Starting high school this year? You’re not alone.
Grown-ups always tell you that your school years are the best years of your life. This might seem pretty hard to believe during a double period of maths, but with the right approach, school can be a really rewarding and enjoyable experience.
One of the hardest parts of going to school is starting at a new one. When you’re moving up from primary to high school, starting all over in a new place surrounded by strange people can be pretty scary.
Going to a new school means leaving behind everything that’s familiar. All your old friends, an established routine, teachers who know you; it can feel like your whole world has been turned upside down. But rather than feeling afraid, you should view this as an exciting challenge. Stay positive and before you know it, you’ll probably feel like you’ve been there forever.
The first day
You might be really excited, or you might be really nervous, but either way, there’s bound to be plenty of other people in the same boat. Make the effort to go up to someone and say hello – imagine how much you would appreciate it! This will help to break the tension, and may even be the beginning of a new friendship.
Changes from primary to high school
When you were in primary school, you were a big fish in a little pond, but when you start high school, you become a little fish in what seems like a great big pond. This can be intimidating, but just remember that all the senior students around you were once in the same boat.
Another change you will face is the number of different teachers and classrooms you now have. Back in primary school, you probably only had one teacher and one room; now you have something different for every subject! It might all be hard to remember everything at first – try making a note of all your rooms and teachers and carry that with you for your first few weeks.
You may worry that you won’t fit in to a new social group, and may miss your old friends from primary school. But give it time – everyone starts out alone. It takes time to forge new friendships and find people you have something in common with. Make the effort to speak to people and be friendly. Get involved in school activities that interest you – it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.
Also, make the effort to keep in touch with your old school friends – they’re probably going through the same thing, and will be a great support while you’re still settling in.
One of the biggest challenges you’ll face is the new workload. You may feel anxious that you won’t be able to cope. Just remember that teachers are there for you, and won’t bite your head off if you ask for help. Tutors are also available if you’re struggling with new subjects, and school counsellors are there to listen and advise if you’re having problems other than with your schoolwork.
Most of all, look at all the positives of being at high school. New facilities and resources, more independence, more variety in your classes and more choice in what you study. Make the most of what’s on offer, and your school years really will be the best of your life!