Secondary School Throwbacks: Advice That You Wish You Knew On Your First Day At Big School
A rite of passage into the adult realm, a springboard into the world of higher education and a place of sometimes-silly behaviour and questionable classroom antics with your pals.
No matter what your experience of high school was, it’s safe to say that it plays an important part in shaping who we are – but, what advice would you tell your younger self if you could hop back in time and rewind a few decades?
We spoke to some of our favourite mummy bloggers to reminisce the good ol’ days and find out what they wish they knew on their first day at secondary school.
Bobbing In The Same Boat
If your cherubs are growing up faster than the speed of light, you – and them – may be feeling a little apprehensive about their first day. However, a comforting thought to keep in mind is that, you and parents across the world are experiencing it on the same day; everyone is in the same slightly rickety boat.
Sanna, a chocolate-loving, photography-obsessed mama from Wave to Mummy, reminded us:
“Everyone is new at high school. It’s easy to think that everyone is looking at you and judging you if you are not interesting, funny or cool enough. In reality, everyone is so busy worrying about what other people think they don’t have time to look at you.”
Becky Gower, creator of The Mummy Adventure, found the number of people a bit overwhelming when she braved the high school crowds, but reassured us that your little ones will find their own people.
Try encouraging them to “speak up and start a conversation because chances are [they’re] going to meet some amazing friends.”
Make The Leap Of Faith
When the big day arrives, it’s important to put on a brave face and just go for it – even if in reality you want to swaddle your child up like a burrito and never let them go through the school gates.
But Karen Langridge over at Missing Sleep put our mummy minds at rest with some motivational words:
“It can all be very daunting starting out at a new school, but those who appeared confident settled in quicker and had less trouble with the mean kids… act like you belong and hold your head up high!”
It can be hard not to worry about making friends – in both adulthood and childhood – but Mummy from the Heart founder, Michelle Pannell, gave a cracking piece of advice to tackle this trouble:
“..Jump right in. People make friends quickly and it is pretty intense in those first couple of weeks, so try to smile and be friendly to everyone you meet, introduce yourself and get talking because holding back doesn’t help anyone to feel settled.”
You’re Good Enough Just The Way You Are
Making friends always makes the settling in process that little bit easier, but Emma Shilton (A.K.A Mrs Shilts) gave us some food for thought:
“My advice to my younger self on my first day of high school is to remember that you don’t need to be everyone’s friend. Some people will like you, some won’t and that’s okay. Don’t change yourself to fit in. You are good enough just the way you are.”
Put Your Name Down, For Everything!
There’s no denying that high school can be pretty hectic; whether you’re running around gathering food tech ingredients (that mac ‘n’ cheese was well worth that A* grade) or rushing through some last-minute homework, it can be hard to find time to even think about after-school activities for your kids.
Karen thinks the effort is totally worth it:
“It might seem like extra work at the time, but they [extra-curricular activities] are a useful way to ensure you have interesting things to put on future university and job applications…so start doing your Duke of Edinburgh or join the lacrosse team as soon as possible!”
There’s no reason why they should settle for the rounders team reserve either. Hannah Law, one of our Stock Allocators, would tell her younger self:
“Challenge yourself and push yourself out of your comfort zone. Sign up to as many clubs you’re interested in, even if your friends aren’t. Once you try them out, you’ll probably really enjoy them and it’s a good way to make more friends.”
Get those lacrosse sticks at the ready!
Organisation Is Key
We all remember groaning when our parents nagged us to pack our bags and get our uniform ready the night before school, but Elissa Mancuso, an Assistant Product Technologist in our accessories department, assures us that the added sprinkle of organisation is worth it:
“Make sure everything is organised and laid out the night before, don’t go rushing around in the morning of. Make time for breakfast because you definitely won’t eat the school dinners!”
Does anyone remember the days of Turkey Twizzlers? Yum.
Keep Stress To A Minimum
It may be a daunting couple of years ahead if you’ve got a teen in the household, but Amber Taylor – our Social Media Manager over here at Peacocks HQ – advised:
“Don’t worry about following the crowd. Don’t stress too much about exams either, all the worrying won’t help!”
Oh and put. The hair dye. Down. “Don’t start dyeing your hair, it’s not a good look!”
A big shout-out to Sanna, Becky, Karen, Michelle and Emma for sharing their fab advice for youngsters experiencing their first day at high school, plus Hannah, Elissa and Amber from the team here at Peacocks.
If you’re still school uniform shopping, check out the back-to-school shop at Peacocks for the perfect high school clothes and accessories.