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How to Have a Perfect First Day at Middle School

Three Parts:Getting ReadyGetting Through the First DayWrapping Up Your First Day

Your first day of middle school may be one that you remember for the rest of your life. Middle school is an exciting place because you’ll be transitioning out of elementary school and most likely meeting many new people who are joining you from other schools. You may be worried about how to keep your old friends, how to make a good impression on new friends, and how to handle your new teachers and work schedule. However, doing a bit of preparation in advance and going into school with the right attitude can make your first day of middle school a memorable experience — in a good way.

Part 1
Getting Ready

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    Get your school supplies in order. Though your day won’t be ruined if you show up to school without a notebook, if you want to make sure your day is perfect, then it’s important to feel like you have all of your school supplies at your disposal. You don’t want to feel like you can’t participate in class or like you’re already on your teacher’s bad side because you’ve forgotten to bring what you need. Though it varies school by school, make sure you have a notebook or binder for each class, writing utensils, or anything else you may need. If your school has given you a list, then you’re in luck; if not, be prepared to get more information on the first day.
    • Make sure you have a sturdy, durable backpack, too. You’ll be getting your textbooks on the first day and may need to take some home to do homework.
    • Let’s be real: on the first day of school, it’s unlikely that you’ll do more in any class than meet the other kids, do roll call, go through the syllabus, and be told what school supplies to bring. Still, if your teachers or school administrators have told you what you need to bring in advance and are sticklers about it, then you need to be prepared.
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    Pick your outfit in advance. Ah, the first day of school outfit. It’s never easy to pick one, and it’s likely to be something that you remember for years to come. Fortunately, no one else will really remember what you’re wearing because they’ll be too focused on their own “first day of school” outfit. That said, you should make sure you pick something that is flattering, well-fitting, and that leaves an impression without standing out so much that you’ll regret wearing it in the months to come. The most important thing is that you have it picked out so you don’t stress out in the morning about finding the perfect outfit!
    • Take the weather into account, too. In a lot of places, the first day of school tends to be unbearably hot. You may want to wear a pair of cute new jeans, but if it’s 90 degrees out, you’ll be too sweaty to enjoy them. Make sure you have a lighter backup in mind if you wake up to a muggy day.
    • A lot of girls like to talk to their friends. You may feel better about wearing a dress if your friends are, too. That said, be okay with doing your own thing!
    • Also, make sure you know your school’s dress code in advance. You don’t want to wear something that’s too short or too skimpy and then have to be forced to change into your gym clothes.
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    Get as much information as you can about your school. Try to get to know as much as you can about your school in advance so you feel more in control on that first day. Go on your school's website and look around. You'll probably be using it a lot this year, so get a feel for where stuff is. Read any handbooks or other important information offered. Talk to someone older than you who went to your school. Ask them questions about tips for getting around, how to act around certain teachers, or where to sit in the cafeteria.
    • Face it: there are going to be some curve balls no matter what. That said, trying to get as much information as you can will make you feel more at ease.
    • If you have your schedule already, try to talk to any older students who have experience with the teachers you have so they’ll know what to expect.
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    Make sure to attend school orientation. Most schools have orientations, but every school is different - some schools might just give a tour, while other schools might also give you a bunch of stuff, like a map, schedule, library card, and PE uniform. Take the opportunity to walk around your new school, if you can. Following your schedule and your map, walk to each of your classrooms and your locker, if you’ve been assigned one, so you know where things are.
