Transitioning to high school need not be a daunting feat. While preparation is important, trying to script the first days and weeks can prove counter-productive. What we want the experience to look like may not be how it pans out, so being prepared leaves us with room to move when it comes to factors we cannot control.
Here are ten tips for a smooth transition to high school.* We’re all about creating a smooth transition, so having positive conversations and connecting with other kids who have been through the same experience is a great start.
- Be positive about the transition – Build excitement by talking about all the new opportunities for friendships and activities they’ll have.
- Practice the new trip to school – Practicing the walk or bus/train trip beforehand will really reduce first-day nerves.
- Arrange a chat with an older teen who’s been through it – If there’s a neighbour or cousin who’s started at a new school in the past organise for them to hang out and hear what it was like.
- Make sure everything is organised – Uniform, books and bag are essentials for starting at a new school so help them sort it all out before day one.
- Start afresh with a tidy room and desk – If their desk or room is shared make sure the rest of the family are on board with keeping things sorted.
- Farewell the holidays – Organise a social day just before school goes back to farewell and, if possible, invite friends from their old school.
- Don’t commit too early – It sounds strange but with the stress of making friends at a new school it’s easy to jump at the first people that speak to you. Encourage your teen to be social and not rush getting a new best friend. Good things come to those who wait!
- Avoiding comparing the new to the old – Get your teen to look to the future even if they’re missing their old school a bunch.
- Sign up to things straight away – Research extra-curriculars and help them decide on some they’ll sign up to in their first week.
- Prepare them for stress – the unknown can be really scary but things like breathing exercises, getting active, and having “me-time” can all help with the transition.
*Originally published on ReachOut.