Congratulations! You’ve made it through middle school and are now about to enter high school. High school is a new experience, and an understandably scary one for some. But it is truly a valuable and interesting experience you’ll savor as you grow older.
The day before your first day of school (of your very first year of high school!) can be exciting and nerve-wracking. To help you maximize this day, I’ve created this checklist and blog post for you to effectively prepare for your first day.
Make sure to read until the end, and you’ll crush it on your first day of school! And if you think your friends will find this post helpful, save it and share it with others! Let’s get started.
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Check Your Email
Long before the start of school and some time in the middle of the summer (or before), you should’ve started receiving emails from the high school you’re going to. These will likely be a series of welcome emails that let you know how you should prepare for the first day.
Read these emails! They likely contain important dates and locations for events like freshman orientation, registration, etc. Don’t miss these dates and check your email often!
If you’re not receiving any emails from the school (even during the week before school begins), see if your parent or guardian is receiving them. Ask them to forward these emails to you so you also get the important information!
Know How To Get There
Assuming that your school semester isn’t online, you should know how to get to school and return back home. As a high school freshman, you probably can’t drive yet. So here’s what to do:
- If you’re being picked up and dropped off by a vehicle (car), make sure the driver knows where to go and how the parking lot works!
- If you’re riding the bus, make sure to map out the path before and know which way to go to get to school and get home.
- If you’re walking or biking, map out the path as well and know where to keep your bike on campus.
It is also very likely that there will be traffic on the way to school on your first day, so make sure to leave extra early that day. Eventually (after a few weeks), you’ll figure out the perfect time to leave for school on the daily.
Study Your Schedule/Campus
Not only do you need to know your way to school, you also need to know your way around school. The high school campus is likely larger than your middle school campus, and it can be easy to get lost if you don’t study it beforehand.
A helpful way to familiarize yourself with the campus is to annotate a picture of your campus map. Here’s how you can do that:
- Download a picture of your campus map on your phone (you can usually find a picture on your school website or in an email from the administration).
- Annotate the map, highlighting the classrooms in your schedule. Draw out the shortest or most efficient path to take as well.
- Save this map and set it as your phone lockscreen background. This way, you can easily see which way to go just by pulling out your phone.
Additionally, work on memorizing your schedule as soon as possible. You’ll likely be able to do it easily within the first month, but the earlier you do that, the less you’ll have to worry about going to the wrong class!
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Find A Friend In Each Class
Many students like to post their schedule on social media (for example, Snapchat and Instagram) before school begins and find out if there are any friends with common classes. Having friends in the same class as you can make you feel more comfortable and confident, which will no doubt make your first day go more smoothly.
In your freshman year of high school, many students will take similar classes (due to the lack of electives available for 9th graders). This means that you have a higher chance of knowing someone in all your classes!
Of course, don’t get too stressed out if you can’t find a friend in each class. You’ll be able to quickly make new friends through continuous interaction with them!
Pack Your Bags
Make sure that your bags are ready to go the night before school begins. The morning of your first day will feel hectic, and there is a chance that you will forget things if you pack your bags then.
Therefore, to minimize that possibility, get your bags ready early. Here are some suggestions for what you should pack:
- Notebooks, binders (with dividers and binder paper), planner
- At least 2 pencils, an eraser, a ruler, a black pen, a red pen, a blue pen, a highlighter
- A laptop (probably optional for your first day, but check with a list!)
- A water bottle and your lunch
- Your phone, house keys, sanitary products as necessary
Pick Out Your Outfit
Here’s a quick pro-tip: make sure you’re comfortable in your outfit. The first day of school can be stressful, and you don’t want to make it worse by dressing uncomfortably!
In all honesty, no one except yourself will judge you for your outfit or even remember what you wore the day after. Everyone cares much more about themselves than others, so you don’t have to worry about receiving judgment for your choice in fashion.
Of course, you can never be overdressed. If you want to look extra nice for the first day of school, go ahead! But if you’d like to show up in a t-shirt and sweats, feel free to do so as well! Just make sure you’ve picked out your outfit the night before so you don’t waste any time in the morning.
Prepare To Socialize
Here’s the truth: you’re entering a new campus with unfamiliar teachers and intimidating upperclassmen. To make friends and familiarize yourself with the new environment, you’re going to need to socialize. This is especially true if you just moved into a new region!
But don’t be scared; “socializing” is easier than it sounds. Here are some actionable steps to make some new friends:
- Talk to someone who’s on their own
- Ask a classmate questions relevant to the class
- Listen to what others are telling you
- Join a club and talk to others
Last but not least, don’t forget to take care of your body! Without a healthy body, you’ll find it difficult to study effectively and stay motivated. One of the most straightforward healthy habits is to get enough sleep.
Especially the night before your first day of school, make sure to go to sleep early! It may already be difficult to fall asleep due to your nerves, so don’t make it worse by scrolling on social media for hours before bed!
Instead, turn off your phone and start getting ready for bed at around 9pm (or even earlier). If you have trouble falling asleep, try listening to some calming music, reading a book, and meditating. It’s important to get enough sleep for your first day of school, so do your best to fall asleep quickly!
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I hope this post was helpful in helping you prepare for the first day of school! If you’re nervous, don’t be– if you follow these steps, it’ll pass by in a flash and without any problems!
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