September to me is always a bit bittersweet. While I do love the crisp autumn air, the leaves, and the sweaters, the ninth month of the year also is a sign that summer is officially over. It is also when students return to school, with their faces still glistening from the summer glow and eager (maybe not everyone…) to embark another academic year. Some might lean more on the bitter side on the bittersweet scale as they pack up their stuff and say goodbye to their loved ones and their home to go to a new “home.” I used to be one of them sitting on the bitter side of the scale.
We’ve all been the new kid at school before (or maybe if you haven’t been one before, you definitely know someone who was), and it feels like the worst thing ever at first. You either want to just fast-forward to the future to skip the awkwardness of settling in, or you want to rewind your life to go back to your older version. And the fact that you’re in a whole new country doesn’t really help your case either.
My first experience of being the new kid was when I started elementary school in the U.S. and guess what – I didn’t even speak English back then! So you can only imagine how tough that must have been… Since then, I’ve moved a few more times and gained enough experience to master the art of being the new kid at school. And that’s exactly what I wanted to share with you today:
- Accept your situation I don’t want this one to come off sounding harsh, but sometimes coming to terms with your current situation can help you move on and make the best of your reality. Don’t play the victim of your situation or hate on your parents for making you move. If anything, that’ll just distance you from your parents when actually they can provide you with the most comfort and support during the hardest moments. Instead, try to see the bright side. I know it’s not always easy to flip the switch. But a simple and easy way to change your perspective is to count your blessings. Before going to bed, think of three things you are thankful for. Eventually, this habit will help you accept your situation and you won’t be so focused on being negative. Just try!
- Be friends with another new student It’s not easy to walk up to someone and befriend that person from day one. If you’re like me and tend to be a bit reserved, that’s a really scary challenge. However, if you see another new student, go up to him/her and strike up a conversation. If anything, that student is going through exactly what you’re going through and will thank you tremendously for your courage. You guys already have something to talk about – being new to the school!
- Join a club/organization When you join a club or an organization, chances are you already share a common point of interest with the rest of the group. It makes conversation a lot easier when you have something in common. When I first moved to Shanghai, I joined the school’s basketball team. I soon became good friends with my teammates and other students began to recognize me as one of the players from the team. Being in a community also gives you a sense of security, so I highly recommend this one to everyone.
Before you know it, you’ll have adjusted to your new school with new friends and a new lifestyle. And one day, you’ll see a new face looking lost and confused. Reach out to them and introduce yourself. You’ve been in their shoes before. They’ll thank you tremendously.
I hope this post was helpful to you guys. Have you guys started school already? Or is school about to start for you guys? Let me know in the comments below. And PLEASE let me know if you love Mean Girls as much as I do!