There are many reasons why you might be starting at a new school - leaving primary school to move onto high school, choosing a different school that better suits you and your needs. Whatever the reason moving into a new environment such as a new school might be an intimidating and nerve-racking experience.

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Josie. Nutrition and Dietetics

Josie talks about her experience at the University of Newcastle, studying the Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics

  • Author: University of Newcastle
  • Upload Date: 1/3/2011

Video produced by University of Newcastle

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My life so far

My life so far

A work by Dean

My advice for those going through rough times is that nothing you can do will change the past.

Things will happen and, if we accept that, we can move on to change the things we can change. My mother died of breast cancer in 2007 when I was 12, and my father was hardly ever around so I often moved form home to home.

During this time i was constantly told that I would amount to nothing, that I wasn't good enough. But i worked hard, trying to proove them wrong. Now i'm 18, have been in various musicals and plays, recieved a 82 ATAR, got accepted into a Bachelor Teaching (Secondary)/ Bachelor Arts majoring in drama with distinction and high distinction averages, work in a theatre as a general technician while also designing for theatre productions, have auditioned for broadway and happier than i've ever been. All this happened because I wanted to prove them wrong and I didn't wait for someone to help me. When the world turns its back on you, you scream a little louder until it notices you. Work hard and you will get where you want to be.

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I quick description of my life to date and the achievements i've made by working hard.

  • Author: Dean
  • Upload Date: 2013-11-21

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Provided by Reach Out

We have partnered with Reach Out to bring you the best factsheet information we can on this topic. Reach Out offers information, support and resources to help young people improve their understanding of mental health issues, develop resilience, and increase their coping skills and help-seeking behaviour.

Starting in a new place

A new place can be scary at the start

There are many reasons why you might be starting at a new school - leaving primary school to move onto high school, choosing a different school that better suits you and your needs, transferring because of problems (whether they be student, teacher or work related) and more. Whatever the reason moving into a new environment such as a new school might be an intimidating and nerve-racking experience.

Some of the things that might cause you stress include:

  • being in an unfamiliar environment
  • feeling sad about not being able to hang out with old school friends
  • feeling worried about making new friends
  • being nervous or worried about your workload
  • having low energy levels as a result of getting organised for school
  • being bullied or harassed by other students (If this is happening, you may want to check out the fact sheet on Bullying - what to do if you are being bullied for more information).

Making life easier at school

It may help to remember you are not alone, it is likely that other people have similar feelings to you. Some suggestions for making the move to a new school as stress-free as possible are:

Getting involved

A good way to make new friends is to become involved in activities that interest you. This way you are meeting people whom you have things in common with. You may want to get involved in:

  • sport (most schools offer a range of different team sports)
  • music
  • debating
  • Student Representative Council.

Breaking the ice

Often other people are feeling nervous about making new friends. It can make it easier if you suggest doing something to break the ice. You may like to ask someone in your class to kick the footy or go see a movie. A great thing about starting a new school is that it provides an opportunity to break out of those clicks.  It is often easy to identify different groups: popular, academic, sporty, rebellious, etc.  However, interacting with anyone (no matter what group they sit in at lunchtime) can help you to be more open-minded.

Express yourself

Being able to express how you are feeling may help to release some of the tension you may be experiencing. There are a number of ways that you can express yourself safely, such as exercise or writing in journal.

Stay in contact with old friends

While you are making new friends it may help to stay in touch with your old ones. You might like to chat with your old friends about how it feels to start at a new school. As well as face-to-face, you can keep in touch via email, messaging, or by phone.

Have something to look forward to

Sometimes it is helpful to plan ahead so that you have something to look forward to. You may want to plan to catch up with friends after school or plan to do something special at the weekend.

Get your bearings

Try and become familiar with your timetable, where your classes are, who your teachers are, and where the library and lockers are.

Giving it time

Adjusting to big changes like starting school often takes time, particularly if you are transferring at a time when other people have already got their bearings and are settled in. Allowing yourself to get used to the change is important. Try to take it one day at a time.

It is likely that life will start to get easier as you become more familiar with the school routine and start to make new friends - the new school won't seem 'new' anymore. Friends will be made, new experiences will be had, and you will learn things that will stay with you for life. If you try to make going to your new school a positive and pleasurable experience - then you're pretty much set.

Getting help

It may be helpful to talk to someone about how you are feeling. This may be a friend or family member.

Sometimes talking to someone who is not so close to the situation may be helpful. They may be able to give you a different perspective on things and have other suggestions for dealing with situations. This may be someone like a school counsellor, school nurse, or a teacher - it's part of their job to be there to support students.

If you would prefer to talk to someone anonymously you could call Kids Help Line 1800 55 1800 (free call) or Lifeline 131 114 (cost of a local call). They have counsellors who are available 24 hours a day.


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