How to Adjust to a New School

how to adjust to a new school

How to Adjust to a New School

Change is scary – and one of the biggest changes teens can go through is changing schools.

No one ever enjoys being the new kid — the one stared at, pitied, and forced to stand up in front of every new class and awkwardly introduce him or her self.  Changing schools can be stressful when you consider the fact that you’ll have to move homes, make new friends, and adjust to new academic standards. 

If you are in the process of changing schools, hopefully this tip filled post on how to adjust to a new school will make your academic and social transitions easier!

Foster Social Confidence

The biggest reason teens fear changing schools is because of the fact that they’ll be leaving behind all their friends and entering a school environment where others already have lifelong friends.

Making new friends can be difficult and isn’t a process completed overnight.  So, while you are still warming up to your new classmates and winning them over with your talents, charisma, and uniqueness,  focus on finding friendly faces in the crowd.

Finding and striking up a conversation with at least one person you’ll see at least once a day will guarantee you’ll have someone willing to offer you a smile in an otherwise scary and unfamiliar environment.

Areas to focus this strategy on:

  • Make a locker buddy
  • Make a homeroom buddy
  • Make a bus buddy
  • Make a cafeteria buddy

Talk to the Teachers at Your School

Adjusting academically to a new school can be just as daunting as adapting socially.  While each school teaches the same basic topics, each institution’s academic standards differ.

One tip on how to academically adjust to a new school is to talk to your teachers!  Ask your teachers for the notes and assignments from the lessons just prior to your arrival.

Trust me, no one takes more meticulous notes than teachers!

Having these notes and assignments can make catching up on work easier and turn into an invaluable reference tool going forward if you have trouble mastering the material.

Do a Walkthrough of the School before Your First Day of Classes

Oftentimes, if you contact the school administration ahead of your arrival they’ll allow you to take a tour of the facility and in some cases allow you to sit in on classes.

By going through the walkthrough, you’ll have a chance to see and become familiar with the school’s layout and surroundings as well as meet some of your future classmates and teachers! 

Doing this will make you less nervous on your first day at your new school because you’ll be entering familiar, as opposed to unknown, surroundings.

Find a Peer Mentor

If after looking over some of the material covered prior to your arrival you are still having difficulties understanding it ask to be paired up with a classmate as a peer mentor.

Asking for a peer mentor kills two birds with one stone.  Not only will you be paired up with someone who grasps the material and who can walk you through it on a one-to-one basis, but your peer mentor can also turn into a friendship opportunity!

Other Tips

Other tips on how to adjust to a new school include:

  • Talk to someone if you feel overwhelmed
  • Keep up with old friends
  • Join new clubs, embrace the change!

Additional Resources

A student’s perspective on starting a new school:

A Student’s Story  

Follow these tips and making new friends will be a breeze!

Friend Tips


About Shannon Hutchins

Hey! Shannon is a customer service representative, a social media team member and blogger for The Knowledge Roundtable. Shannon came to the company late in 2014 and holds a BA in Media Studies from Colby-Sawyer College. While Shannon was completing her degree she wrote for, and eventually became editor of her collegiate newspaper, The Courier. For The Courier she mainly wrote about breaking college news as well as about local sports teams. She is a former tutor herself who believes in the advancement of knowledge for all and is studying to take the LSAT’s in hopes of going on and obtaining her JD.

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