Tough Stuff

Struggles of attending a new school and how to deal

We’ve all experienced the struggle of attending a new school. Whether you are going into middle school, high school, college or transferring to a new school altogether, it seems like the problems are the same everywhere: trying to make new friends, finding your way around, discovering your interests, understanding the "vibe" and, well, the list could go on. Check out this list for advice about how to deal with these struggles.

1. Making new friends

This is probably the hardest thing at any school. But, chances are that other people are looking to make new friends, too. Sometimes, you just have to go outside of your comfort zone to find your "group." You may think the quiet girl in your French class is strange and you two have nothing in common, but don't let that stop you from talking to her. Some of the greatest relationships start in the least ordinary of circumstances. Strike up a convo with the guy in the lunch line or the girl at the water fountain (even if it’s something as simple as complimenting her cute Swell bottle). You just might find that you two have something in common, and that simple convo could be the start of a beautiful new friendship. 

2. Finding your way around

When I started high school, I went from a middle school of 150 students to a high school of over 2200. This, combined with the massive campus, made finding classrooms and buildings a nightmare. (Even today, I don’t know where the “H” or “M” wings are!) Luckily, I wasn’t alone, and you aren’t either. Everyone is probably a little confused finding classrooms at the beginning of the school year, and although it may be intimidating putting yourself out there and asking people for help, sometimes you have to. It can also be a great way to start conversations with other people. If you’re a little worried, you could always visit school before it starts and map out your route.

3. Figuring out extra-currics

If your school has dozens of clubs, sports teams and service groups, it'll difficult deciding what to join or what you want to focus on. So, just join whatever you have even the slightest interest in. Attend a couple of club meetings, and then decide what you want to stick with. Being a part of something at your new school is important, not only for school spirit but because you can meet new people and start future relationships with like-minded students. 

4. Understanding the vibe

Every school has a different vibe. Some schools value sports over academics, and some value technology over humanities. Maybe the robotics club actually has more of a social scene than the volleyball team. It can take a little bit of time to understand the informal rules at your new school, and the best way to determine this is experience. Attend school events like dances, rallies or spirit activities, and talk to other people to suss it out. 

5. Keeping up in school

When it comes down to it, your schoolwork is the single most important thing about school. On your first day, introduce yourself to your new teachers and try to make a good first impression. If you have any questions in class or know the answer, don’t hesitate to get involved. Your teacher will appreciate your confidence and enthusiasm their subject. Also take advantage of your new school’s tutoring center or peer-tutor service. Make a plan that balances your schoolwork and activities. 

What are your new school struggles? How did you overcome them? Let us know in the comments below.

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by Amrita Bhasin | 7/31/2017