By Ashley Wiley
So you’re starting a new school. Starting a new school can be stressful. Mixed feelings of excitement and dread are running circles in your head. Being the new kid is exciting, offering an adventure into the unknown with the possibility of new friends and the opportunity to recreate yourself. All this newness is a blank page that will take time to fill. The fear is that the page will stay blank and you won’t make friends and you won’t belong.
Starting over, trying to make new connections while adjusting to a new place, can cause a lot of stress. I’m here to say, as someone who’s experienced moving in the middle of the year, that you can do it. You will make friends, but to ease your mind I’ve made a short guide to help you make a great start to school year. These five pieces of advice will definitely help you adjust to a new school.
1. STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE:
Depending on personality, you may have a hard time overcoming this step, but it’s the step with the best results. The students at your new school will be interested in getting to know you for a while. If you don’t interact with students the curiosity of being new will die down. It’s best to initiate conversation yourself instead of depending on others to talk to you. This may be easy or it may be hard, but either way you’re going to have to do it to make friends. Add your input in class discussions, and get to know your teachers. If you’re not shy, talk to people you wouldn’t normally think to talk to. Often the unexpected people become our closest friends. If you’re especially shy, take a few drama classes at school. This will give you the opportunity to open up and meet new potential friends.
2. GET INVOLVED:
Clubs and school events are great ways to meet people with similar interests, and it’s a great way to get to know the school better. Join a club you were in at your old school or join something new you find interesting. People love to see that you’re interested in learning the things they love. Here is a list of clubs you can find at most schools.
- Student Government
3. PUT ON A FRIENDLY FACE
You shouldn’t have to change the way you dress or act but people like to think that you’re approachable. Always be nice to others, smile at people (even if you don’t know them) and greet them. This will make people see you as a friendly person. Not everyone will say hello back or smile--they could be having a bad day--but most people will, and that’s all you need.
4. STAY CONNECTED TO OLD YOUR FRIENDS
I didn’t talk to my old friends much after I moved, a bad mistake. I concentrated my time making new friends. Your old friends can give you the support and courage you need to get through this transition. Knowing people still care about you can get you through the rough days of school. Your friends can also offer you advice on how to adapt.
5. STAY YOURSELF
Last, but the most important advice I can give you, is to always be yourself. It’s okay to want to try new things or recreate yourself but, in the end, stick to your values. Don’t compromise who you are in order to make friends. True friends will like you because you’re genuine.
Well I hope these few steps will ease your mind when you enter a new school. Keep these in the back of your head and you’ll do fine. Good luck!