Are you about to start high school?
If you’re embarking on this exciting life stage, I bet you have a a mixed bag of emotions: anticipation, excitement, anxiety, denial, and even a bit of fear…?!
That’s all normal, and all good!
What’s the best way to manage this mix of jitters?
Set realistic expectations, andPrepare mentally for the first week of school.
Specifically, you have to think about the logistics, academics, and social aspects of your new high school life.
Here are the details.
The unknown can be overwhelming and anxiety-inducing for new high school students.
In the first week of school, make sure to:
get your locker set up;
learn your class schedule, class locations, lunch schedules, and school hours;
familiarize yourself with the library, cafeteria, and computer lab locations and schedules;
review the school rules.
Are there ways you can fast track your familiarization with the above logistics?
See if you can:
tour the school before grade nine begins (hopefully this happened while in grade eight);
find a school handbook, containing the policies, rules, schedules and calendar (find this on school websites, or see if you can obtain one from an older student who attends the school;
talk to other kids (neighbours, siblings, teammates), already enrolled in the high school.
High school is a whole new ballgame academically.
The QUALITY of your work must be more solid than ever.
You need to get ready to step up to the plate.
Get your head around the QUANTITY OF ASSIGNMENTS you’re going to receive, as well as the
QUANTITY OF CONTENT you’ll need to read.
Get your LEARNING SKILLS up to snuff from Day One in high school. You’ll need strong study and organizational skills to deal with higher expectations of and quantities of work.
Focus on time management, organization, and preparation skills.
Teachers will assume you have your learning and study skills in place. They won’t chase you down for assignments, after missed classes, or to make sure you grasp concepts.
Therefore, you must become a strong self-advocate. Your teachers need to know who you are, and what your goals and needs are.
Make a positive first impression.
You have more independence and autonomy in high school, so be proactive, and make sure your teachers know you and what you’re about.
Think about relationships with peers, teachers, and how you can get involved in extra-curricular activities at your new school.
Talk to older students who attend the high school to learn about what’s offered, and which extra-curricular activities suit you.
Check out the school website, and look at old yearbooks.
Connect with each of your new teachers, one-on-one, in the first couple weeks of school. As a teacher, I admire the students who take initiative to introduce themselves to me, and discuss their goals for the year. Students who do this stand out from the crowd.
You’re going to meet many new people at high school. Expand your social network beyond the friends you know from middle school. You’ll meet people with different backgrounds, interests, and abilities in your classes and activities. Be open-minded and curious!
Whatever you do, make sure you do the following:
put yourself “out there”
know there will be changes in your life in many ways
be prepared for the bumps you’ll inevitably hit
ask for help when needed, from teachers, peers, and parents
don’t be afraid to mess up or fail – just get up and try again
Have fun and enjoy this wondrous time of life. Your high school experience will be what you make it!
Best wishes for a smooth transition and start!