Starting at a New School

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Whatever your reason, moving into a new school can be an intimidating and nerve-racking experience.

Making life easier at school. It might help to remember that you’re not alone. Everyone at some point in life has started at a new school, and it’s likely that other people have similar feelings to you. Here are some suggestions for making the move to a new school as stress-free as possible:

Get involved. A good way to make new friends is to become involved in activities that interest you.

Break the ice. Often other people feel just as nervous about making new friends as you do. Break the ice by asking someone in your class to go get coffee or have lunch or go see a movie on Friday night

Stay in contact with old friends. While you’re making new friends, it might help to stay in touch with your old ones. You might like to chat with your old friends about how it feels to start at a new school.

Have something to look forward to. Sometimes it’s helpful to plan ahead so that you have something to look forward to. You may want to plan to catch up with friends after class or do something special during the weekend.

Giving it time. Adjusting to big changes like starting school often takes time, particularly if you’re transferring at a time when other people have already settled in. Allow yourself to get used to the changes. Try to take it one day at a time.

Getting help. It might be helpful to talk to someone, like a friend or family member, about how you’re feeling.

Acknowledgement: This fact sheet was originally developed by youth and staff at, a website that helps teens get through tough times. 

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