First Day of High School Tips- 10 Tips for Incoming Freshman

First Day of High School: 10 Tips for Incoming Freshman

As the summer holidays have come to a close, the start of school is about to begin. The transition from middle school to high school is a big one and can feel really scary. You may be feeling nervous about making new friends and adjusting to a new school routine, but it’s important to remember that this is totally normal and everybody is in the same boat! Being prepared on your first day of high school will help ease your anxiety about this new chapter ahead.

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Here are our 10 top tips on how to prepare for your first day of high school and to start your freshman year off on the right foot:


1. Make sure you’ve got everything you need.

There is a lot to organise when starting a new school. Your school should provide you with a back-to-school supplies list of everything you will need to bring or wear in advance, but don’t hesitate to try some extra tools that may be helpful. Some students like having a whiteboard in their bedroom to study with, others like coloured pens and notebooks. Freshman year is a good time to try to figure out what study tools are the best fit for you as your workload changes.

2. Organize your mind.

Write down everything on paper that is making you feel anxious or uneasy about your first day of school. This may be to do with socialising, navigating campus, or being prepared for your classes. Seeing your anxieties written down in front of you allows you to start thinking of solutions without your mind spiralling. The next step is to categorise these worries into what you can and can’t control. With what you can control (i.e. making sure you have the right equipment), draw an arrow and write down an action task – something you can do to translate this worry into an action/solution. With what you can’t control, (being in a bigger school), take some time to unpick why this is causing you anxiety and then let it go. This is easier said than done, but spending time worrying provides no solution other than stressing yourself out even more. Take a deep breath and focus on what you can control.

3. Prepare yourself the night before.

Preparing everything the night before allows you to simply get ready without much thought or rushing around. This means, laying out your uniform or your first day of school outfit, packing your school bag, setting an alarm and getting lots of sleep. You’ll want to make your morning as easy as possible, and not worry about whether you’ve forgotten to pack a pencil case.

4. Plan your route to school.

Another transition of starting high school will be taking a new route to school – you may even be travelling to school without your parents which can feel daunting. To avoid a stressful journey on the day, not only should you plan your route to school, but you may want to practice travelling to school in preparation for the big day to figure out your timing. Having a travel buddy is also a great way to break the ice before you’ve even gotten to school.

5. Be yourself.

I am sure you will have heard this tip before and it certainly can be a lot harder than it sounds, but there’s a reason everybody says it. There is nothing worse than wondering whether you’ll be liked in a new environment or if you’ll fit in, and as an incoming freshman this is usually everyone’s biggest worry. Just remember that your classmates will all be feeling the same way, no matter how much it may not seem like it.  It’s always the best plan to stay true to yourself because there’s nothing better than having friends you can fully be yourself around. High school inevitably has a lot of peer pressure as everyone is trying to figure out who they are, but having a solid group of friends you can lean on makes this a lot easier.

6. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself.

Taking the lead when trying to make new friends is a great approach. Chances are everyone else is feeling shy, so being extra friendly is a great way to settle into your new classes and find people you click with. All it takes is a quick hello and a short introduction of your name to get a conversation started. Even comparing timetables can be a helpful way to break the ice!

7. Keep multiple copies of your class schedule.

In high school, you’re given a lot more independence and responsibility when it comes to attending your classes. Keeping copies of your class schedule at home and in your school bag makes sure you can get to your lessons on time, in the correct room and with the right materials. If you prefer a digital timetable, MyStudyLife can help you set up your schedule on both your laptop and phone, so you’ll never have to worry about losing it.

You can make a good first impression on your teachers by staying organised. At the same time, your teachers will understand that navigating a new environment and school building will take time to adjust to, so don’t be afraid to ask where your classrooms are if you get lost.

8. Try some of the clubs and extracurricular activities on offer.

School is not just about keeping on top of your studies, it’s equally important to explore some clubs that can expand your interests and hobbies. Clubs provide a great opportunity to meet people with the same interests as you, and it also allows you to take a breather from the stresses of school life. With the fresh start of a new school year, maybe even try joining an extracurricular club doing something that you’ve never done before, whether that be art, sport or maybe a new language. You’ve got nothing to lose!

9. Your teachers are there to help you.

Entering high school, you may find that teachers are covering material that you’ve never come across before or that they’re teaching at a faster pace than you are used to. It is normal to feel anxious about this but the only way to progress and get better is to ask questions and make mistakes. The sooner you get over the hurdle of putting up your hand in class, the more you’ll get used to it. Always remember- there is no judgement coming from your teachers, they just want to make sure you can reach your potential.

10. Enjoy it!

As scary as change can be, starting a new school is exciting and an amazing opportunity to grow in confidence. Once you have made sure you’re prepared in every way you can, all there is to do is throw yourself in!

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