Starting a new school can be a bit intimidating. You’re not sure what to expect from your classes and your teachers and you wonder if you’ll fit in with your classmates. Whether the transition is from a home school, another district, or the change from in-person to online format, it’s not easy being the new kid in class. But there are ways to make the process smoother and the experience more enjoyable. Start with a positive attitude for a new adventure and put your best foot forward from the start. Follow these 7 steps and that new school will feel like an old home in no time at all:
1. Virtually Tour the Online School
Take a tour of your new high school before the first day of classes. The more familiar you are with the lay of the land, the less stressed you will be about finding your way around. For on-campus settings, this means going to the school, roaming the halls, finding the cafeteria, library, and labs. But you can still take a tour of an online high school. Start with the website and virtual resources, but talk to a real person and find out if there’s a campus you might visit to have a better idea of how the school was founded and what its original mission was.
2. Connect with Your Teachers
Faculty members may reach out to welcome you, but if they don’t, you can send a quick email and introduce yourself. Especially if you have a favorite class, why not let your new teacher know and tell them you’re looking forward to diving into the subject matter? It’s a great way to make a good first impression and will reduce your anxiety about meeting a new teacher; you’ll feel like you already know them.
3. Be Healthy when You Start School
You can’t do your best if you’re not at your best. Eat well, get sleep, drink plenty of water, and get some exercise. Exercise pumps up your endorphins, increases brain function, and reduces stress. It’s good for your body, heart, and head, and can help you start your new school with a positive attitude and a readiness to learn.
4. Be Prepared for Online School
Whether you’re stepping in a classroom, logging online, or taking a test, being prepared can ease your anxiety and help you perform your best. To prepare for your first day, be sure you know your schedule and review the syllabus for each class. Is there anything due for the first day? Sometimes teachers give simple introductory assignments so class members can get to know one another. Don’t be the only one fumbling for the words or missing the chance to make a great first impression.
5. Be Nice to Your Online Teachers and Classmates
If you want to have a good high school experience, be a good person. The “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you” golden rule that we all learned as children applies to interactions throughout your life. There are even studies that support that when you’re nice to others you attract nice people. A smooth transition and a positive high school experience begin with a positive attitude.
6. Be the Best Online Student You Can Be
One of the best reasons to start at a new school is that you can start fresh. That means you can bring all the best you have to offer and leave behind what you didn’t like. For example, maybe you didn’t excel in math. No one needs to know. You can put in extra work, ask questions when you’re stuck, and ace the kind of exams you used to struggle with. The same goes for extracurricular activities, volunteer opportunities, and interactions with peers and adults.
7. Get Involved
Right from the start, find ways to get involved. Whether that means speaking up in class, joining in-person and virtual study groups, or participating in after-class activities, the more active you are, the more you’ll enjoy your high school experience.
A division of The Stony Brook School on Long Island, NY, Gravitas is an online Christian college preparatory school that offers all the benefits of an elite education in a digital format. You have access to rigorous academics and peers that can come from anywhere in the world. If you want an excellent academic experience coupled with character formation lessons taught by caring and wise instructors, contact Gravitas today. This new high school is unlike any other.