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The summer is finally winding down, and you all know exactly what that means—back to school time will soon be here whether you like it or not. For younger elementary school students, the start of a new academic year usually brings with it lots of excitement and the chance to finally see all their school friends again. Of course, many middle- and high school students tend to be less than thrilled about their summer finally ending. In fact, it quite common for older students to report increased feelings of stress, anxiety and even depression associated with having to start the new school year. Still, the best way to prevent this is to make sure you’re fully prepared and ready before the first day at school. In this sense, it can help to make sure you know what to expect during the first week of school so you don’t find yourself quickly falling behind.

Navigating the Challenges of the First Day at a New School 
The very first day of middle school or high school can be one of the scariest experiences of a child’s life. It is completely normal to be nervous on your first day at a new school, and these feelings only increase when you suddenly find yourself back at the low end of the totem pole. Still, the most important thing you can do is to not let yourself be overcome by your nervousness, which is where it helps to be prepared.

Starting at a new school means suddenly having all new classes, teachers and classmates, and it also means having to navigate around a new building to find your classes. All of this can make the first day at school extremely overwhelming if you don’t already have at least some idea of what to expect. Therefore, it is a good idea to spend the days and weeks leading up to the first day going over your schedule, exploring the school so you know where to go and catching up with friends to see if you have any classes together. As well, if your school offers a new student orientation, this is definitely something you should attend. Essentially, anything a student can do to help themselves feel more comfortable on the first few days is sure to help.

Dealing with Increased Responsibility 
As students progress through middle and high school, each passing year tends to come with more and more individual responsibility. Your teachers will have many more students and thus less time to check up and make sure each one is doing their homework and learning as they should. This puts more of the responsibility for learning, doing homework and getting passing grades on the student themselves. Unfortunately, some students find themselves quickly falling behind as soon as they don’t have a teacher constantly checking up on them. Therefore, it is essential that older students understand and are prepared to accept the increased responsibility that will inevitable be put upon them.

Doing Much More Homework 
Many students are shocked to find out that some of their teachers are prepared to assign homework on the very first day. Nonetheless, part of the increased responsibility also means a much larger amount of homework, and this is virtually guaranteed to start in the very first week. What this means is that it is essential that students come to their first day prepared and ready to learn. Obviously, this isn’t possible if you haven’t done all of your back to school shopping yet. Therefore, it is vital that you don’t wait until after school starts to at least buy basic school supplies like pencils, pens, notebooks and a backpack for all your new books. Your teachers will likely inform you of other supplies you may need to buy. Still, if you come to the first day without at least the basic school supplies, you risk giving your teachers a bad impression that you may have to work hard to overcome.

In truth, each new academic year generally isn’t all that different than the one before. There are sure to be some challenges and differences when starting a new school. Still, the fact is that school is still school, which means you should find yourself getting back into the rhythm of things within the first few weeks. Nonetheless, making sure you’re fully prepared before the school year starts should help you get into the swing of things even in quicker.