What are the best things about secondary school?
We asked a few of our Dream Seeds presenters (who have now all finished high school) what their favourite things were about high school. They said things like:
- Being able to choose subjects you enjoy and focus on them (particularly in the later years).
- Having more independence. Being able to learn things at your own pace and in the way that it works for you.
- The variety of sports and interests.
- Making new friends.
- Getting to know and learn from great teachers.
- Opportunities to take leadership role to build your confidence, skills and meet new people.
- Being able to work towards the next stage of life: hobby, job, further study.
What is the difference between primary and secondary school?
There are often a few differences between primary and secondary school. Some of these are:
- A few extra subjects, and often different teachers/classrooms for each subject
- Using lockers and carrying books between classes
- Possibly some more homework
Naturally, this may be a little scary, especially if you’re starting at a brand new school, possibly in a new town! However, the good news is that your teachers and school will help you to prepare for this shift. You may even get the opportunity to visit your new school before you start, so it’s not so scary on your first day!
How will I make friends at secondary school?
It is natural to be nervous about making friends in high school, especially if many of your primary school friends are not going to the same school as you. Some good things to keep in mind are:
- You’re not alone. Many of your new classmates will also be starting school without many friends.
- You will have learned how to make friends in primary school. It’s the same skills just in a new school.
- Take steps to reach out to new people. You can do this by:
- Smiling and saying hello to your classmates.
- Introducing yourself and ask questions.
- Being a good listener. Friendship is a two-way street.
- Join clubs and activities at your school. Finding people with interests that are similar to yours can be a good way to make friends.
- Be yourself!
Don’t forget to stay in touch with your primary school friends at other schools!
Will I get lost at secondary school?
You might – secondary schools are typically a lot bigger in size than primary schools! However, your teachers and classmates will be able to help you, particularly in the first week. Usually, after a couple of weeks, you will know where to go!
How can I set goals and achieve them?
At Dream Seeds, we believe that goal-setting is an important part of living your best life and being the leader of your own life.
In fact, we have a worksheet where you can learn a bit more about planning and achieving your own goals.
If you have login details, you can also visit our online goal setting activity, where you can track your own goals and aspirations. You can save them and come back to them later!
I have a goal, but I don’t know where to start... Can you help me?
Here are a few helpful steps!
Step 1: Choose your ‘big’ goal. Ask yourself, what’s something you wish you could achieve?
For example, you may want to pay more attention in class this year.
Step 2: Think about why you want to achieve that goal.
For example, you want to make your friends feel good!
Step 3: Break the big goal into smaller steps. Think about the steps you will need to take to achieve that goal.
For example, you might want to spend more time with them at lunchtime, or write them a letter.
Step 4: Brainstorm potential obstacles. It’s always good to plan for things in case they go wrong. At times, you may have doubts about if you can achieve the goal! Think about ways you can overcome this!
For example, you may not know how to address a letter to your friend, so you overcome this by asking the teacher for help.
Bonus tip – write it all down. People who write down their goals are more likely to achieve them!
How can I help my community more?
There are lots of ways you can help out your community.
Your school community is often a great place to start. Of course, schools have positions such as school, house and community captains, who help with lots of tasks around the school.
However, that is definitely not the only way to be helpful. Work out what you enjoy and how you can help. For example, you may really enjoy gardening and may wish to do some gardening at your school on a weekend or at your local community garden.
How do I bounce back from tough challenges?
- Connect with other people. Building a network of social supports strengthens resiliency. Play on a sports team, get involved in the arts, or volunteer in your community.
- Maintain a daily routine. A routine provides consistency to help reduce stress.
- Take care of yourself. Eat well, have fun, get enough rest, and exercise.
- Try to keep things in perspective during tough times. Remember that things will change, and that you have made it through difficult times in the past.
- Set goals that challenge you to learn and grow. Taking on new experiences and getting out of your comfort zone to accomplish your goals builds your capacity to be resilient.