For many students, high school can be a scary thing. Even if you don't think it's scary, it is a completely different thing than even junior high.
Feeling overwhelmed and nervous is very common for new high school students and with a new year beginning, these feelings are probably growing stronger and stronger.
But don't you worry, by following these easy five tips, you are bound to have a great high school experience. By senior year, who knows? Maybe you'll never want to leave.
1. Don't be scared
If there's one piece of advice that I think would be best to give, I would definitely say to not be scared. If you're scared, high school can eat you alive, but if you are brave and confident you won't feel like the little fish in the big ocean. You'll be the ocean itself.
Don't look at high school as this new intimidating thing; look at it as this new adventure that you're going to conquer. Everything is about perspective so keep your head up and say "Hi!" to people. Be excited! Not scared.
Stokely Carmichael once said, "The secret of life is to have no fear; it's the only way to function."
2. Get to know your school
Most every high school has things about it that no other high school has. For instance, the school may have different names for different parts of the campus, special assemblies, or school activities. Get to know what these things are! The sooner you do, the sooner it will feel like your school.
Along with this, get to know the layout of your school better so that you can find the fastest and easiest route to your next destination. Knowing these things can give you the confidence you need when attending a new school. Talk to those students you know who have attended the school before you, and ask them what's important to know about your campus. After all, it is your school now.
3. Meet new people
When you go into high school you are going to be submerged in classes with people who have gone to different schools their whole lives, people you don't know in the slightest! But that just means that you have a great new opportunity to meet new friends. Break down the barrier that keeps you from socializing with people from different schools; you'll be happy you did.
One thing that my friends and I would do is to take every chance to meet other kids we could. If one of our friends knew someone that we did not, we would all go hang out with that friend and meet their friends as well. We did this in the summer and by the time school rolled around, we were all great friends already!
4. Get yourself involved
Do you play a sport? Great! Try out for a team! Do you like singing, playing instruments or debating? Great! Join that club or organization. Clubs and teams are an excellent way to feel important to the school and to do something you love while meeting new friends and making great memories. Some of my best memories have come from being a part of my high school drill team.
If you aren't into any of these things, at least go to games and assemblies and support your school. The more school spirit you have, the more fun high school will be for everyone! These things can help you get your foot in the door of the whole high school experience, not to mention the fact that they'll look good on a college application as well.
5. Stay on top of your work
Sadly, there is more to high school than just the social aspect. Never take your education for granted! Don't procrastinate your work and be sure to push your brain to its limits. I have to admit that I unfortunately do procrastinate my work on occasion and trust me, there is nothing worse or more stressful then scrambling to get your work done to get your grades up in the last couple of weeks before the quarter ends.
If you are like me, use this new school year as an opportunity to get a new work ethic. You'll be happy you did. If you stay on top of your work you will also stay on your teacher's good side, which is definitely one place you want to stay.
High school is not as scary and nerve-racking as it seems. You only get to enjoy high school once, so take advantage of it. Welcome to high school, students. Enjoy.
Melissa Johns is a junior at Bonneville High School. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.