Starting at a new school

Starting at a New School

If you feel anxious or your stomach flips when you think about starting at a new school or just starting a new school year, don’t think for a moment that you are the only one. Starting at a new school won’t be a piece of cake. It can inspire a wealth of emotions, from anxiety over meeting new students and teachers to excitement over new purchases and supplies. The good news is there are a few things you can do to make the transition easier.

Check-boxBe patient and give everything a try.

Changes are not easy, and there is a natural tendency to want to avoid them. It’s normal to feel nervous about starting at a new school, learning about the new place, speaking to new people, and missing our old friends. Recognising and accepting your feelings is essential. Just allow yourself some time; there’s no need to rush into finding a new best friend. Soon the nervousness will ease off.

First day of schoolCheck-boxKeep doing what you like the most.

As long as they’re available at your new school, try to keep playing your favourite sports or instruments, or practicing any other hobbies you have. They will make you feel better and help you to meet new friends.

Check-boxPractice the route to school.

It might sound silly, but the last thing you need on your first day at a new school is feeling additional stress because you don’t feel sure about the journey. If it is possible to visit the school before the first day, take advantage of the opportunity. The fear of the unknown naturally causes anxiety. Many schools have orientation days precisely to give parents and students a chance to meet teachers, other students, and see the classroom.

Check-boxMake sure everything is organised.

Plan ahead of time, prepare a checklist, and purchase whatever bags, books, school materials, uniform, or any other essentials you will need.

Check-boxLearn from the experience of others.

If available, arrange a chat with someone who knows the school: a neighbour, cousin, or older teen who knows the school. It would be helpful to hang out with them and listen to their experiences as a new student there.

Check-boxRegain routine.

Summer days provide a relaxing getaway from the rigors of school days, but they can make it challenging to return to a routine. Setting up a gradual transition into a school schedule is often easier for students.

Parent and studentCheck-boxParents role.

Finally, parents play an important role in providing the guidance and support that students need at this stressful, challenging, and exciting time. As parents, be positive about the transition and the new opportunities, listen to what your child has to say, and acknowledge their feelings as legitimate.

Here is a list of other useful resources about education and moving abroad:

10 Vital decisions on your children’s education

Helping your child with homework: To do or not to do

What parents need to know about moving

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