Ten tips for starting at a new high school

Whether your teenager is beginning high school or moving schools, starting at a new one can be stressful. Guide them through it with our top ten tips.

  1. Be positive about the transition - Build excitement by talking about all the new opportunities for friendships and activities they’ll have.
  2. Practice the new trip to school – Practicing the walk or bus/train trip beforehand will really reduce first-day nerves.
  3. Arrange a chat with an older teen who’s been through it – If there’s a neighbour or cousin who’s started at a new school in the past organise for them to hang out and hear what it was like.
  4. Make sure everything is organised – Uniform, books and bag are essentials for starting at a new school so help them sort it all out before day one.
  5. Start afresh with a tidy room and desk – If their desk or room is shared make sure the rest of the family are on board with keeping things sorted.
  6. Farewell the holidays - Organise a social day just before school goes back to farewell and, if possible, invite friends from their old school.
  7. Don’t commit too early – It sounds strange but with the stress of making friends at a new school it’s easy to jump at the first people that speak to you. Encourage your teen to be social and not rush getting a new best friend. Good things come to those who wait!
  8. Avoiding comparing the new to the old – Get your teen to look to the future even if they’re missing their old school a bunch.
  9. Sign up to things straight away - Research extra-curriculars and help them decide on some they’ll sign up to in their first week.
  10. Prepare them for stress - the unknown can be really scary but things like breathing exercises, getting active, and having "me-time" can all help with the transition.

This article was originally published on ReachOut.com. Find more help articles for parents and carers on ReachOut.

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