Moving from 8th Grade to High School: Advice for the Transition

Scary as it may be, it is possible to survive the fearsome transition from 8th grade to high school.

Easy? Not always. Possible? Of course. I made this transition three years ago and lived to tell the tale. These are some words of advice, hints of caution and things I wish someone had told me:

First and most importantly, have a positive attitude. If you expect freshman year to be terrible, it probably will be.

Be busy. Sign up for courses that are not too hard, but that challenge you enough to keep you busy. Too much free time can actually make you waste the time that should be used for productive work.

Be prepared to not know anyone. For the most part, high schools are bigger than junior high schools, and you should be ready to see new people every day. Use this as an opportunity to make new friends—all you have to do is talk to people. Everyone else is as nervous as you are.

Get involved. Play sports, join clubs, and try new activities. Don’t be afraid to get involved because you are in a new environment or are too worried about schoolwork.

Don’t worry about college—yet. You will spend enough time worrying about college your junior year. Focus instead on academic success and making friends.

Have fun. But wait, high school can’t be fun, can it? Isn’t it just a stressful, boring and tedious excuse to crush the souls of teenagers? Wrong—sort of. High school can be fun, as long as you don’t take it too seriously and allow yourself to enjoy it. However, high school is stressful at times. It’s important to know how to handle stress, and have an outlet when pressure builds. I prefer running and working out. It clears your mind and relieves anxiety and stress.

And remember, you aren’t in 8th grade anymore. This means that schoolwork will no longer be a breeze. You have to study for tests, do your homework, and you won’t always have a teacher holding your hand every step of the way.

While the transition to high school can be challenging, it’s also exciting. High school is a great experience if you want to make it a great experience. Have fun, try new things, meet new people and maybe you’ll even learn something.

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