    • It’s likely that your orientation will include students funneling in from other elementary schools, so this can be a chance to get a leg up and to meet new people. Be friendly and introduce yourself. People will be shy and will be excited to meet someone new. Knowing more people in advance can help you have a better time on that first day. Don't forget to remember their names.
    • You may also get to meet or see some of your teachers or your school principal, and you’ll feel better knowing what to expect.
    • A lot of people also think their middle school feels impossibly huge compared to their high school. Going there in advance before your first day will make it feel less intimidating.
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    Create a good routine for passing between classes. If you’re lucky enough to have a map of your school and to know where all of your classes will be and when, and if you already know where your locker is, then you may be able to create a passing routine in advance. This can help you not be late to class and to know when is the best time to go to your locker.
    • Don't go to your locker between every class because you'll end up running all over the school. Plan to go to it when you’re closest. If you need to carry a few classes worth of books at a time, that's okay. Just be sure you have what you need, when you need it.
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    Get organized. Lay out all of your notebooks, folders and other supplies. On the inside cover of your notebooks and folders, near the top, write in the subject you're using it for. If possible, color-coordinate your subjects — for example, math can be blue, English can be pink, and science can be zebra print! For any binders, label the side with its subject and decorate the front with pictures to make you smile. Having your stuff organized will make for a less overwhelming first day.
    • You can take notes on sheets of loose-leaf, lined paper and then store them in a binder by subject, or just use a notebook — it all depends on what your teacher prefers. If you use a notebook, you can either use a multi-subject notebook or a separate small notebook for each subject.
    • Put everything in your backpack. Make sure you put all your pencils, pens, erasers and such in a pencil case so that they're all together and you won't have to dig around for them.
    • Find a safe spot to put your student ID, library card, etc. Clean off your desk or another area of your room to do your homework on. Make sure that there is nothing distracting around it, as you don't want your homework to take longer than needed. Get a calendar and a bulletin board and hang it there.
    • If you want, get a locker organizer to bring to school, which may include a mirror, magnets, pencil holders and small shelves (although there may already be shelves in your locker). Decide where everything will go before school starts; a messy locker will make you late and get you in trouble.
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    Make a game plan with your friends. Talk to your friends before school starts and find out if you can go to school together. Whether you're riding the bus, walking, or something else, you won't have to show up all by yourself, as that can be intimidating sometimes and if you don't know where to go, you can help each other. You’ll feel less alone if you have your favorite friends by your side.
    • That said, if you’re new to the school district or don’t have many friends, don’t worry! You’re not alone and you’ll quickly make some friends of your own if you have a positive attitude.
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    Get some rest the night before. Though you may find it nearly impossible to go to sleep the night before middle school, you can do some things to make it feel more doable. A couple of weeks or so before school starts, start getting yourself on a school schedule. Go to bed earlier than usual and gradually wake up earlier until you reach the time you will actually need to wake up at for school. Ease yourself into that schedule.
    • Avoid soda or other caffeinated or sugary drinks the day before school. You don’t want to keep yourself up later than necessary.
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    Be prepared. The night before your first day of school (or any day of school, for that matter), lay out your clothes for the next day. Wear something nice and comfortable; something that makes you feel confident. Make sure you put out socks, shoes, accessories and anything else you plan to wear. Having everything in its place before the big day can make that first morning seem a lot more relaxing.
    • Make a lunch, if you’re bringing one, or make sure you have lunch money in your bag, if you’re buying one.
    • Plan how you will do your hair, if you like to do something special with it (but don't go overboard). You don’t want to have to worry about this on the first day.
    • Bring your ID card if you have one, your class schedule, your phone, and anything else you’ll need to make it through the day.

