Being the new kid can be hard. It's easy to start worrying about getting lost at school, not having any friends, and being lonely. But being the new kid doesn't have to be that way.
- Make a list. Write down all of the things you don't know about your new place and begin to find the answers however you can. This might mean using the phone, talking to others, asking your parents for help, or using the Internet. The more you know before you head to school for the first time, the better you'll feel about being the new kid.
- Visit your school. As soon as you can, go see your new school. Even if it's summer vacation, go with a parent to check out the building and get the basics down. Find out where the lockers are, the cafeteria is, and so on. Try to get on the school's website with your parent or another adult and learn as much as you can.
- Explore the area. Once you're all moved in, ask your parents or another adult to walk around with you. Check out the local hangout spots for kids your age and introduce yourself to any kids you see. You can visit the installation's youth center to meet kids your age. Making friends before school starts can make that first day a lot easier.
- Smile. Did you know that when you smile you have a better chance of making friends? Just by smiling you make yourself seem friendlier and easier to talk to.
- Talk. Talk things through with your mom, dad, or an older sibling who may remember what it's like to be the new kid. Ask them how they would handle things. Don't be afraid to share your worries and fears with them.
- Be positive. Think of being the new kid as a good thing. You get a chance to start again and forget anything you weren't proud of in your past. If you got labeled as someone who couldn't keep a secret in your old school, now's your chance to change that!
It may take a while for you to feel comfortable at your new school and that's okay. You'll figure everything out soon enough. And remember that kids are kids no matter where you live. Even if you moved across the country, you'll find ways to connect to these kids too, just like you did in your old school.
For more information and resources to help military youth and teens navigate everything from the unique challenges of a mobile military lifestyle to managing their social lives, saving money, and going green, Military Youth on the Move!