Adjusting to a new environment can be extremely difficult. Imagine yourself as the Earth. You are perfectly content in your own solar system. You are familiar with your environment and have blasted off to new heights, dwarfing the other solar bodies. Then, all of a sudden, a wild comet appears and throws you to a new, much larger solar system. Everything seems strange. How do you interact with other planets? Why are all these planets so big? Why are they so highly intelligent? How do you fit into the grand scheme of things? All these questions may be orbiting through your mind but there is no need to panic. Campion may be much different from your previous school, but once you get used to it, everything will be fine. Here are a few tips on how to cope in your new environment:
1) Don’t be afraid to make new friends. Campion is an extremely diverse school with students who have a wide array of interests. Many people may share the same interests as you and are looking for friends who share that interest. But if you don’t try to meet new people then it will be very difficult for you to find them. Who knows, the people you may least expect to have things in common with you, may actually turn out to be your good friends. Just be you and you will find genuine friendships that will last through and beyond high school.
2) Join an interesting club or sport. Campion recognizes the importance of these activities and requires all students to do at least two extracurricular activities. The school has an abundance of clubs and sports for you to choose from. Anything you might have an interest in/passion for, Campion has a club for it. High school is the time to get involved and try new things. Don’t limit yourself, try different clubs/sports and then stick with the ones you like. These activities are also a great way to meet new people.
3) Don’t be afraid of your teachers. Talk up, read ahead and participate in class. Your teachers are there to help you understand the work material. They are not there to criticize your questions and make you feel stupid. If you don’t understand, tell the teacher and he/she will gladly go through the material with you to make the concepts clearer. After all, others may very well not understand either, but refuse to speak up. If you are having a hard time grasping the material you can set up consultations to meet with the teacher after school.
4) Talk about your problems. If you are having any problems at school talk to a guidance counsellor or your form teacher/supervisor and he/she will help you in whatever way he/she can. It is important that you vocalize your problem to these people to make the school experience an enriching one. Far too often we keep everything to ourselves and not effect change in our school lives.
5) Do your work. It is important that you do your own work. Try to do homework the day you get it so the concepts learnt can be cemented in your brain. Copying from others or doing homework the night before/morning of the due date will not effectively help you understand the concepts. Do not cheat on tests. Develop an active study plan that will work best for you. Besides, you are the only one that will be taking the internal tests/examination.
6) Develop a study plan. School can be very hectic without one of these. A study plan, if followed, can significantly boost your grades and also your emotional health. A study plan prevents stress that can occur the night before the test you procrastinated to study for. Know what suits you best and then develop a realistic study plan that you can follow.
7) Be a good citizen of the school. Help clean up the school at Give Back Day and partake in other voluntary activities. Support school events whether sports matches, dance shows, socials or school concerts. Do not litter the school; after all it is your home away from home. Look out for others and not just yourself. Pull your own weight in group work and contribute towards the success of group activities. Keep noise levels down during the school day. Follow the school rules; they are there for your protection.
8) Finally, have fun! School is not only here to help you academically, but also socially. It builds your character, as Ms. Alexander would say. It is important that you balance all these elements and still enjoy life. But remember, there is a time and place for everything, so have fun with discretion.
Written by Odaine Green. Edited by Liam Neath