Getting Comfortable in a Large High School

As a freshman walking into a large high school for the first time, it’s natural to be intimidated and more than a big overwhelmed by the size of the school campus. Whether the campus is open or contained, the volume of lockers, classrooms, gym facilities and hallways creates a maze that is more than a bit challenging to navigate. Students are able to work through this maze, however, by taking preparatory steps.

Visit at Orientation
Most large high schools have a freshman orientation. Be sure you attend this event as you’ll take care of the identification badges and scheduling issues you need to handle at the start of the year. Once you have your schedule, use your time among so many other lost students to chart your classes. Ask questions of those who are present and listen to the responses to the questions of others. As a new entrant to something as unfamiliar as a new high school, you’ll be facing a big unknown – shown to you only through cheesy high school films. Learn as much as you can from the experts who are there to help.

Visit on Your Own
The school is usually open over the summer, even if there are no classes in session. Administrators, teachers and athletic coaches are usually up at the school working, so arriving with your schedule in hand is certainly an option. Bring your schedule and a highlighter or two and prepare to take a tour on your own time at your own pace. A printed map of the school from orientation will be your guide.

Start at the entrance to the school and walk through your day. Start by visiting your locker and then moving on to your first period. While you walk, look for nearby restrooms and note the library and cafeteria locations. Move from first to second and remember the distance back to your locker. Continue on your journey until you’ve found all of your classes and have a solid idea of how to get there. Remember, of course, that the next time you’re walking this route, you’ll be moving in crowds.

Leave Yourself Time
Once the school year starts, arrive at school a few minutes early to give yourself a head start. As tempting as it can be to stop and talk to friends in the hallway, talk and walk toward your next class to avoid feeling rushed or pressured in the hallways. Put your things down in class before heading back to the restroom if necessary to be sure you know how and where to go on your way back. A few minutes before the end of each class, pull out your schedule and remind yourself where you’re heading next – it will give you more focus in the hallways between classes.