8 first-day freakouts and how to solve them
The first day of school is always nerve-racking. From wardrobe woes to scheduling sitches, the number of things that can go wrong seems limitless (Helloooo, anxiety). Luckily, we've got the solutions for ten of your worst first-day fears. Check 'em out below:
1. “Over the years, I’ve learned that different people become friends over the summer or new people start dating. It’s so confusing to figure it out, and you can’t ask anyone because they’ll think you’re crazy for not knowing.” —Nicole L., 13
Mind reading is so not a prerequisite for class, cutie. Spend an hour or two before the first day digging around Facebook and Twitter, or chat with friends for inside dirt. Still not prepped on summer’s big pairings? Just hit the halls with open ears. Go with the flow, starting convos with a simple, “How was your summer?” and act like you knew the news all along. Chances are, you’ll be up on your group’s gossip before the final bell rings.
2. “I’m scared none of my friends will have my lunch schedule and I’ll end up eating alone.” —Emily R., 13
This is always a girl’s greatest fear—but one that’s pretty easily overcome. If you’re strolling into the caf solo, start simple: Overhear a pack saying they’re heading to lunch? Ask to join in. Or, if making the first move isn’t your scene, grab some grub and head to a table, whipping out a cool book or magazine. Someone’s bound to invite you over, or start a convo asking what you’re reading. While it would be nice to munch with your buds, seize this time to get to know new people.
3. “What should I wear the first day? I want to make a good impression.” —Samira E., 13
Newsflash: It’s not what you’re wearing but how you wear it that’ll keep all eyes on you. Comfort equals confidence, so spend the weekend before the big day piecing together a cute but relaxed look (make sure you stick with the school’s dress code). And instead of splurging on an entire outfit, snag one new piece that will last all year long, like some cute sneaks or the perf pair of jeans. Or just swap stuff with your friends—their old threads will be new to you (plus it’s free!). For a bonus boost to your self-esteem, do a mini-fashion show for the ’rents or your BFF. The idea is not only to look good but to feel good, too.
4. “I’m worried I won’t have enough time between classes to get the right books. My school is so huge!” —Samantha S., 14
Plan, plan, plan. Practice with your locker combo before school, memorizing a little jingle for easy—and fast—opening. Load your bag with the morning’s books, then switch at lunch, doubling up on binders so you’re not lugging a heavy load. If you map your route right, you can even offer to share and swap books with friends on walks to the next class. Consider it a challenge to get to class on time, every time. And as long as you don’t delay by chatting, you’ll be settled in your seat with time to spare.
5. “I just found out my ex-BF is going to be in almost all of my classes! How can I get through it?” —Julia D., 14
Oh, you heartbreaker, you. Well, it’ll probably be a scheduling nightmare to try and switch all of your classes now, so your other option is to just suck it up and face your former fella with a smile. Use your similar scheds to settle things once and for all: Next time you see him in class, casually bring up your big history exam, then tell him you hope things won’t always be so awkward. He’ll probably be relieved to hear ya say it—and that way the two of you can focus on what’s being said at the front of the class, not the weird tension between each other.
6. “I keep hearing about this cruel teacher—my friends tell me she’s really strict and never gives out A’s.” —Cecilia M., 11
Don’t be quick to pass judgments, chicky. Step into class with an open mind, then win her over by raising your hand during the first few classes and subtly showing your smarts. See if you can find something in common. Is she a die-hard Yankees’ fan? Comment on last night’s big win. Teachers are humans, too. And if you treat ’em with respect (that means showing up on time and leaving the chitchat for lunch), you’ll be on even ground.
7. “I’m going into high school and I’m so worried that my friends and I won’t see each other nearly as much. We all have different interests, and I’m afraid we’ll drift apart.” —Hannah B., 14
So your BFF’s on the cheerleading squad and you’re rockin’ the field hockey team? That doesn’t mean you can’t still hang. One of the fab things about true friendship is the different interests and personali- ties you each bring. So go out and do your own thing, but reserve plenty of hang time for your besties (like regular Saturday night sleepovers). And don’t forget to support each other as you try new things!
8. “When I walk into a new club, will I like anyone or meet a room full of cold- shouldered strangers?” —Christina R., 14
Clubs are awesome ways to bond with new buds, but that definitely won’t happen the first day. It takes time to form a friendship—and to figure out if this particular club is right for you. But the good news is that everyone’s in the same boat, so ya shouldn’t stress about being a stranger. Uncomfortable starting something alone? Team up with a pal and do it together. Or just try to think of all members of your new club as insta-friends: After all, you’ll most likely be spending the semester working together on something you’re super into. Plus, you all elected to join the same group, so you know you at least have that in common with everyone there. Walk into that room with an open mind and use your common interest to hit it off right with this new crew.
What are you most nervous about for the first day? How are you staying calm? Let us know below!