Life is full of change. Things like starting a new school, moving house, leaving school to go to college or university, or starting a new job, can affect us in different ways. You might feel excited or nervous.

When moving from primary to secondary school or starting a new school, you might worry about making new friends, meeting new teachers, having more homework to do, remembering equipment or finding your way around a new school.

Change brings uncertainty and new responsibilities which can be stressful.

  • You are not alone if you are feeling worried about moving to a new school. Other new students are probably feeling just as nervous as you. Settling in somewhere new takes time.
  • Talk to a trusted adult or friend if you have any concerns. Talk to a teacher who can help with putting a plan in place to help you get organised and feel less stressed.
  • Join a lunchtime or after-school club where you will find like-minded people to make friends with, especially if forming friendships has been tricky for you. Helping others is also a good way to make friends. Being kind in this way will make you feel better.
  • A regular routine really helps. Our minds like routine. Try to get up and go to bed at the same time each day. Getting enough sleep helps with a lot of things including being able to concentrate better during the day and feeling less tired and irritable. If you’re having trouble sleeping switch off from social media earlier in the evening.
  • Regular exercise, like walking, or taking part in sports, or any physical activity is a great way to help reduce stress.
  • Find time to relax, doing the things you enjoy. It might be listening to music, arts, sports, anything that takes your mind off what’s causing you to feel stressed.
  • If the self-care ideas don’t quite cut it talk to a professional such as a GP or your public health nurse who will listen to you and suggest ways to help you feel more settled in your new school.