Back to School: Tips to Cope with a New Environment
Sadly enough, it’s back to school season. While this can seem like yet another exhausting chore, it can be dreadful for new students, especially those who just recently moved. It can be a frightening experience, especially since as a completely new student you are going into school alone (unless you have siblings tagging along) without knowing the school layout, the type of people there, and the overall atmosphere. But don't worry, there are many actions you can take to make the beginning of school not as miserable!
One of the first things new students can do is figure out the school's layout. While it seems like a useless task, it can reduce the stress of not knowing where to go and prevents tardiness, especially if the school is bigger. To do this, just go to the office sometime during school hours and ask to look around the school to get a general idea of the layout. This typically takes no more than 20 minutes, and it’ll save you from stressing over the small stuff. Plus, it gives you the ability to help other new students who may be struggling.
Secondly, trying to meet some of your peers prior to school starting can give you a small group of people to hang out around. Oftentimes, newer students feel very alone during the first few weeks of school because they have a hard time reaching out to others during major changes in their lives. But you can meet some mutual students through social media (remember to stay safe!), school activities such as sports, or out of school get-togethers typically organized by parents. Knowing just a few people before school starts, even if they won’t necessarily be close friends, will help combat the feeling of being an outcast at your new school.
Finally, one of the most crucial actions new students can take is to try and go to school with an open mind. While that is most definitely easier said than done, at least attempting to do so can make the transition easier. Realizing that this school may be a drastic change from the last in terms of the people and atmosphere will prevent high expectations not being met, which is important to avoid the heavy feelings of disappointment. Furthermore, it’s important to remember that it may feel lonely for the first few weeks since you're the “new kid,” but you should never label yourself an “outcast” who has no hope. Again, while it is easier said than done, trying to keep a positive outlook on the experiences made at this new school can help combat feeling conflicted with the big change.
Going back to school can be a hard experience (even if some schools are opting for virtual teaching), but it can be even more difficult for students attending a new school. Although the miserable feelings will ultimately pass, it always helps to do some of the small actions listed above to ease the stress somewhat. However, before you know it you’ll quickly make friends and become an expert at navigating around the school! Remember to keep your head high and focus on the present rather than stress over the future; it’ll always help in the long run, even if it may seem too rough right now.