www.whyville.net Jul 31, 2011 Weekly Issue

Guest Writer

For the Freshmen

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Ahh. Smell that, my incoming freshmen? What about you guys out there who are about to be in middle school? Can you smell that? The smell of new school clothes and supplies. (Don't act like you've never smelled the smell of new school supplies!) And y'all know what that smell means. It's almost time for school to start up again!

Most of you are probably excited out of your minds! You get to see your friends that you haven't seen much all summer. You get to meet new people. Maybe you're even eager for new classes and events.

And you're super excited because (finally!) you're about to start middle school or high school!

Sure, you might also be nervous. Who wouldn't be? You're about to be going to a whole new school with tons more people, most likely a new time schedule, new teachers, new everything! But to help get rid of some of these first day jitters (you wanna keep some of 'em don't you?), here are some tips on getting through the first day of school as a small fish in a big, new pond.

Now, most of these tips should apply to both middle school and high school but, as each school varies, some of these may not be applicable to your school or schedule. Do what works for you.

Tip # 1 - Go to orientations.

Before you actually start at your new school, be prepared! Go to orientations if they are provided. These usually prepare you with information about the school such as locations, rules, requirements, dress code, school schedule, and teachers and staff. Try to not to miss orientations if you can help it! They are an enormous help!

Tip # 2 - Prepare for the first day of school the night before.

Make sure you have everything you'll need for the first day set and ready to go. That way, when you get up in the morning, you won't have so much to stress about and you won't forget anything. Plus, you'll have extra time to do anything you might have forgotten. So remember, make sure to set out your outfit (follow the dress code!), set your alarm for a decent time (depending on how far your school is and how long you usually take to get ready), and have backpacks packed and lunches made (if possible).

P.S. If your time for waking up and going to school is shifting from one time to another, make sure that you start getting used to it a couple of weeks in advance. You may be used to starting school at 9:00 but then have to start at 7:30 or vice versa!

Tip # 3 - Consult maps, schedules, and other papers given to you by the school.

Many students at many schools usually receive several papers from the school on the first day. Make sure that if any of these papers need signing, get them signed straight away! Make a note to have the person who needs to sign it put their signature on it as soon as possible. Other papers given are useful things such as maps, bell schedules, and of course, your own schedule. I know, I know. Who wants that map in their face all day? I know that answer. No one. This is why you go to orientation! If you couldn't make it, or they didn't provide one, then whenever you have been provided with the map (maybe in homeroom or first period), look it over as best as you can. See where you need to go from your current location and if you get lost along the way, just ask around for the place you need to be. Or sneakily glance at the map while walking. Either way works. Just remember, you don't wanna be late to any of your classes on the first day of school, so if you have to have the map in your face while walking the hallways, then so be it! Also look over the bell schedule. Become familiarized with this so you know when each period begins and ends, and, most importantly, when lunch is! And last, but most certainly not least, your personal schedule. Here, you'll find your classes, teachers, room numbers or letters, and possibly other info like locker location and combination. Oh and some teachers may give out a syllabus. This usually tells you what things you will cover in class that year/semester and what supplies you will need.

Tip # 4 - Find old friends and make new ones too!

The first day can be pretty scary what with all the strange upperclassmen and unfamiliar teachers and students. Try to find some of your current friends to talk to about anything that confuses you or just to see some familiarity on a crazy new day! There should be plenty of people in your grade in the same classes. If not, then go ahead and talk to new people. There's no rush to make new friends, especially on the very first day of school. But they could possibly help you out with any questions you have or provide you with a companion to be confused with. Being confused always feels better when you have someone to be confused with! And chances are, they're feeling the same things you are so don't be afraid to start a conversation!

Tip # 5 - Make the right first impression.

You're going to a new school with lots of new students and teachers! First impressions are everything (usually). You don't want to present yourself negatively on the first day of school. Unless of course you are reinventing yourself as an intimidating rebel who is against all things school. But, assuming you're not, come to class a ready and eager student! Come to school looking acceptable (be in dress code, folks!) and acting acceptable. And of course, be yourself! (You didn't think you were gonna get away from this first-day-of-going-to-a-new-school article without a "be yourself" were you?) Let these strangers know who you are! (Just don't scare 'em! Hahaha).

So there you have it. Of course, these aren't the only tips there are! This is only the tip of the iceberg! But never fear. You have the world at your fingertips! Ask an older sibling in middle school or high school all about it! Ask fellow Whyvillians in chat or on the BBS. Search for old Times articles about questions on first day fashions, studying, or making friends.

Have an amazing first day of school!


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