Whether you are preparing to enter a different school in a new town, or it’s time to transition to high school, beginning a new school can feel intimidating. It’s normal to feel this way. While new experiences are usually exciting, they also hold a lot of unknowns. Finding answers to some of your questions about your new school may quiet your fears and provide a boost of self-confidence.

Mapping Out the Details

Plan to visit your new school prior to your first official day as a student. Ask for a map, and identify where your classrooms are located. Meeting and talking with your new teachers will provide you with answers to questions related to the needed school supplies, your class schedule, what types of backpacks are allowed and whether your new school has a dress code. Visit the cafeteria to explore the lunch environment, and obtain a copy of the monthly menu. You will feel less like the new kid and more in control of your anxiety once you obtain the basic information related to your new school because you won't feel so lost and out of place.

Ready, Set, Go

To feel confident and comfortable, plan ahead. For example, pack your backpack the night before your first day with your supplies. Check the cafeteria menu to decide if you want to buy a lunch, and if so, be sure to pack lunch money. If the menu doesn’t tempt you, pack your lunch. Pick out comfortable clothes that help you feel good about yourself. Your additional preparation will help to diminish feelings of anxiety and avoid last minute sources of frustration because you'll have everything you need ready to go to start out your first day on a good note.

You're Ready Now

Focus on the positive elements of school that you have enjoyed in other school experiences. Perhaps participating in a club or writing for the school newspaper created feelings of pride and accomplishment. Maybe you treasured the free time following lunch to catch up on the day’s events with friends. Regardless of what made you smile, those aspects of school can be found in your new school as you learn the routine and become involved. Remember that the new school will not remain new very long, and it may soon become a familiar, comfortable place.

Someone Will Smile Back

When the first day in your new school finally arrives, don’t forget to accessorize your look with a smile. Say hello to a student who looks a bit anxious. She may be new or looking to make new friends, much like you. Smiling and being friendly can draw other people toward you and help you feel more confident as well as you start this new adventure. Your commitment to smile, and to stay prepared for each new day, can help your first day, and the days that follow, to be positive.