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I'm scared to go to public school!

 
So I'm homeschooled but for Junior High/7th grade I'm going to public school and won't know ANYONE. Is there anything different to expect.

Hey girl, when it comes to school, whether you attend private, boarding, public or are homeschooled, the point is the same: to learn. You'll find you're still studying the same subjects: math, science, history, etc. It's just the company you have and the opportunities outside of the classroom that change. The way to make the most it? Embrace it! When it comes to tackling the gap between home and public school, it's all about being socially comfortable and reaping the benefits. I've got some tips to get you involved and ready for the big day this fall.

Public School Basics
 
The typical day at a public middle school tends to follow the same formula: you have different subjects with different teachers in different classrooms. Depending on your school, classrooms for your 7th grade classes may be organized together by subject or grade. At the end of each class, the bell will ring or your teacher will dismiss you. From there, you'll take to the halls with your peers and move on to your next class or hit up your locker.

In the middle of the day, you'll have lunch in the cafeteria and most likely a short recess before going into your afternoon classes. When the last bell rings and it's time to go home, you'll pack up, grab your backpack and homework, and take the bus, walk or ride home. And then it's rinse and repeat.

Get Involved!
 
Where it gets fun is if you are involved in any activities after school. While more prominent in high schools, you may be able to join different clubs and sports based on your interests. In middle school, for example, I was an emcee for our school's end of year talent show, which required staying after school to do rehearsals. When you go to school, ask your guidance counselor about any clubs or organizations your school has. It's a great way to make friends who share your interests!

Tackling the Building
 
From a literal standpoint, the biggest difference between home school and public school is the size of the building and classrooms. Middle schools — especially public schools — are big so lots of students can study there. It can be scary at first even for someone who's been in public school all their life. The tip? Don't worry. Everyone at a new school may be lost the first few weeks and that's totally OK. The best way to get through it is to carry a map and if possible, visit the school before the first day with your schedule or attend orientations for new students. Trace the routes of your classes and maybe say hi to a teacher or two if they're in. You'll find you may have some teachers you do and don't like, but you'll definitely have a variety.

More People, More Friends!
 
The second noticeable difference will be the number of people in your classes. Class size will be a lot larger than you're used to, but with more classmates, there's more opportunity to make friends to study and hang with after class. Your teacher may also give you group projects as the year goes on — these assignments will be bigger and will require splitting tasks up among your group members.

In your class day-to-day, you'll also notice your teacher won't put you on the hot spot as much for questions: with so many other peers (sometimes 20 or more in a class!), your teacher wants to make sure everyone’s informed. When you know the answer to a question, follow classroom etiquette by just raising your hand silently. If you’re called on, just try your best.

To wrap up? Things may be different, but you’ll find with time you’ll be fine. Be positive and get involved. Good luck!
 
GOT SCHOOLROOM STRESS? CLICK HERE to submit your own problem to be answered on Girl Talk!

BY ALYSSA BAILEY ON 8/9/2010 6:38:00 PM

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