How to Settle into Secondary School

Your move from Primary school to Secondary is usually a time full of excitement and anticipation. However it can also be a daunting prospect.  

I’ve just finished my time in Sixth Form (two years of optional study after Secondary school) and I can say that I have some of the best memories from my time in Secondary - but it wasn’t the easiest start. I was quite shy; scared of how other kids would perceive me and unsure of how I was meant to behave now that I was in a ‘big, formal’ school. 

So, in this article I’ll be sharing some tips with you on how to settle into school.

Firstly, know that everyone around you is just as nervous. There will be some students who appear loud and confident and others who look like they want to be swallowed into the ground. Don’t let anyone around you phase you. It’s natural to feel nervous in a new environment with new people. The best thing that you can do is, be yourself.

So tip number two, be yourself. It might feel easier to pretend to be someone else so you ‘fit in’ with the new people around you. In the long run you’ll get tired out and you won’t be happy. 

When I say ‘be yourself’ I mean, do things which you enjoy, don’t pretend to have certain interests just to ‘fit in’ and stay true to your own beliefs and morals. If you enjoy cross country but none of the classmates around you do, don’t let that stop you from joining the school’s cross country club. In fact it is precisely at the club where you are more likely to find people and friends with personalities more similar to yours. 

Be yourself, express your own desires and voice your own opinions.

This will result in you attracting people and friends that share similar morals and values and people that are good for you. It’ll result in having better times both at school and outside of school.

You may be wondering how long it takes to make new friends. This varies for everyone but I’d say that after a few months you’ll have found some people who you particularly like. By the end of year 7 you are more than likely to have formed a few friendships. The key is to stay open minded and willing to engage! You won’t necessarily have the same group of friends throughout the entirety of secondary school. You might speak to people mid-year 7 that you’ve never spoken to before, and then hit it off really well! The same can happen at any stage over the 5 years of school. I know I was still making new friends in year 10. 

The third tip is to not overly stress about your work in year 7. Years 7 and 8 are part of the curriculum purely so students can explore different subjects and understand the basics of each. It’s your chance to enjoy learning, experience new things and broaden your mind. Take part in all the extra curricular activities that your school offers - whether that’s a trip to a museum or a Maths challenge you never know what you’ll pick up. So long as you’re making some progress over the two years, you don’t have anything to worry about. Marks and exams become a little more important in year 9. 

Finally, always approach a teacher or older student if you need any help or support. Everyone is around to help you - don’t be scared of asking for help. If you get lost in the corridors (as every year 7 is expected to do!), ask for directions. If you need help with dinner money or using a vending machine, ask for help. 

We hope you have the best time in your new school.

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