High school can be a daunting place for young people starting Year 7. A big new environment, new rules, multiple teachers and subjects to juggle, increased workload and trying to find new friends, are just some of the challenges that students face.
Some students also have preconceived ideas, or have perhaps heard stories, that influence the ways they approach this new stage in their education.
However, Eden Marine High Year 7 students Euan Osten, James Zalakos, Morgan Thornton, Lucy Gilbert, Chelsea Hoare and Uluka Richardson were pleased when their expectations did not match the reality.
“Homework certainly wasn’t a challenge,” Euan said. “I think they started us off easy for the first few weeks.”
“You have multiple classrooms and multiple teachers. If you don’t like a teacher, you only have that teacher for 50 minutes,” Morgan said.
All of the students agreed that higher numbers at the school and more diverse people and personalities helped them to transition from a smaller school.
“When I came to Eden, I thought ‘am I going to be lonely?’ But you always end up finding heaps of friends,” Chelsea said.
Being a small fish in a large pond, with some very large fish, was also a concern
“I thought I was going to be called midget all the time,” James said.
A big new school, with all of its dynamism and complexity, was an exhilarating experience for some.
“All the noise and people. It was like the whole world was awake”. Uluka said.
Finding friends and navigating the intricacies of new relationships was an important part of adapting to the high school environment.
“For some students it might be intimidating, but once you get a good selective group of friends it gets much better,” Morgan said.
The students had sage advice for future students who had concerns about making friends.
“Be individual. If you are representing a fake self you are not going to get the friends you want,” Morgan said.
“Be yourself all the time,” James said.
The new Year 7s have also advised future students to “not worry” and to try to “have fun”.
“Don’t worry about it,” Lucy said.
“And don’t worry about how tall the people are,” Uluka said.
“If you make high school fun, it’s going to be fun,” Euan said. “If you make it not fun and make every day miserable, it will be the worse time you ever had.”