Part 2
Getting Through the First Day

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    Wake up fifteen minutes earlier than you need to. Give yourself at least fifteen extra minutes to make sure you have time to get your act together. The first day can already be a little bit stressful, and you’ll feel more relaxed if you’re not running around. This extra time will help you perfect your look, have enough time to eat breakfast, to have a nice shower, and do anything else you need to do to start that first day off on the right foot.
    • It's a good idea to pack your bag the night before school, to make sure you have all the supplies you need. You'll be able to save time in the morning so you won't be rushed.
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    Make sure you know where to go first. You should know where your first class, or your homeroom is before you walk into the halls of your middle school. If you’re lost, however, just ask a teacher, administrator, or even an older student for help. It’s important to know where you’re headed so you don’t wander around aimlessly or miss out on something important. It’s likely you’ll go to homeroom first, where you’ll meet your homeroom teacher and will get important information about your day.
    • Though having a plan is important, you also don’t have to worry if things don’t go as planned. Even the beginning of your first day of middle school can throw you some surprises, and that won’t be a bad thing.
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    Be friendly to all the new students. Though you may be feeling shy, you should do the best you can to be as nice and friendly to the new students in your classes as you can. Introduce yourself, ask them about themselves, and talk about what you think of middle school, so far. Smile and wave at people, and make them feel welcome in your presence. Don’t be intimidated by people who seem too cool or too stuck up, either. Just make an effort to be approachable and easygoing.
    • People will be more receptive to new friendships at the beginning of the year, before too many cliques form. The sooner you talk to new people, the more likely you’ll be to connect for real.
    • If you see a cute guy or girl, don’t be afraid to say hi. People like confidence, and you don’t have to be shy about talking to people.
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    Be engaged in the classroom. Though you may not think it’s cool to care, if you want to get through middle school and start off on the right foot, it’s far better to listen to your teachers, to participate when they ask questions, to take notes, and to avoid any distractions than to act like a know-it-all or like you couldn’t care less. Make an effort to be a good student and to make the most of each class you take. If you care about the material, you’ll have more fun in the process than you would if you were just sulking and waiting for the bell to ring.
    • Though there may not be too many opportunities to participate on the first day, you should do the best you can to show that you care, even if you just ask a question about the syllabus.
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    Start to build positive relationships with your teachers. Make sure you show up to class on time and that you make a good impression right away. You may accidentally make a bad first impression by laughing too much or chattering with your friends even if you’re normally a good student. Unfortunately, first impressions are notoriously hard to break, so try to put your best foot forward when you step into the classroom.
    • You don’t have to suck up to your teachers, either. Just pay attention and act like you really care and you’ll be on your way.
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    Make the most of your time in the school cafeteria. Each middle school is different. You should get a sense of how the seating in your cafeteria works. If you can choose a new seat every day, try to plan to meet up with your friends in advance so you can sit together. If you have to choose the same table for the entire year, see if you can get together a group of people to make it work. If you don’t know many people in your new school yet, then don’t worry. Just be friendly, find some people who look nice, and ask if you can sit next to them.
    • If you can, you should try to get to the cafeteria as early as you can. That way, you’ll be more likely to find your friends or to find a place to sit.
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    Maintain a positive attitude. If you want to make the most of your first day, then you should try to get through it with a big smile on your face. Don’t complain to your friends, criticize your teachers, or dread every one of your classes. Instead, try to approach everything with a “can do” attitude and don’t ever feel like people will never give you a chance. If you smile, expect only the best, and try to stick to optimistic topics, you’ll be having a much better day.
    • Besides, people are drawn to positive people; the more upbeat you are, the easier it will be for you to make new friends.
    • Don’t compare yourself to other people. You may feel like you’re not as good-looking or as well-dressed as some of the people in your school, but this kind of thinking is pointless and will only get you down. Remember that you have a lot to offer, too, and the well-dressed girl in your French class may have her own set of problems.
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    Don’t be judgmental or mean. Unfortunately, not every person is at his best in middle school. It’s easy to fall into cliques, to gossip, or just to judge other people you don’t really know. However, if you want to make it through your first day in a good mood, you should avoid judging anyone before you get to know him or her or even being a part of any silly gossip. You wouldn’t want people who barely know you to gossip about you, would you?
    • You don’t know who your best friends will be yet, and you don’t want to find yourself making fun of someone who could have been your best friend if you had only given her a chance.

