Nothing is more terrifying than having to move to a new state going into senior year. It’s like being a fish out of water. You feel totally out of place. Like you can’t breathe, and you’re being suffocated by the crowded halls of confused freshman, along with the returning students from the year before. To say the least, it’s intense. The first day though, is typical. You meet all of your teachers, get the countless syllabuses needing signatures from your parents, and play those cliche ‘get to know you’ games. But what makes it so much more nerve wracking about being in a new place?
Being a new student definitely has its perks. The best part is nobody knows about your past. They can’t make assumptions about who you are, because they haven’t heard anything about you. If you’ve had a rocky past, being new definitely can be used to your advantage. On the other hand, it does have its downfalls. For one thing, making friends is not as easy as it’s made out to be. It takes a lot of courage to approach a stranger, and a lot more to keep the connection and energy flowing.
But there are tips to helping you get away from that “new student” vibe. Branching out is the biggest thing in my opinion. You have to have a mind set that enables you to go out of your comfort zone and go above and beyond.
Approach people you otherwise wouldn’t have approached in the past. Now you have the perfect opportunity to meet new people. But don’t expect them to come to you, because they won’t. More likely than not, most people already have clicks that they are attached too and aren’t necessarily looking to add new member. Especially in a school of 2,500 people. But if you approach someone on your own, you are only bettering your chances of making a friend. Think of it as this; you have nothing to lose.
Be optimistic. Just because you haven’t made friends in the first week of school, doesn’t mean you’re not going to! Just focus on putting yourself out there, and the rest will come.
Get involved. Try to get involved in extracurricular activities or sports to help you meet people that have the same interest as you. If you’re into politics and philosophy, join Speech and Debate. If you love volunteering, join Key Club! Don’t just pout and feel bad for yourself, because that won’t do anything to better your situation.
The worst thing you could do is nothing. So at least do something. But most of all, just be you. Whether that means working everyday saving for college and having a kick back occasionally on the weekends, or being heavily involved in sports and clubs that you don’t have time to work, or maybe even playing HALO everyday after school and having no worries in the world. Whatever it is that makes you happy, and makes you you, do it.
Being new is only as bad as you make it. So although it might be tough, view it as a fresh start to something that potentially could be life changing. It may be nerve wracking at first, but it will get better, trust me. Get to know new people, create new connections, get involved in clubs, sports or anything out there that can make your experience worth your while.