3 Tips for Starting the Year at a New School

Posted by Bekah LaCoste on 8/29/18 11:00 AM

How many times have you gotten nervous about something... anything, and said to yourself with a cautious chuckle, "Never mind, I'll just worry about it later."? If you nodded your head while reading that last bit, then you've come to the right place. It's easy to put off those things that scare us, but inevitably, it just makes the end result that much harder. Entering a new school can be one of those things that makes us nervous, but I've put together three tips to help start your school year strong! 


So, welcome to the new you. The you that shows up ready, willing, and on the right foot--or left, if that's how you roll. 


We should start with a little pep talk. Kid President has a few words for you before the beginning of the school year:



1. Check Out Your New School

Take a visit!


Get the scoop on the school from the website. Most schools have pretty thorough online presence. So before you even set foot (get it?) out the door, check out what they have to say online.


If your school has a campus, check out the campus map. If you have a schedule, make a note on the map of where your classes are. Go ahead and add them to a schedule keep app, like this one from myHomework. Also, check out who your teachers are, if they are listed (there's usually a directory).


Walking from building to building (or room to room) will help you track how much time it takes you to get from class to class, to the lunch room, and to and from your locker. As Bill Reynolds writes in his article, The Advantages of Being on Time vs. Being Late to School, "Students who arrive at school early have an advantage over classmates who stumble through the door after class has begun." Need more inspiration to set that alarm ten minutes earlier? Check out this rad YouTube video by mel2able.


2. Meet The People

Give a compliment.


Many schools will have a meet-and-greet planned for you to get to know some of your new classmates. Take this opportunity to strike up a conversation with your new pals. If someone is wearing something you like or has a cool haircut (or color), let them know! Need a tip on how to take that first step? Wikihow has the insider scoop.


Find your teachers before your first class.


First class of the day? Get there a few minutes early and introduce yourself. (See Being on Time, above!) Making that first impression will not only make you feel better, but your teacher will forever remember that you took the initiative. Two points for you!


Get support.


If you find that sometimes you just need someone to listen, find out about your school counselor. When you have a free moment, introduce yourself so that when you need them, they already know you!


3. Go Shopping! (My Favorite Part!)

Get organized.


Just stepping into your friendly neighborhood office supply store or back-to-school sale will get you in the appropriate mindset. Get notebooks in your favorite color and patterns. Find pens that write really well. I like these from Hieno Supplies *Added bonus* these pens are a 6-colors-in-1, allowing you to smoothly shift to/from shade to organize information in your notes! Liking what you are looking at will make you want to look at it more. Two more points for studying!


Feel confident.


You get out there and find yourself a new shirt or two, or maybe a new pair of jeans, and you will instantly feel more ready to tackle those Algebra 2 problems. Just ask Professor Karen Pine from the University of Hartfordshire. She states in her book, Mind What You Wear (Available for FREE on AmazonKindle), that "your clothing has powerful feedback effects; it sends internal messages which can boost or dampen your mood and even alter your thought processes and capabilities." So go ahead, get that shirt with the cat on it. If you feel good in it, chances are you'll feel way more ready to take on the new school year!


Starting a new school, whether you're transferring or going into freshman year, can be nerve-wrecking, but it doesn't have to be. Follow one, two, or all of these steps and you'll put yourself in the position to start the school year on the right (or left) foot! 


Bekah LaCoste is a Skills and Academic Support Teacher, Performing Arts Teacher and Drama Performance Program Director at Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School in Waltham. 

Topics: Student Skill Building

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