Starting secondary school is a big change for everyone. Whether you’re the most confident person or the least, it’s an adjustment that takes time.
Here are my top tips to help make the transition from primary to secondary as smooth as possible.
The first day of school can be nerve-wracking enough as it is without any extra stress. Alleviate pressure on yourself by making sure that you have everything ready to go before you start. You’ll probably have your uniform and books ready to go, but extra items like stationary and a P.E bag can sometimes be forgotten.
Try out your public transport routes
Even if you are not planning on using public transport frequently it is a good idea to know your options in case to find yourself having to make your own way there or back unexpectedly. Work out the different stops and timetables for your local service. It can be helpful to do a trial run of your route before school starts to ensure you are familiar with the route and the duration of your journey.
Prepare for Longer days
The school days at secondary school are longer than those in primary. This will take you a few weeks to adjust to so don’t be surprised if you find you are extra tired at the beginning of the term. Also some secondaries start earlier than primaries so make sure you know what time you will need to get up at. Keeping a fairly consistent sleep schedule will help you deal with your new timetable.
Becoming a secondary school student means you are now more responsible and independent for your self and belongings in school. The best way to handle this new responsibility is to be organised. Maintaining a neat locker and clean bag will help ensure you have all the materials you need ready for class and minimises risk of losing important sheets or homework.
Keep on top of work
In secondary school you no longer have all your homework due the next day. It can be tempting to leave it until the day before it’s due but doing what you can the day you get it will alleviate unnecessary stress. Prioritise homework not just by the date its due but how long it will take you and how confident you are in the subject. Staying on top of your work will make it easier during exam season and busy periods.
Get To Know People
One of the toughest things about starting in a new school is getting to know new people, particularly as the chances are your new year is a lot bigger than your primary school one. Introducing yourself to the people you sit beside in class or chatting to those around you at the lockers will help you get to know the people in your year. It can seem scary trying to make new friends but remember everyone is in the same position.
One of the absolute best ways to get to know new people is to take part in some of the clubs or teams available in your school. Not only will you be getting to know new people but you will have already found something in common with them in whatever activity it is you’re trying out. Tempting though it can be avoid clinging to people you already know.
Get involved in school life
It is important to remember that school life doesn’t just include what you do in a classroom. Joining a sports team is a great way to not only build up new friendships but also improve your fitness and potentially represent the school.
If sport isn’t really your thing (its definitely not mine!) most schools will have other options like debating, book clubs or cookery classes. Feel free to try out something new and take advantage of the choices offered. Before you start in September it might be a good idea to make a timetable of your current extracurricular activities in order to make way for new ones. That way you will be able to fit in as many activities as possible.
For the few weeks leading up to starting secondary you will probably have plenty of people tell you how different it’s going to be and this can sometimes add to any nerves you’re feeling. Some people might manage to exude a natural confidence that you can’t even imagine feeling but on the inside everyone harbours their own doubts so don’t let this worry you.
Starting secondary school will offer you the chance for new subjects, activities and friends so try to relax and enjoy the new opportunities ahead of you. Exciting times ahead!
Have you any advice about starting secondary school?