For some people, summer break is just a time between changing grades. For others, it’s a time between changing schools. Whether it’s transferring schools or transitioning from one school level to the next, starting over in a brand-new environment can be scary. But it doesn’t have to be! Here are some tips I have for making the big transition, right from my own experience of starting new schools:
1. See if You Already Know Anyone—Find out if you already know anyone who goes to your new school who you’d feel comfortable reaching out to. When I was switching to a new middle school, I reached out to someone I used to go to church with and asked if she wanted to hang out that summer. I ended up meeting a lot of her friends and it was great already knowing a few people before first day of school. When I went to college, I reached out to an older girl I went to high school with who went there, and she offered to drive me around campus before my first day of class! It may be intimidating to reach out to people you don’t know super well but doing so can give you that extra comfort the first day of knowing a familiar face.
2. Enjoy the Blank Slate—This seems like it would be the scariest part, but in my opinion it’s the best part of starting a new school. Didn’t like the activities you were in at your old school or didn’t love your friend group? This is the time to start over! Explore, look around, see what’s available and decide what interests you. This is your chance to start new relationships, new hobbies, and be the person you want to be! I have loved the chances college has given me to invest myself in the people and activities that mean the most to me.
3. Be Friendly to Everyone—This should go without saying, but it really is important to start on a good note with everyone you meet. This doesn’t mean you have to become best friends with them, but it leaves a good overall impression if you treat everyone with kindness and respect from the moment you meet them. Plus, you never know if who you’re talking to is transitioning schools too and is just as nervous as you are!
4. Be Patient—Chances are, everything’s not going to be perfect after just the first day. That’s life! But stick with it and keep being open to new people and opportunities. You may realize that what you thought you wanted to do, wasn’t really meant for you and that’s totally OK. I played Varsity softball the first two years of high school and while it was great for making friends, I totally stunk at the sport and realized it really wasn’t meant for me. I decided to pick back up tennis and ended up making the Varsity team my junior year and loved it. Sometimes things work out just the way they’re supposed to, whether it’s what you thought you wanted or not!
5. Breathe—It’s going to be great!
Best of luck with everything, you’re going to crush it.