Part 3
Wrapping Up Your First Day

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    Pack up your things. Now that your day is wrapping up, it’s time to pack up your school bag with any of the books or homework you need to take home. It’s likely that you won’t have very much packing to do, but you should make sure to get everything you need so you’re not at a loss when you get home. Make sure you give yourself enough time at the end of the day to do this properly. You can even make a checklist toward the end of the day so you can pack up your things more efficiently.
    • If you take the bus home and don’t want to be late, you can get into the habit of packing up your bag in your locker when you have some time between classes so you don’t have to do it all in the few minutes before the bus leaves.
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    Get some much-needed rest at home. Whether you have some new clubs or sports organizations to go to or whether you’re taking the bus straight home, phew! You’ll be surprised by how tired you may feel once all the adrenalin wears off. You’ll find yourself feeling sleepy, and coming down from a long day filled with many surprises. Go home and take a short nap to recover!
    • That said, don’t sleep for too long, or you’ll have trouble resting for your second day of middle school.
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    Make a game plan for having an even more amazing second day of school. Though your first day of school went better than you could have imagined, there are always things you can improve for the next day. Maybe you wore super uncomfortable shoes and want to plan for a better outfit the next day. Maybe your backpack wasn’t big enough to hold all of your books. Maybe you forgot some essential school supplies or wished you had woken up earlier. Whatever minor thing went wrong, you can plan to make it better the next day so you can continue to enjoy your new school.
    • The most important thing is to get some rest and have a positive attitude. The less pressure you put on yourself, the more likely you’ll be to have a great time.


  • Always know what your very first class is - you don't want to walk into the wrong class!
  • Write down all of your assignments, even the simple ones.
  • Don't wait until the day before school starts to go shopping for supplies and clothes.
  • Smile! Have a great time knowing this is your first day of middle school. Have fun!
  • See if any of your friends from elementary school are there. If so, by all means hang out with them, but remember to make new friends too!
  • Don't be so over-eager for the first day, or too anxious. If you relax, the whole experience is much better.
  • Don't misbehave on the first day because it will leave a bad impression on your teachers.
  • Listen to your teachers and take notes.
  • Make sure you read up on the school's dress code before going shopping.
  • If you need help going to your next class, ask a teacher or an older student where the class is.
  • Be yourself - nothing more, nothing less. It sounds corny, but you will make better friends if you're not trying to act like someone you're not.
  • Wear something comfortable on the first day.
  • Try not to follow stereotypes, you'll just make yourself look stupid.
  • Try not to be like someone else.. That could get you called names such as a "wanna be" even if you aren't a wanna be. If someone does call you that, just ignore it and remember that they have nothing better to do than trash-talk.
  • Be kind to everyone, even if you really don't want to.
  • Don't gossip. Be kind and try to avoid drama.
  • Don't feel self-conscious if you want someone to walk in with you, like your mom or an older sibling.
  • Don't let other people borrow your supplies if you know they won't give it back.
  • Be yourself on the first day and every day after that. You don't want to end up hanging out with the popular mean girls, or other people who you don't really want to be with.
  • Know that you will be getting a lot of syllabi, but don't get overwhelmed by it.
  • Recheck your schedule once you're near the class to make sure you have the right class.
  • Don't be afraid to talk to anybody, greet them politely so they like you back.
  • Don't over pack it's your first day the teachers will most likely give you a list of what you need if not, just bring the basics like pencils, an eraser, a binder,etc..


  • You usually have a choice to do extra credit but if your grades aren't that good, do the extra credit as it would help your report card.
  • Middle schools are usually larger than elementary schools, but don't get overwhelmed. You can always ask teachers or friends to help you find your way!
  • Some teachers are not going to be that nice. Do your best and if the teacher is still mean to you, don't take it personally. They might just be in a bad mood.
  • Some people are going to be mean. Ignore them. Don't think about what they say; be yourself and don't change yourself just to impress other people.

Things You'll Need

  • A notebook and folder for each subject.
  • A main binder
  • Pencils and pens
  • Lots of paper
  • A calendar and homework agenda
  • Cute, comfortable clothes that follow the school's dress code.
  • Map of the school (if possible)
  • Schedule
  • You may need a combination lock, if your school has lockers
  • Backpack
  • Calculator
  • running shoes for gym
  • a drawstring backpack for gym
  • gym clothes (shorts, t-shirt)
  • body spray for after gym
  • an extra pair of clothes (you never know)
  • locker stand if your school has lockers
  • dividers for your binders
  • extra deodorant for gym (if you don't like the body spray)

Article Info

Categories: Back to School