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Starting a new school
by Storyteller. August 7th 2013, 10:47 AM

Starting a new school
by Cheyenne (Desert)

Starting a new school can be one of life's hardest and most awkward experiences. You moved for whatever reason — parents started a new job or they just felt like a change of scenery. Now, you’ve unjustly been expected to leave all your friends and start over completely. It sounds utterly impossible, doesn’t it? The good news is that it doesn’t have to be!

Pretty much everything depends on your outlook. If you go into this new school thinking that you’re a) not going to make any friends or b) you’re going to be a loser for the rest of your school career, you’ll put those negative vibes out around you. Potential friends may feel that and not want to come near you.

Before you even start at the school, you need to do some preparation. Start with your school supplies. Buy things that will help to motivate you for the school year you're about to begin; it's okay to splurge a little if it's going to help you feel better about your new school. This motivation will carry you through your first day and the weeks following.

If you’re finding it very hard to get motivated because your anxieties and fears are weighing you down, try making a list of all the things that are bothering you about starting a new school. Hold nothing back—get it all out on paper. Then you can start finding solutions. Let’s say the new school is way bigger than your old one:; is it possible for you to take a tour of the school before it starts to find where all your classes are? Or maybe you’re worried that you’re not going to make any friends. Think back to when you first made your old friends and how it happened. There’s no reason why that couldn’t happen again, just with different people. There are solutions to most problems you feel you may encounter, you just sometimes have to think creatively outside the box in order to find them!

The last weeks of summer are now coming to a close, and it’s the first day of school—whether you’re ready or not. You’ve been registered; you’ve got your backpack in hand and butterflies in the pit of your stomach. You walk into homeroom and don’t see a place to sit. Before you panic, remember that everyone here was new at some point. See if there are any other new students who can identify with your feelings. Additionally, many middle and high schools have student activists who are there to help you get situated and comfortable within the school. They’re usually friendly, kind and love to make new friends, so seek them out of the crowd and let them help you out. Your guidance office will likely have further information on these students.

Be outgoing. If you’re a shy person, this could be very difficult. People are often too afraid to approach someone new if they’re silent and sitting alone. Above all, YOU need to make the effort to be friends with people. Being quiet and withdrawn won’t help you. Others need to know that you’re willing to make friends. You might feel discouraged at this point, and think 'I'm so shy!' Take a deep breath and look for the people you would probably identify the most with, and see if you can get grouped with them. Use good humor and statements that boldly proclaim who you are. “Yeah, I love animals! I was thinking of being a vet when I get older…how about you?” will take you a lot farther than “Uh-huh. Yeah. Can you pass me that eraser?”

Over time, things will get easier because people will get to know you and your interests. Guaranteed, there will be people who are mean to you for no reason. It comes with the territory. Brush them off and focus on what matters—getting good grades and making new friends. Above all, have some fun.
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