Congratulations! You're getting ready to start your first day at high school. Are you a little nervous?

David from Schitt's Creek looking nervous and saying,

It's natural. You'll be going to a new school with new teachers, administration, schedules, procedures, and friends. That can be scary for anyone.

However, your first day of high school doesn't have to be intimidating. If you prepare ahead of time, you can make your first day at high school less intimidating.

Go to School...Early

An image of a high school's exterior. Photo by Gautam Krishnan on Unsplash

Go to school before school starts. The idea sounds crazy, right? However, attending orientation if your school offers one is one of the best ways to prepare for your first day at high school.

An orientation is when a school hosts incoming students and their families to help them adjust to a new school. You'll usually receive notice a few weeks before school starts about the exact date and hours.

An icon featuring two students.

During this time, you're able to do the following:

  • Receive your schedule and locker assignment

  • Meet your teachers and find out what you'll need for their classes

  • Have an information session with your parents

  • Take a tour of the school

Some schools even provide a "mock school day" during their orientations. The bells will ring, giving students a chance to run through their schedules so they have an understanding of what the typical day will look like.

Why is it important to attend orientation?

You could always wait until the first day of school to meet your teachers and receive your schedule/locker assignment. However, if you go before school starts, it will make your first day easier.

Young Obi Wan Kenobi saying,

You'll know better where to go, so you're not confused. You can associate teachers with their classrooms. You'll be familiar with procedures and rules, so it won't be as overwhelming.

If your school doesn't offer an orientation or you can't attend, you can also schedule a tour at the school by contacting your guidance department. The counselor will take you around to meet the faculty and give you an overview of the school.


Nate is trying to explain to his sister, Brynn, why she should attend freshman orientation. Choose the best reasons that would help him explain why she should attend.

Reread Any School Communication

An icon of a letter.

Have you received any type ofschool communication? Bus schedules, student handbook, syllabi from your teachers? You may have received it at orientation or over the summer.

It's important to read over any form of communication that you receive before going to school. You could also check the official social media accounts for the school.

That way, you'll know what to expect and won't be caught off-guard on your first day.

Tom Hanks thinking.

If you received your schedule earlier, double-check to make sure everything is accurate.

If it doesn't look like what you signed up for, such as French III rather than Spanish I, reach out to your guidance department. They can attempt to correct the error before your first day.

Prepare the Night Before

A GIF of Jiminy Cricket getting into bed for the night.

The night before your first day at high school, take the time to make sure you're prepared by considering the following tips.

  1. Pack your bag, so it's ready to go for tomorrow.

    • Do you have to return any signed forms?

    • Do you have your schedule?

    • If you were provided with a list of supplies, is everything packed in your bag?

A student heading to school with their backpack on their shoulders. Photo by Omar Roque on Unsplash

2. Know ahead of time how you will get to school.

  • Are you riding the bus? Check the schedule so you know where and when your stop is.

  • Are you riding with a parent or carpooling? Know what time to leave to avoid getting stuck in traffic.

An icon of a school bus.


Brynn is making a checklist of everything she needs for her first day at high school. What is one thing she does NOT need?

Establish a Morning Routine

An image of a round black clock with the time reading 5:55. Photo by Julian Hochgesang on Unsplash

On the morning of your first day of high school as a student, consider establishing a morning routine. It can help you be more productive throughout the day and provides you with structure.

Why is it important to have structure?

Structure promotes the self-regulation you need as a teenager and supports you in becoming self-reliant so you can better manage yourself. This will carry over and help you succeed in your freshman year of high school.

To start your morning routine, consider the goals you want to accomplish in the morning. This will determine how early you should wake up to get to school on time.

A woman scratching her head with teal question marks scrolling in the background.

  • Do you need to put on a full face of makeup?

  • Will you eat breakfast at home or at school?

  • If at home, will you eat a small or big breakfast?

  • Do you want to read texts or look at social media prior to leaving the house?

  • Do you want to fit in a workout?

  • Do you do homework at night or in the morning?

These are all questions to consider to create a morning routine that works for you. This Byte can also offer assistance: How do I create a morning routine?

Take Action

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Hopefully, you're feeling more confident about your first day at school. Check out these tips to have a great first day at high school.


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