By Hope Douglas
I'm a sucker for cheesy reality shows. The one thing that always resonated with me is the idea of going on a ‘journey’, because for my 13 years of schooling that’s exactly what it was: a messy but beautiful journey.
Changing schools is hard — a new place, new people and it's all too easy to get swept up in the idea that everything is different and that you need to change to fit into your new environment. This is simply not the case. I changed schools for a number of reasons, but I always found certain tricks to keep myself moving and to keep developing as a learner.
Maintaining your identity
The first time I changed schools I was quite young, around Year 4. The one activity that I absolutely adored was reading. When my class would have free time, I would delve into the world of novels — from there, I could ride a dragon or slay a monster. Naturally, when moving schools for the first time I was terrified, but reading offered escapism and calm so I continued to read just as much at each new school as I had the last.
I continued to focus on things I loved to do when I moved again down the track — whether that was dancing, watching as many movies as possible or spending a lot of time at the gym. Having other outlets allowed me to focus at school when I needed to.
Removing the stigma
It should just be general knowledge that many students need to move schools at some point. For example, there is the pressure that when you move schools that you need to make friends straight away. You are put with a buddy and suddenly expected to meld into a new societal hierarchy. After struggling with this myself I believe that a student should have their own choices when moving to a new school, even if that involved wanting to sit alone at lunchtime.
Some quick tips for coping with moving schools? Always remember that school does not define you as a person or what you will become when you ‘grow up’. Always try your hardest and know that it will always get easier on the other side. Like someone on The Bachelor once said, ‘Enjoy the journey’.