wikiHow to Get Ready for the First Day of High School

Five Methods:Preparing SociallyPreparing MentallyPreparing PhysicallyKnowing Your SchoolCommunicating About Your Schedule

The transition between middle school and high school is hard enough, so this article will help you prepare for those nervous first steps as you head towards a new chapter of your life. This article outlines how to prepare socially, mentally and physically for the high school experience.

Method 1
Preparing Socially

  1. 1
    Stay updated with your friends and the people you may meet. Find out if they will be attending your high school and/or know anyone that is going to your school. Just like middle school, some of your friends will be going to different high schools, and some may have moved out of your state or country. If you have a sister or brother who has attended, you may want to ask about how people are at your new school.
  2. 2
    Mention making new friends as you get into high school. This is an important discussion topic. Tell your friends that as much as you like them, you will be open to new friendships in high school, you will meet new people, but that this won't necessarily impact your friendship. Tell your friend(s) that they are welcome to make new friends as well, and everyone can hang out together. This may be hard for a close group of friends because they are so used to staying together, so remember to have this chat.
  3. 3
    Meet new people. This can be through social media sites and/or through other friends, it is easy to find some of the classmates you might have in the upcoming year. If your friend knows them, or talks to them, try to organize a date where you can all hang out together so you can get to know them. Developing new friendships before high school starts can calm the nerves of the first day, knowing you are not alone. You obviously won't get to know everyone, but that's part of the fun!
  4. 4
    Understand that there will be strangers. On the first day of high school (or orientation day) you will be faced with other students you may not know, as well as new teachers. This is when first impressions are established. Remember to keep an open mind and stick by a friend as you are meeting others.

Method 2
Preparing Mentally

  1. 1
    Cope with stress. Entering high school can take quite a toll on the nerves. It is important to calm yourself down. Focus on the positives. High school is an exciting new experience. It is an opportunity to meet a diverse set of people and take elective classes that interest you. You will be able to join clubs, sports teams, and meet new people.
  2. 2
    Gain confidence and pride. In a crowded room of students, something that stands out about a person is their confidence and pride. If you are not already confident, now will be the time to practice. People who are confident create a great mood and seem more inviting. If this is not you and you prefer to be independent, make sure you are not too self-doubting, and let your personality shine through. People who are true to themselves tend to attract others. Practice your confidence by realizing your strengths (think of a happy time, or an award you won, a team you were part of, and hold on to that thought) and admiring yourself. Practice a strong smile and good posture.

Method 3
Preparing Physically

  1. 1
    Get enough sleep. Even though summer is the time to have fun with friends and family, remember to sleep well. Sleep plays a very important role in your growth and development. Sleep deprivation can cause fatigue and dark circles under your eyes, which would not help your appearance or health.
    • Also, waking up early for school should be practiced about a week before school starts. So, the week before school, gradually set your alarm earlier and earlier each day. At night, set a sleep schedule that guarantees you at least eight hours of sleep.
  2. 2
    Follow a healthy diet. Summer should be the time to get on that healthy-diet and this doesn't necessarily mean to lose weight, it means to eat healthy. Look over the Health Guide and make sure you get all your servings, with the proper amount of each food group. Nutrition plays an important role in keeping you in shape, and keeping your face clean. Remember, eating right makes a difference! Moderate on foods filled with empty calories and try to limit consumption of fizzy drinks. Go grocery shopping with your parents/guardian/sibling and choose some fruits and vegetables you love. Make it a routine to eat healthy! Remember to drink lots of water to stay hydrated and keep your body healthy and energetic!
  3. 3
    Practice good hygiene. Something you should practice all year round is great hygiene. A person who is clean and presentable is more attractive than a person who is dirty and doesn't take care of themselves. Make sure to shower regularly and invest in a body scrub to make sure your body is clean. Work a good shampoo into your hair and check frequently for oily hair and dandruff. If you have facial skin problems, make sure you have some treatment for that (daily cleanser, moisturizer, cream, Proactive) and make sure to use it! Also, put some body cream/lotion on your elbows and knees, which get dry often. And don't forget your deodorant!
    • Make sure your nails and toenails are properly cut, and cleaned. You may manicure them if you like! Just make sure they are presentable, people notice your nails more often than you think.
  4. 4
    Take care of your hair. Boys may like to style their hair with gel or a blow-drier. Girls may like to straighten their hair, curl it, or just put some mousse in it. Remember to avoid hair products with a very heavy smell. Overall, minimize the amount of different scents. When using heat tools, always use a heat protectant.
  5. 5
    Use perfume. Remember to choose a light perfume scent and spray it before heading out the door each morning or whenever necessary. If you have a small bottle or sample bottle you can take with you and keep in your pencil-case or locker that would be good. Boys may want to use cologne.
    • It is a good idea to keep a perfume bottle at home and a small body mist or spray bottle at school. Body mists and sprays have a more refreshing scent for when you start to sweat or after lunch but they do not last at long. You can apply often during the day and they are much cheaper than perfumes. You can find them at stores like Bath and Body works where they often have sales. Keep a body mist/spray in your bag. It is also good idea to keep a deodorant with you at school.
  6. 6
    Take care of your teeth. Teeth are very important because you need them to show off a good smile! Practice good dental heath during the summer by going to the dentist, brushing for two minutes twice a day, flossing then using a rinse (like Listerine) to freshen your breath.
    • If you need whiter teeth, consider whitening strips, whitening toothpaste, natural remedies, or see your dentist. Always keep a pack of gum in your bag. Try to stick to minty flavors that will give you fresh breath, instead of candy-flavors that make your teeth weird colors and do not last long. Try not to show-off that you have gum because your pack will end before you know it. Keep one in your bag and one in your locker, just to make sure.
  7. Image titled Get Ready for the First Day of High School Step 4
    Apply makeup if you want, and take care of your face. Remember to apply cream/moisturizer/cleanser on the first day of school if you need it, in the morning. Also, before doing your makeup, put any necessary cream under to protect your face. Do not overdo it with the makeup because it is not necessary and you might stand out in a negative way. Stick to some light foundation if you need it, 1 coat of mascara and a light lip gloss or lipstick. If you want a little shine, some chap-stick or Vaseline will do the trick.
    • Accessorize with small earrings, a necklace, or a bracelet. Do not overdo the jewelry either. Choose a nice tote-bag to keep all your materials in (folder, files, pencil case, notebook, wallet). Remember to do your nails or clean them and leave them as they are. You can even just paint a clear coat on them if you like. If the weather permits, accessorize with a scarf.
    • Keep a small bag of makeup with you, just in case. A small mirror would be a good thing to have. Do a quick check in front of the mirror before leaving for school.
    • Shower and shave. Remember that while you are in the shower, or wherever you are comfortable, don't forget to shave/wax your legs/underarms if you usually do so.
  8. 8
    Take care of your appearance. Remember to give yourself a good shower before starting school and get a haircut about 1 week (or sooner) before if you need it. It makes a big difference if you have done something with your hair, because it shows that you care. Look up some styles on YouTube or Google to get ideas for what you would like done.
    • For boys, if you have strong facial hair, shave to your liking, but you may choose to keep it. Give yourself a spray of cologne before you leave and throw in the deodorant as well. Remember to wash or freshen your shoes if you need to and wear clean clothing (if you don't have a uniform). Also, make sure your backpack has everything you need (forms, pencils and pens).
      Image titled Get Ready for the First Day of High School Step 5

