Last week, I – and probably you since you’re reading this – stepped foot into a new arena. Whether you’ve decided to take up further study, start an apprenticeship or even begin working – we're all starting a new chapter as we edge ever closer to adulthood.
I’m just beginning my A-levels and have also started a new sixth form. For context, I’d been at my previous school since Year 7 (That’s about 5 years!) and thought it was time for a change. It’s been an *interesting* experience – there's something about being the new kid on the block that you really can’t shake off.
Here’s a few words of wisdom from your certified newbie:
1 – Be kind:
If you’ve been reading my blogs for a while, you are probably familiar with me (or maybe even sick of) preaching about kindness. But I do it for a reason – the reason being kindness makes all the difference. If you smile at someone, they’ll probably smile back, and it’ll make you feel GOOD. And even if they don’t, doing something nice is great for building your character and lifting your mood.
When you’re new it can be hard to make friends or start conversation but a simple act of kindness: a compliment, a smile, a gesture – is a great way to segway into something more. On the flipside, someone showing you kindness (be welcoming to new people *cough* *cough*) can completely transform your day. Take my first day for instance – I was lost (my new school is massive), late for my lesson and borderline losing my mind. Luckily, I was saved by a kind girl in my year who took the time to show me around and make me feel comfortable. If she hadn’t done that, who knows how the rest of my day may have ended up – I'd probably still be wandering around, cluelessly.
2 – Be brave, be bold
Whether you’re new or starting something new – there's one thing we can agree on... There’s gonna be unfamiliar territory. There’s gonna be stuff you don’t know, stuff you haven’t seen and stuff that downright scares you. It will be difficult – it will be challenging. This is sounding pretty negative but (there’s a but, I promise) you can make this ALOT easier by changing your mindset. Ditch perfectionism and be willing to make mistakes (and learn from them). Take risks and keep your chin up while doing so. Try out new things – get out of your comfort zone – break down those barriers that are preventing you from growing as a person. This is the ultimate learning opportunity (in all senses) so exploit that and dive into the deep end.
3 – Be patient
Contrary, to the whole *GO* *GO* *GO* vibe of the last paragraph – I want to end on a more peaceful note. New beginnings are stressful – I won’t lie to you, I’ve found it a little difficult to stay on top of things these past few weeks. The most important thing is NOT GETTING MAD at yourself. This will only cause you to feel worse and will damage your wellbeing. Instead, take a pause, chill out for a bit and return to your task with fresh eyes.
Things take time – don't worry if you don’t understand content right away or haven’t found the perfect circle of friends yet (if they even exist?). Give it some time and things will work out in the end.
Tiffany Igharoro is a student in Y11 preparing to take her GCSE's. One of her favourite pastimes is writing as it helps her organise her thoughts creatively and dynamically. She has won awards and prizes for poetry, academic and scientific writing and short stories. Recently, she won a nationwide historical essay competition that opened her eyes to the importance of how things are told, and the impact ordinary people have on the world. She is studying art GCSE and believes there is something incredible about finding links between drama, art and maths.
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