Preparing for High School
Starting high school can be an exciting time for many people. If you’re nearing that point in your life, you probably feel a combination of fear and anticipation. It’s the beginning of the end of childhood, a time when people can start to make their own decisions and influence their own lives. At the same time, it can also be stressful and sometimes overwhelming with all of new pressures people face. By thinking ahead and planning for the future, however, you can make the transition to high school much easier than it might otherwise be.
For most students, the biggest change is the sudden increase in both freedom and responsibility. You can choose to go to an academic high school and take university-entrance courses or choose a vocational school and learn a trade like carpentry or plumbing. You can take courses in the sciences or in areas like history and English literature. In many cases, these kinds of choices can affect people’s lives and careers for years, and sometimes for the rest of their lives. Taking on such a big responsibility can sometimes be overwhelming for students.
Freedom and responsibility come in many different areas as well. Depending on the school, you might or might not be required to be in class every day, and teachers are less likely to remind you to get your assignments done. Students become responsible to get their work done so that they can pass to the next grade. Most high schools work on a credit system in which each student must have a certain number of credits to graduate. It’s up to the students to take enough courses each year and to pass them in order to go on to the next grade.
In high school, the structure and content of classes can also change a lot. Normally, students receive more homework than before and have more difficult assignments, such as writing long research essays. Classes might take on more of a lecture format than in earlier grades, and marks might become important for people going on to university. For many people, there are also the pressures of going to a new school and making friends in a strange setting.
How can you prepare for high school? One way is by going to a high school orientation session, where teachers and school administrators take students and their parents on tours around the school. Another is by attending a transition program run by the high school or a community centre. Some of the activities a transition program might include are social events for parents and students, where new and returning students can meet each other, and mentorship programs, where younger and older students are paired together to provide information and support for the newcomers.
If you’re getting ready to begin high school, you know that it can be an exciting and frightening time. However, if you work hard to prepare yourself beforehand, you can help to make the transition as easy as possible.