Method 4
Knowing Your School

  1. 1
    Get a map of the school if possible. If you cannot, refer to step 2. During open house, a week or so before school starts, you may be given a map around the school. If so, make sure to view it over the weekend before you start school.
  2. 2
    Practice your schedule if you are uncomfortable during open house. At open houses, you will likely be given your schedule. If you feel like you may get lost, look around the school and practice the route you will take.
    • Go in the order of what classes you will normally go to, and make sure you know where the important things are like your locker (if you have one), the cafeteria, the office, vending machines, and the bathrooms.
  3. 3
    Make sure you remember your schedule. A few nights before school, go over your schedule and memorize which class you will be going to, remember your teachers' names, and if you think you will need them, then the room numbers too.
    • Practice this in order while imagining the route you will make to each.
    • You want to be prepared so you will not get lost or have trouble finding where each classroom is.
  4. 4
    Ask an older brother or sister who has attended for tips and information. Learn in depth the sports there, the clubs you can join, any traditions the school is familiar with, and ask them about your teachers if they had them.
    • You can also ask them about the first day there, if it makes you feel better.
    • Make sure you are learning important things that will help you better transition into your new school.

Method 5
Communicating About Your Schedule

After you have received your schedule, you may want to ask your friends about theirs.

  1. 1
    Ask your friends what they are taking and when. Check to see if you will be taking any classes together.
    • You can also ask them if they know anything important or interesting about the class or teacher.
  2. 2
    Ask your friends about the elective classes they are taking that you are not. Find out why they are taking them and communicate back to them in the same way.
    • You may need to know more about it in the future, especially if its a required course to graduate. Keep yourself updated on what your friends say about it.
  3. 3
    If you have no classes with your friends, ask if they know someone who will. Try to get to know this person, or at least ask about them.
    • You should also communicate how you and your friends can stay in touch at other times at school such as at lunch or extra curricular activities.
  4. 4
    Find out what clubs or sports you are interested in joining. Express what interests you have and see if you want to join the club. Find out if you know anyone else who will be joining.
    • Plan to join a club or sport if you want to be more active and meet new people. If you have no classes with them, this is a great opportunity to share time together without planning to meet up.
  5. 5
    Know that you may have no classes with your friends and with some people in your school. In high school the classes and periods are so broken up that you may never have a class with someone in your grade.
    • If you do not want this to limit you, consider a club or sport to join, and getting to know them outside of school if you like.


  • If you are lost, confused, or overwhelmed, don't hesitate to ask for help from an upperclassman, teacher or staff member.

Article Info

Categories: Back to School | Surviving High School