Tips To Adjust to a New School

Q: I’m changing schools because I’m moving to a new city and I’ll be leaving all my friends. I don’t know what to do.

A: Leaving behind all that is familiar can be difficult and scary. Change can bring about many different emotions: excitement of what’s to come, fear of the unknown, sadness at leaving your friends and your current location and anger at having no control over having to move. These are very normal emotions.

When I was in grade 8 I moved to a different town. I was sad to be leaving my friends especially my best friend whom I did everything with. I knew leaving her would be very hard to do and I didn’t want to do it.

I can still remember the first day getting ready to go to my new school. When I walked on the school bus my stomach was filled with ‘butterflies.’ I didn’t know anyone. Since I was in grade 8 I had to sit at the back of the bus. I would have preferred to sit at the front with all the students in kindergarten in order to avoid walking the entire length of the bus with people staring at me, thinking ‘who is she?’

The decision to move may not have been your choice, but now you have the opportunity to choose to decide how you adapt and move through this change. Even though change can be scary, it can also bring opportunities to learn, grow and meet new people.

Things to do to help you with the changes:

  • Stay in touch with your current friends through letters, emails, texts and phone calls. It’s always nice to hear a familiar voice.
  • Be friendly and open to meeting new friends. Even though you may be afraid at first allow the fear to be replaced with courage.
  • Keep a journal of your days and experiences. This will help you to express your thoughts and feelings.
  • Share with your parents or someone you trust how you are feeling with the changes you are experiencing.
  • Choose your focus. Focus on the wonderful new experiences that are possible and the new friends you will create, instead of focusing on why you don’t want to move.

Ways to help you meet new friends:

  • Join school clubs or group that you would enjoy. This will help you meet people with common interests.
  • Smile and say Hi. Take time to introduce yourself. It can feel uncomfortable at first to introduce yourself to someone you don’t know but choose to feel the fear and do it anyway – that’s how you get to know more people. And you just never know – that person could become a great friend.
  • Choosing to treat others and yourself with respect and kindness will go a long way to having people want to meet you.

Get ready for some new experiences and new friends! Choose to enjoy this change!