Starting high school is an important time for a kid. For the past two years, you were the oldest and most cool kids in school. This year you will begin a new school. This year, you are in the youngest class of the school. You may be nervous, but soon that will pass. Your freshman year sets the tone for your high school experience.
It is human nature to be nervous about starting high school. You are going to a different school than you attended (usually) for years. You will see some of your old classmates and you will meet a lot of new ones. You will be changing classes and making your way in this new environment.
Well-meaning people have said, “don’t worry about it” and, “You’ll be fine!” While this is good advice, it does little to calm your fears.
Remember, everyone in your school was exactly where you right now. They all made it through the nervousness. Below, you will find 5 tips that will help you survive your freshman year.
- Stay close to your old friends, but be open to getting to know new people. Make it a goal to meet and connect with at least one person in each class. Your classmates are trying to connect too. You can help each other, and make the year easier for both of you.
- Note: take your time to get to know people before you get too close. Watch how they treat other people. Do they talk negatively about your classmates? If they do; they will speak against you too. It is okay to be friendly and get to know a person without declaring them your best friend.
- Consider becoming part of a team.
- Being on the same team has brought a lot of friends together. Maybe you play football or softball. Joining a team exposes you to people with the same interest. Even if your team is just beginning, you will feel like you fit in when you put on your softball jersey. Move U customizes softball jerseys with your logo or team name. This helps build team spirit and friendships.
- Balance your interests.
- Do not overextend yourself. Having too many things going at one time puts you at risk for burnout. Trying to do everything can result in doing nothing well. Determine how many hours and days you can honestly commit to a new activity. Having a variety of interest makes high school more fun and it will look good on your college resume. Consider participating in student activists committees, the school newspaper, and other groups.
- Go to school functions (even if they do not interest you.)
- Show your school spirit by attending the school pep rallies. Go to football games. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know the game. You will pick it up quickly. You can’t know what you like if you never try.
- Memorize your schedule.
- It is okay to check your schedule at first. But, when the class changes, you don’t want to look like a lost person. Learn your schedule. Learn the route to the various classes. Know how far you are away from your locker. This will help you decide if you want to carry books to the next class because your locker is too far away.
- Do not try to force a group to include you.
- You can be friendly and fun. But remember, the group you want to be a part of may have been developing over years. Be approachable, but do not be pushy. Don’t try to invite yourself to their table. If they invite you, Go for it.
Kids sometimes find themselves doing things that are against their true natures while trying to fit in. It is very important that you follow the golden rule. Treat others the way you want to be treated.
If you find yourself with kids that are being mean to other kids, you need to reevaluate your desire to be with them. If you have ever been the subject of a school bully, you know it feels pretty bad. Name calling, body-shaming, and making fun of someone’s clothes is being a bully. A bully tries to feel good about themselves by cutting down others. This is unacceptable. Walk away and remember if they target others, they can target you.
Get to know your school counselor and build a relationship with them. You can do this in private. The counselor is there to help you. If you have a problem they can point you in the right direction.
It is natural to feel like your parents don’t understand you or the world you live in. You think they treat you like a baby, and they may. It is hard for parents to see you as a teenager with teenager issues. The last thing you want is your mother showing up at your school to protect her baby.
Keep the lines of consideration open. Help them see you as a teenager, instead of a young child. If something happens at school that bothers you, your parents are the ones to show you what to do.
Your high school years are priceless. One day you will look back on them and see how much fun you had and how it affected your life. You will survive your freshman year. This is an experience that you will never face again. Just be yourself, remember your core values, and have a great time.