Moving up a school or entering a new class is tough and, although it probably doesn’t feel like it, even the most confident, outgoing of people can feel as though they’re well out of their depth during this time.

If you’re struggling with this process, then first realise that you’re not alone. Then read on and find out how you can adapt to your new surroundings.

Hate your new school or class? Start here.

Moving from something you know is never easy – why change has to happen at all is likely something that you’re asking right now. Yet change is inevitable – it’s something that, as you grow older, you’ll experience more and more often. Try not to view it as a negative. You’re growing up – onto bigger, better and more exciting things.

You can and will fit in – you’ll meet new friends, you’ll get to grips with what you’re learning, and above all else, you’ll survive. Here are some tips to make that uncomfortable, bumpy ride that little bit smoother.

Starting a new school

Starting a new school is a scary, exciting and sometimes confusing time. You might have lost a few friends who have moved to other schools, whilst your existing mates may well be taking to new school life seemingly better than you.

The best advice? It’s going to take time.

It’s probably not the answer that you wanted to hear, right? But getting to know new people, finding your way around and settling into your classes are all things that don’t happen instantly. It seems impossible, but just try to relax and enjoy what is a new experience.

Making friends – seriously frightening stuff (sometimes)

Meeting a whole set of new people is overwhelming – and being amongst a hustling, bustling group of people isn’t the easiest setting to speak up in order to be noticed. If you’re finding that making new friends isn’t something that’s happening naturally, then try joining a few out-of-school clubs, such as sports clubs, or consider joining extracurricular activities ran by the school. These forms of meet-ups tend to make the whole making friends process far easier as you’ll already have something in common with those around you.

New kid in town?

If you’re the new kid then taking to your new found school can be a completely different challenge to moving up from primary to secondary. You’re going to feel nervous, vulnerable, overwhelmed and everything in-between. Ideally, you’re reading this advice before you start (in which case you might be able to make friends online before the big day).

You’ll also be able to find out whether you’ll be paired up with someone for your first week or two (which is always a great way of meeting new people without having to awkwardly approach and introduce yourself).

If, however, you’ve been the ‘new kid’ for a while, and things aren’t going too well, then speak with either your parent or carer, or a teacher at the school. You probably underestimate just how good teachers can be at helping you make friends in class without being obvious.

Really not getting on?

If it’s been some time and the thought of even going to school fills you with dread, or if other students are being hostile toward you, then it’s time to talk to someone. This can be anyone from a teacher, parent, carer or, if you don’t feel comfortable talking with an adult, try a friend.