with your school, it's never too late to start! Seriously!

Of course, don't let social skills get in the way of everything else!

While it's very helpful to have such skills in life, don't let academics or anything else get pushed aside for the sake of this. It's not worth it!
That said, having strong social and interpersonal skills will help you out in the future!

Is this starting to sound like a generic pep-talk now again? Turns out, all of those inspiration TED talks share similar messages, since there's only so many things to do in life. Yet, at the same time, there's many, many ways to execute even one thing. Has looking at raw numbers, or having something that's more about you and not everyone else helped give you a different perspective? That's the end goal!



Programming, design, and planning: Ryan Zhang

Done for an English project with the topic "anything that matters to you".

Inspired by these creative people and their sites, Neal.fun and The Oatmeal.

It's been 0m 0s since you first came to this page.

Thanks for going through this entire page!

So of course, this leads to the most important person in the credits, you! Without any readers, this page would be meaningless. So once again, thank you for stopping by and taking the time to look through it!

If you have feedback, you can send it here.