I have always been home schooled, but this year I'm going to public school for eighth grade. Do you have any tips?
I can totally relate to your situation! I was home schooled from kindergarten through eighth grade, and this last year for ninth grade I went to public school. I was nervous as well, and I had no idea what to expect. (I was even worried on how I would sharpen my pencil!) Here are some practical tips that I hope will help you in your transition:
Go on a fun shopping trip to the mall to stock up on trendy school supplies and a few new outfits. (One of the best things about school is that it gives you an excuse to get some cute clothes!) I found a lot of my school supplies at pbteen. Right now, they even offer free shipping on backpacks and lunch bags. Here are some of my favorites:
You will also want a folder for each class, big erasers, a bunch of lined paper, a calculator, a ruler, and a lot of pencils. I found that I liked mechanical pencils a lot better than "real" ones.
When you get your schedule of what classes you are taking, I recommend looking at a map of your school to see where you will go for each class. It's much easier to map it out ahead of time, rather than figuring out where you are supposed to be on the first day of school!
- Don't try to carry all of your heavy textbooks around in your backpack at one time. Stop at your locker in between classes to get what books you need, and store the ones you don't.
- Plan out ahead of time with your friends where you will sit for lunch. This eliminates the awkward moment of standing in the lunch room, scanning for a place to sit.
- Stand up for what you believe is right. Peer pressure is a huge deal in school, and it's easy to get sucked into our ungodly culture. There were many times in school when I had to speak up for my faith. Here is a great saying that I try to live by: "Always stand for what is right, even if you are standing alone."
- Always report bullying. When people think of the word "bullying" they usually picture a big, mean-faced lug punching a little kid with glasses. Most of the time, however, bullying is a little more subtle. Verbal jabs can hurt just as much or more as a physical beating. During my first couple of weeks at school, a kid started shoving me around repeatedly. I talked to my parents about it, and they called my school and the principal resolved it. Always tell an adult!
- Choose your friends wisely. Friends can either bring you down or lift you up. If they are constantly gossiping, making rude remarks, or not displaying the fruits of the spirit in their lives, consider finding some nice, Christian girls who will help you in your walk with God.
Remember that God is always with you. If you are feeling nervous, take your worries to Him. Pray throughout the day - it will keep you feeling closer to Jesus. Believe it or not, He cares about the little details in our lives! Pray for help on a test, or friend trouble. He will give you His peace, and help you in this new, exciting stage in your life.