Are you currently in grade 7 or 8 and wonder what high school will be like? It’s normal to feel a mixture of positive and negative emotions about this new chapter in your life. Regardless of the school you choose, starting high school is a big transition for any student. You’ll probably sign up for new clubs and extracurricular activities. You’ll select new classes. In addition, your social life will grow and change as you make new friendships and maintain old ones.
Expect Higher Expectations
High school comes with higher expectations. You will be expected to keep track of your schedule and responsibilities independently. In addition, your classes will likely become more challenging.
Some students find it hard to keep up with everything at first (academics, extracurricular activities, and social life), which is completely normal. To be prepared, start implementing easy-to-use organizational tools like Google Calendar before you start high school. Buy a large paper calendar for your desk and carve out/chunk assignments and study time. Colour you’re your school work, extracurricular and social activities. This will help you prioritize and keep track of your assignments and commitments. Start to develop your time management skills now so you’ll be better prepared later.
Develop Self Advocacy Skills
Although you will be expected to work much more independently in high school, you should certainly request help when you need it—don’t wait until you’re overwhelmed. Be an engaged learner during class time and stay after class to ask questions when needed. Develop healthy relationships with your teachers and peers (help your peers when you can too) so you can turn to them when necessary.
High school will provide many opportunities for you to learn about yourself and uncover your hidden strengths. Before you start grade nine, think about different activities you want to try. You will learn much more about what your interests and strengths are through some trial and error. For example, do you want to run for student council, take up a certain sport or register for a specific course in the arts, like drama? Consider giving back to your school community as well. Will you volunteer to help out different clubs or your teachers? All of these opportunities will give you new skills that you can develop even further.
Consider Post-Secondary School
It’s never too early to start thinking about what kind of education you want after high school. Isn’t that why we’re asked as young children what we want to be when we grow up? Consider writing out a list of post-secondary schools and programs that you are interested in and research what courses and grades are required to get accepted. Take studying (and your grades) seriously. You are molding your future; you are the future!
Do Your Best and Expect to Make Mistakes
Always remember, no one is perfect. Transitions are hard for everyone and every new experience comes with a learning curve. You might join too many clubs or you might find your course load isn’t ideal one way or the other. Trial and error might help you find your way. The key is to try your best. The most successful people do not let failure hold them back it. Instead, they see it as an opportunity to learn, and you can too—it’s all about your mindset and your attitude. You are growing, developing, maturing and learning. We’ve all been there, and none of us made it through high school without making lots of mistakes.